During this latest Covid Lockdown, my street photography has all but dried up. Part of the reason is that the streets are empty, shops are shut and also, my enthusiasm has taken a hit.
During the first Lockdown and the months that followed I managed to maintain the desire to get out and capture the streets, albeit taking a more distanced approach., often with the Fujinon 50-140mm zoom. With this in mind I will be trying out the Fujinon 90mm, equivalent to approximately 135mm full frame when I do get back out there. Socially distanced street photography has arrived.
I’m looking forward to getting my mojo back and to things getting back to something a bit more like normal. The photos below are all from last year.
This post is all about the people and the streets of Preston. All the photographs here were taken in the space of a week around the city centre. The City is under additional ‘lock-down’ measures at the moment which prevents people visiting other households and meeting in pubs, restaurants etc. You wouldn’t necessarily expect to see this evidenced in the City Centre but I did think more people might have chosen to wear masks around town too. In Paris mask wearing in the city is mandatory now and after all ‘Preston is my Paris’ as one TV advert once proclaimed.
I took a walk through Preston city centre yesterday on the first day that ‘non-essential’ shops were allowed to open. Judging by the queues and the increased number of people about, it would appear that what is labelled as non-essential to one person is another person’s must have.
No doubt the businesses are mightily relieved to be open again but I can’t see how the relaxation of lockdown restrictions can have anything other than a negative impact on containing the virus. I wore a face-mask while walking through town but I would estimate that less than 10 percent of people were bothering to cover their faces. I guess time will tell if the laissez-faire approach to virus control in the UK will result in another infections spike.
One positive of the lockdown and there hasn’t been many, is the opportunity to spend time seeking photographic inspiration from other photographers.
Today, I discovered the story of a secretive american photographer who’s talent was only appreciated after she died. She may not have sought fame and fortune, and it’s impossible to know what she would have thought about her subsequent elevation to photographic icon status but what I do know is her street photography is truly inspirational.
The photographer I am in awe of is like many artists after their deaths, now world renowned. She is Vivian Maier. Take a look at this trailer for ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ and you will hopefully see what I mean:
It was the opening night when we visited Blenheim Palace, not really knowing what to expect, but it’s fair to say that the Illuminated Trail exceeded our expectations.
Treetops glow in the dark and the colours are amazing. There are light sculptures and a constantly changing vista to keep things interesting. As you begin the trail you walk through a light tunnel glistening with 100,000 small lights – a magical experience.
The trail itself is around one mile long and as you return towards the Palace you are greeted with seasonal projections onto the house itself and search-lights dancing across the sky.
It was great to photograph, though to be honest it was also a bit of a challenge. The exposure levels varied so much between the various set pieces and it was quite busy on the opening night too.
The fantastic light experience is available to book at Blenheim Palace until the 1st January.
A little bit of everything last weekend in Southport both in terms of the weather, which was cold and also photographically with a bit of street photography, a few sunset photos, a visit to an art gallery and a firework display.
I guess it’s the variety that makes Southport a good destination for a short break at this time of year. The AtkinsonWhitworth gallery was a great spot to shelter from the rain and enjoy the latest exhibitions. The costumes of Vivienne Westwood pictured below formed part of an interesting display. I enjoyed the portraits of various celebrities wearing the same t-shirt against a plain grey background. It was interesting to see how they each posed and managed to make the t-shirt their own.
There was also a fabulous art exhibition featuring painting by Nahen Shoa called ‘Black Presence’ which is also worth a visit.
It wasn’t a planned visit to Cuerden Park. We had been out and about visiting local DIY stores, searching for something or other, which was pretty mundane. We did however remember that there was a cafe at Cuerden Park which was only five minutes away and so we set off, more in hope of finding a coffee and a place to relax for a while than taking any pictures.
As it happens, we didn’t get the coffee. We hadn’t counted on the cafe being like the place in Lancashire for dog owners. Every table was taken. It would appear that this is the place to go if you are a ‘professional’ dog-walker, because everyone seemed to have at least three dogs lashed around the seats and table legs.
So, no space for us in the cafe but we did still enjoy a walk around the country park, albeit as the only ones without dogs in tow!
Preston is lucky enough to have some fabulous public parks and at this time of year they are spectacular. The Autumn colours have been good this year and it’s hard to resist the lure of a walk with the camera.
Here are a few photographs taken in Avenham/Miller Park, Moor Park and Haslam Park.
All photographs captured on either the Fuji X-T1 or X-T3.
It’s something of a tradition around this time of year – the night’s are closing in, the summer season is a fading memory and it’s time for a visit to Blackpool Illuminations.
The spectacular free light show along the promenade at Blackpool is great for photography and I normally try and make a couple of visits at least. In fact I really do need to visit again this year as the weather wasn’t the best on this Blackpool Illumination trip. At least the bad weather provided some stormy light for a few photos before the lights came on, but the wind, rain and sea spray continued to make photography a challenge!
Here are a few photos from my visit. Hopefully I will be back again soon to catch the Festival of Light, when entertainers roam the promenade and the illuminated trams join in a procession along the sea front, later this month.