The streets of Sheffield at night offers lots of photographic opportunities. On this occasion, I was out with some of my photography friends and I had a clear aim in mind, I wanted to take photos of people and practice with my flash. There’s something about being with friends that bolsters my confident making it easier to approach strangers, so I plucked up the courage to talk to quite a few people and asked if I could take their photo. Most people were obliging, there were a few that said no and on one occasion, after an attempt at the ‘ambush’ approach, someone asked me to delete the image. I don’t think the ambush approach works for me, especially if a flash is involved – I know a lot of photographers are happy to do that e.g. Bruce Gilden, but it doesn’t suit me.
Ultimately, it was an exercise in low light and flash photography – dark streets make it difficult to focus quickly and achieve sharp results. I took a lot of dud photos over the course of the night. Plus, I had a few issues with my flash not firing – having plucked up the courage to speak to someone, I found that I nervously shot and ran, rather re-taking/reframing and improving an image I knew wasn’t right. I felt, if I’d intruded on people’s time, the last thing I wanted to do was keep them hanging around while I faffed with my equipment. So here is a mixed bag for your perusal! The feature image is of a group of girls I approached – they were happy for me to photograph them but I asked them to just carry on chatting and just ignore me. It worked a treat!
Below: The photography boys often carry a V for Vendetta mask which, when we run out of ideas, always makes and appearance.
Below: a group of strapping swimmers from Loughborough University were happy to have their photo taken – I kicked myself for not trying this photo again to get their feet in frame! Grr!
Below: I shouted out to this handsome chappy to give me ‘his best charming smile’! Not bad!
Below: One of the group
Below: another mask interlude
Below: This bouncer was the loveliest man, he told me to couldn’t do a ‘mean face’, I think he managed it ok before he broke into a big grin! this was another shot where my flash didn’t fire, I was so flustered, I didn’t take another photo. Grrrr.
Below: A group of Christmas revellers we bumped into. I actually know one of the men, so taking a snap was pretty easy.
Below: I never knew Santa smoked?!