Contact Sheet: Camden Canopy Smoke

Yesterday I spent the day walking around practicing street photography for the first time in a while with my standard kit, rather than one-camera-one-lens as I tend to do. This was because the last time I attempted this area I felt limited by my telephoto 90mm, and I wanted a more diverse approach.

I had noticed a few scenes that I revisited, but I also found a corner where I took an image I actually quite like.

The light beams by a nearby cafe were very engaging, and I noticed some similar light by the food stalls.

I had my 21mm fixed from the last images I had taken, and used it to capture some general movement in and around the space.

I liked the way the light shone through the back of this man’s hair, and I stepped closer to get a better image of that.

I decided to focus on this specific zone, and was very lucky when someone approached and started smoking there. I got down on one knee and inched closer until I was only about a meter away. I was shooting upwards, stopped down to f/4 and framed his face directly between the canopies.

He didn’t once look at me, and I took a handful of photographs before he finished his cigarette. My favorite of these is the cover image for this article, and was taken just as someone in a bomber jacket left the scene. I like the shape and the contrast this gives to the smoke, and I really like the overall atmosphere the image has. The smoke is a lot more subtle than in these others, but the face is well defined, and there is enough activity in the lower left background that it is a true “scene.”



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