Brendon Kearns


Tag: Street Photography (page 2 of 2)

February Mix of Shots

I played around with the film this time a little more than normal- the meter in my M6 is about one stop over so I loaded it with Neopan 400, set it to 800 (effectively 1600), then shot most of the shots about one stop over and ultimately developed it in Xtol at a little over the recommended time for 800 with temperature around 24C yielding the more contrasty shots. Along with this I tried out a roll of Neopan Acros pushed one stop and developed in T-Max instead of my usual Xtol, while the rest were part of my first step toward shooting through the fridge load of HP5+ buy-2-get-1-free packs ordered from the states a few months ago.

Mix of the Past Couple Months

Shots off some recently developed rolls from the past couple months

Unfortunately I never seem to shoot the same film stock consistently with the same camera so I never end up developing everything on a regular basis- I’d like to start ensuring I have everything I shoot in a given month developed by the time that month ends but we’ll see how it goes

Australia Day and More Rolleiflex

I had been trucking out the Rolleiflex on the lead up to the New Year- I took yesterday to get into the darkroom and develop up my first roll of Acros 100


I think something went wrong with my Rolleiflex during this frame- it did some naturally vignetting and when I cut out the frame from the area the scanner covered it didnt appear to be the same size as my others

I’ve been carrying around my Nikanos V on account of all the rain, the following are a mix mostly composed of Australia Day

I had taken a photo of the same dog on a roll of Astia 2 months ago

Up till now I had only been running color film through the Rolleiflex but seeing the results of the Neopan really affirms my preference for black and white

Depending on when I can get into the darkroom next I should have more on the way; I’ve been lax on the shooting on account of work stress- this past Friday was the first day I was able to get out and into a decent flow.

Not making time for the darkroom plays a part too- the longer I go without developing my film and seeing the results the less interested I am in continuing to shoot leading to my having less exposed film to develop and less reason to take an evening or afternoon to stand around measuring out developer and turning a tank upside down for 3 or 4 hours.

Mix of the Past Three Months

I realized I had been forgetting to scan a few different rolls I had developed since I got back from the states so here’s a quick mix of shots in rough chronological order

That’s it for now

October & November

Quick update with a few shots of my own from the past couple months:

I snapped this first shot of Katie only to realize there was a way more interesting dude behind her

99%’ers camping out in Martin Place

Man who had just proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of Occupy Sydney

Enmore was over ran with teenagers expressing their identity crisis

Newtown’s ‘Reclaim the Lanes’ festival

Glebe Markets

I tried taking the same style shot multiple times, pocketing the subject in the bottom left or right corner while trying to give it as much context as possible

I’ve been working on doing my own film development and I feel like its giving me better results than anything I had got back from a lab in the past year- I’ve coupled this with using a Phaidon discount I get to buy up some photography books.

While reading through Danny Lyon‘s Memories of Myself he transcribes Hugh Edwards telling him how the best photographs imply movement. It seems an obvious statement in hindsight but I had never been able to put my finger on what the ‘poetic quality’ was that made some images stand out while others look stale and I think its that exactly- when it feels like the image is just after something started but before its finished.

After the Newtown Festival a couple weeks ago I was on my to Doughboy for a pizza when I dropped into Gould’s to dig through the mountain of books. I found a copy of Nikos Economopoulos’ In the Balkans which was the first time I had seen any of his work or even heard of him- its was 30 bucks (comparatively high for Gould’s) so I left it. By the time this Friday rolled around I had been thinking about the images so much that I sat through a jammed up CBD for an hour and a half on the M30 after work to go back and see if it was still there.

I consider it now the best photography book I own- in my mind its up there with Koudelka. Since leafing through it and studying the images, I feel like I’m reevaluating every shot I’m about to take. I dont know if its the cuts and crops he’s making after the fact or if he is actually getting that in there to frame while shooting but I’m amazed at each stray arm, foot, branch, bottle or cigarette in his shots.

Learning to Develop

After much internal debate I finally decided to take a class on doing my own film development over the ACP- so far its been fairly good as I’ve developed a couple rolls of Tri-X and learned about the print process by creating my own contact sheet.

This first shot was with Xtol at 1:1 and yeilded a very fine grain but low contrast image

This second shot was with Rodinal at 1:50 which came out with a grainier and harder feel

I feel like the Xtol seems good for scans as I can always bump up the contrast in the image via Lightroom to whatever is needed- but I like the grain showing through on the Rodinal. I’ve read online that this is fairly common and there has been a lot of experimentation with adding a drop of Rodinal to your Xtol to get the best of both worlds.

While these were just off some test rolls I ran through on the walk to class, this Sunday was the first time I was really able to get back out and shoot straight street so I’m psyched to get those rolls dev’d and the photos up even though I havnt yet posted the slew I’ve scanned from my trip to the states a month ago on top of a mountain of interesting found or loaned slides to scan on the side- should have plenty to keep me busy in the coming weeks.

Hunter Valley, Sydney and London

I headed out to the Hunter Valley for a conference at the end of June packing the OM2n with my cheap as 28mm 3.5

I spent the next roll taking shots of my room, a winery, the trip back to Sydney and some late night flash shots around Enmore after checking out Lucien Alperstien’s opening night

Then when I was able to continually forward the frames ad nauseum I realized the roll never caught on the winder- I had effectively been shooting nothing

But I took the M6 out to try my hand at shooting a mix of whatever film was left in my fridge at 400 or 800 ASA

Some dude’s bad ass Ute

Spent a little time trying out some Velvia 50 at the end- I had e-mailed Joel Meyerowitz about a year ago when I first was getting into street photography, I only half expected him to ever get back to me but he actually got responded within a day offering some practical and useful advice- namely, to try to rangefinder if I havnt yet and give Provia, Velvia and Astia a shot to find what works best

In hindsight, it seems like really obvious advice from him, but at the time I was roaming around with a 450D and a $100 nifty fifty having only flipped it into manual mode a month or two prior

I still dont feel like I can shoot color- I cant ‘see’ my shots in anything other than black and white, I have a bunch of 400 speed fuji superia I picked up cheap that I intend on using for practice when I have the time to really get into it

I flew off to the UK for business and managed to snag a couple days at the end for some shooting

Found some good signage whilst in London

Jumped in while he was posing for someone else- I was thinking of getting a few cards made up for moments like this so I can get some photos back to people who might be interested

I snapped this outside of Flat White in Soho– the only decent place I was able to get an actual flat white Aussie style

They have these bikes all over London- I think the way it works is if you have a UK credit card you dip it in the machine, grab the bike, and it charges you from then until you return it to another bike station around town

Framing up the shot

Not sure what was going on when I shot this one, but I liked it concept even if it failed in execution

These last two are probably my favorites out of the London shots- of the two day’s worth of free time, there was only an afternoon in which I wasnt too jet-lagged, hungover, busy saying hello to old friends or pre-occupied checking out the London Street Photography Festival to do some actual shooting

With its wide sidewalks and packed CBD I found it an entirely different shooting experience than Sydney

In some ways it left me feeling like Sydney was lacking in that the more people you have packed into a bigger space all going off in their own worlds the greater the likelihood for potential shots, but in other ways I felt like all the time I put in working for every shot I could work out of Sydney paid off- I think Sydney is a great place to learn street photography in that its extremely safe for a city of its size yet its still personal enough an environment that you have to be super sensitive to the feelings of your subjects in a way you could probably get away without in a London or NYC

I began reading Teju Cole‘s Open City on the flight over and just finished it off tonight, I found it as awesome as the reviews pumped it up to be and thought it worth mentioning since he dabbles in street photography himself- while the book has little to do with photography, if you are interested and looking for a hard copy in Oz you might have to wait until September before you can get it anywhere short of Amazon

More Street Shots – Sydney – The Rocks/Manly/CBD

Finally worked my way through the rest of the rolls from a couple weekends ago

Finished up a roll at the rocks with the Nikonos V in the rain




Spent some time out in Manly








Came back through Circular Quay






And spent the rest of the time just shooting through the CBD




















Apologies for the dust in the sky on some of the beach shots-

Should have more coming soon from the Live Meat Export Rally and a quick run through Newtown’s graveyard

Update – June 25th 2011

Just picked up a slew of rolls I had dropped off last week- while I wont have much time to get through the scanning this week, I figured I would post up some shots off one roll from the M6 and another from my Nikanos V test roll

Firstly- the M6 shots:









Since I had my 50mm back on it made a world of difference for my framing compared to the 28mm shots I was pulling with the OM2- after using that wide of an angle I tried to get back to basics and capture some single subject material towards the end

I was trying the meter-off-the-hand technique to keep it exposed for skin tones but everything seems to be about one half stop under- I’m not sure if its the meter going in my camera, some misjudging on my part or something to do with the cloudy conditions and diffused light that came with it

Now, for the Nikanos V:







The Nikanos was a little tricky to shoot with since it doesnt focus via the viewfinder- its more akin to a rangefinder that can only be focused on the lens by setting it within a given range based on aperture

The photos seem to have a fuzzy dream like quality compared to the sharpness I get out of Leica but it was fun to take out since I didnt have to worry about it getting soaked and the 35mm lens was a good change of pace

In other news, the Imaging and Entertainment Expo 2011 is going on all weekend down in Darling Harbour- I was able to catch a few hours of it this afternoon and watched fashion photographer Peter Coulson give a brief how-to on working with studio lighting at the Hasselblad booth

I’ll post up again when I manage to scan through the other 9 or so rolls kicking around

Update – June 23rd 2011

I’ve been thinking about buying a wider lens for my M6 than the Summicron 50 I currently use, so in an effort to try some different focal lengths I spent the last half of May playing around with an Olympus OM2N and a 28mm 3.5 Zuiko

I shot a few street performers and buskers around Pitt Street Mall




Took a few animal shots- mostly around Newtown and Glebe






Most of the street came out with a lot of dead space, I wasnt accustomed to using something this wide and my instinctive framing was use to the tighter 50mm leaving me with some awkward shots in the end







And finally a few nature shots



I even slapped on a Quick Auto 310 flash I picked up at Smile Please down on King Street

Most of the frames were blown out since I had no idea what was doing with it but by the end I was getting a little better- I set the distance in meters and passed it to my girlfriend who took a quick shot of me over a few drinks at the Green Room

I feel like I would need a few months solid of shooting 28mm to feel comfortable with it- I spent the Queen’s Birthday weekend out in the rain shooting with a Nikanos V I bought explicitly for the Sydney winter, its 35mm felt about right for my street shots so I’ll see how those came out in the coming weeks

Newer posts

© 2021 Brendon Kearns

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑