A busy and stressful week for me and some of those I care about has been accompanied by overcast skies and copious precipitation so it was so much nicer to wake to blue skies and dry streets. Cold and windy but very pleasant all the same.
With a pretty busy weekend ahead there wasn’t much time for photography, and to be honest I didn’t even have a plan in mind for either words or images which is unusual after a week with so much driving that the radio which normally provides inspiration hadn’t done the trick. I needed some ingredients for the meal I’m making for my daughter so a stroll into Durham seemed the answer.
Perhaps the usual suspects would provide me with opportunities?
Marquess of Londonderry, Durham Market Place
I wasn’t too hopeful, but actually as I shot the equestrian statue that dominates the Market Place I was taken by the way in which the sculpture was being given further definition by the conditions. Not enough to really work on though.
Next idea was to shoot some candids of the varied hats and other accoutrements being worn against the cold wind, however I was pretty sure I’d done this before. (In hindsight it seems I haven’t, so be warned millinery fans!).
It was as I was doing so that my eye was captured by someone who had no need of a hat, and as I followed this Seb Rochford lookalike up Saddler Street I realised where I would find something to work with.
The same light that had so defined the contours of the Marquess‘s steed was providing a combination of back and rim lighting that suddenly transformed that hair to halo. What’s more every mote of dust in the air was similarly lit, as were steaming coffees, and warm exhalations. Still wasn’t sure what I wanted to get exactly, but I continued to shoot candids in monochrome, my preferred method for street photography.
It took something as innocuous as a luminous carrier bag to make me reconsider the possibilities of colour, for against the cool winter light, the creamy facade of Bell’s fish and chip restaurant brought some warmth that together with the backlighting gave a more continental feel. (Ironic given the nature of the establishment!).
With a change of angle, and an anonymous model whose legs made the most of the sculpting rim light I got closer to producing something more pleasing though she was a little to shaded by the exposure resulting from that change of angle.
Back to where I began and suddenly a result that has a nice fashion photography feel. Shame about the person in the background, but that’s street photography for you.
* Title from I Saw The Light – Todd Rundgren