Dean O'Brien's Blog

Fusiliers homecoming to Kenilworth….Documentary style photography

with 2 comments

When I first heard about the Royal regiment of Fusiliers having a homecoming parade I knew that I had to attend.  The regiment lost four of its men in Afghanistan last summer and recruits largely from the Midlands.  I wanted to attend for two reasons.  The first reason was to show my support and appreciation for what they are doing on my behalf.  Secondly ,it was going to be a great opportunity to improve my documentary style image taking.  My course at Coventry University is heavily based around this style of photography so the sooner I get stuck into this the better.  I have always been keen on candid street style photography so this is not a million miles away.  My technique just needs to be fine tuned.  I tried not to go for the ‘obvious’ style shots and look a bit more around me at footwear and minor details etc…

Well the weather was bright and sunny which as photographers we know is quite harsh light to be shooting in.  I had to position myself away from the sun where possible or use its presence to my advantage.  This came in handy when I decided to shoot abstract style shots using shadows as part of the image.  I was mostly using  a 70-200mm zoom lens without a tripod so image sharpness was always going to be an issue.  However, after filtering through my final images I believe that I managed to get a few good shots.

There was a very good atmosphere and a very relaxed attitude towards candid street photography.  A rarity these days.  The very high security presence ensured that everything ran smoothly.  I am going to attend more public events such as this in the future.  It may seem simple but the more that I shoot the better I will get.  I understand now why most professional photographers who were there had at least two camera bodies with them.  I do however understand that this does not make you a better photographer, it just means that you are more prepared for when that split second opportunity lands at your feet.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

April 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Dean

    Because this was a home coming parade from a war zone I feel that in the images you have here that you didn’t catch the emotion of this event. I know that is not easy and takes a lot of practice. The biggest difficulty is moving in close and getting within the action. You have a number of shots that are taken from the rear, maybe that was your intention. However, I feel it would have probably been better from the front.

    The way I have improved my photography in these instances is to use a 50mm lens and move in close. Learn to deal with the un-comfortableness that this sort of work can bring. Even Martin Parr admits that he still finds it difficult to work close.

    Food for thought and I think that it is great that you are trying this sort of photography because it is not easy.

    Regards

    Rick

    Rick Medlock

    April 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

  2. Hi Rick
    Thanks for your comment. Yes rather than confront people face on as many others were doing I wanted to take rear shots and something a little different.

    I do love using a 50mm lens but I don’t think I would have been able to get the shots I needed with that. Security was a big issue as well as respecting peoples privacy so I opted for the zoom.

    Its early days yet though so its just going to be trial and error.

    Dean O'Brien

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am


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