This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Scotland. Moving from the hectic life of London, to a more subdued environment which is best described as - the middle of nowhere. With my winter attire and some walking boots, my camera was packed ready to capture a different scene to the one I am usually accustomed to. Prepared to shoot some landscapes and nature I was looking forward to having a more relaxed approach to my photo walk. However I was quick to learn that a different scene does not equate to a different eye, and the weekend proved to be a much needed reminder as to why I am so passionate about Street Photography.
Removing the pressure
Street photography poses its own challenges. It can be lonely, frustrating and full of anxiety. I am extremely passionate about the craft, which means I take it very seriously, resulting in a dedication to wanting to be better and work towards hanging with the best of them. A consequence of this is that each photo walk I take can come with an intense amount of self invoked pressure. Instead of enjoying the process, I am sometimes guilty of getting lost on just the end goal. Of course setting a standard is important, however it should not result in your passion starting to verge on being a chore.
This weekend was a great opportunity to use my camera freely, I just wanted to take some shots of a place I had never been before, the quality was not going to be the main focus.
I haven’t fallen out of love with Street Photography, however I have not been shooting as much. I was hitting somewhat of a brick wall, and picking up my camera was becoming an effort, rather than a fluid motion. Going up to Scotland, being near the sea and the hills, the sand and the grass, in its own special way brought me back closer to the concept of street photography.
The way it did this was by how my relationship with humanity was involved in the frames I took over the course of the weekend. This is important because it gave me a perspective as to what originally drew me to the concept of endlessly roaming the streets with a camera, taking photos of people that drew my interest.
Like most passionate Street Photographers, I am pulled towards the genre due to my strong interest in the human form. Away from the camera, I am constantly reading up on the psychology of human behaviour, what makes us behave the way we do and what processes are important to our development as individuals and also as a society. With this in mind, it is of course of no surprise that capturing this through a lens is something that is deeply important to me.
My first stop on this long weekend was Earlsferry, a beautiful coastal town in Fife. Having come up from London, it was liberating to have the fresh seaside air fill my lungs, I remembered what it was like to breathe.
We made our way towards Elie Ness Lighthouse and were met with some truly beautiful light. It was a great opportunity to create some glorious silhouettes, both of human life and its wonderful surroundings.
The next day we took our 4x4 and headed out to Crail. Known for its challenging golf course, which asks you to fork out £350 for a round of 18. Adjacent to the course is a lovely little beach, and we managed to arrive when people were few and far between. There is something quite liberating when you feel like you have a section of land all to yourself.
People did come however, along with their dogs, and I was able to catch this encounter between these cute little warriors.
Coming back to London
I came back to London feeling both re-energized and with a restored enthusiasm to get back out shooting the streets. The following day I dusted off my 50mm and went out for a walk with a refreshed eye, ready to be in-sync with the street scenes of the city.
If you yourself are having creative blocks, maybe getting away from the street environment can help you too. Shoot a style of photography just for fun, a genre that you don't beat yourself up about if the content is not on point.
You will be surprised how moving further away from your passion can inevitably bring you closer to it. It worked for me.
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