Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Amalfi : B&W Street Photography

In July 2015 my wife Cheryl & I stayed for three nights in the small town of Amalfi on the Amalfi coast near Naples. Amalfi was the perfect place to practice my 'street' photography skills with my new Eos M3 mirrorless camera.

A selection of 35 B&W images can be seen below....

Our hotel room overlooked a busy little square with the magnificent Duomo Di Sant' Andrea Apostolo and its famous staircase as a backdrop. Amalfi was infused with a festive holiday atmosphere and the streets were crowded with beautiful people shopping & people gazing and the ubiquitous bored looking shopkeepers observing all..... The beach is only a few meters from town and provided a welcome respite from the rather hot summer weather. We enjoyed Amalfi so  much that we didn't even bother exploring the rest of the Amalfi coast except for a visit to neighboring Atrani ( an half hour walk) and a boat excursion to a nearby cave.

The narrow streets crowded with shoppers & tourist made my street photography attempts rather easy and I was never short of subject matter. It was rather more difficult to find and identify a local, but fortunately the shopkeepers have a habit of standing either in their entrance or opposite their shops observing the teeming masses ( and keeping an eye on their shops ) so I could at least photograph them....An early morning walsk whilst the rest of the town was sleeping was also a good way of finding locals as they were usually the only ones around at that time of the morning, busy restocking the restaurants and sweeping and cleaning and setting out tables and chairs...

I haven't been to Europe for a while and I was absolutely gobsmacked at how pervasive the  cellphone culture has become..everyone is busy with a selfie and when people sat down to rest at one of the many little street cafes many would rather look at their cellphones than at the activities surrounding them. Its almost as if the new tourism has become a never ending quest for selfies, posing in all sorts of ways in front of an interesting or even arbitrary tourist 'landmark' and then looking at themselves with the places only as backdrops in the images on their cellphones rather than at the places themselves...

Most of the photographs were made with my new at the time, Canon Eos M3, 22mm f2 lens and the kit 18-55mm zoom lens. I also used my Canon Eos 6D & 40mm pancake lens and a long EF 70-300L zoom lens for the compressed perspective photographs that were mainly made from my hotel window looking down at the square and Duomo below.

The Eos M is my first camera with a tilting screen and it worked quite well for candid's. I would use the camera hanging at my waist with the viewfinder tilted horizontally and because I was looking down at the camera and not at the people with the camera held to my eye, few even realized that I was photographing them...because of the slow AF I had to quickly learn to anticipate whats going to happen and be ready and focused before the time...Its a good way of sharpening ones 'looking' skills and to be more aware of potential images rather than just react...of course its not ideal but nevertheless its what I had to do.

My Eos M3 Review can be seen here -click on link below:

I processed all the Raw files in LR CC and used Nik Silver Efex for the B&W conversions. I added a bit of grain for that 'film' effect and also to increase apparent sharpness.



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