a book on Portraiture

For the past week or so, I've been collecting images and stories from my trips around the world for a forthcoming ebook I plan to release about Street Photography, or more specifically, portraiture in a street environment.

It's coming together really nicely at the moment and is going to be a bit of a whopper this one I feel. I have three sections to the proposed ebook now:


This is where I discuss the conscious and subconscious decisions I make whilst out shooting.


This is where I discuss the kinds of lenses, the types of film, the choice of light I use and the pre-picture taking techniques I use (my camera for instance, is always pre-focussed).

Street Stories

This is more a 'making of' section, where I discuss what happened on a case by case basis with each of the images I illustrate.

I have topics like 'From Within - getting into the picture', a section on body language which is very important. How you convey yourself to your subject can make or break the exchange.

Which is really what portraiture is : an exchange or dialogue between you and the subject.

Anyway, it's very exciting. I'm really enjoying writing this one as I think I was originally wondering how I would approach it. But now that I've laid out the guidelines for each of the chapters, I'm on a roll now.

I keep getting some folks out in the web call me a 'landscape shooter', but that's only really part of the story for me. Originally yes, I started in landscapes, but I feel that in around 2004, things changed. I'd been interested in shooting people for a long time, but I had simply never made the leap. It all seemed to happen for me in 2005 when I went to Cambodia.

Armed with a collection of cameras, I remember trying each of them out to find which ones worked best. The EOS 1n was put away pretty soon as it was too obtrusive for me. I had a Bessa R3a which was a joy to use and most of my subjects didn't take me too seriously with my small, quiet camera. But strangely, I got the same response with my Mamiya 7II. It was possible to make street photos with a big camera so long as it was quiet.

I've moved onto the Contax 645 system now, primarily because the Mamiya7II has hopeless close focussing (it's a rangefinder) - it's possible to get away with some street shots like this one below:

Anyway, time to get on with my writing, which is great fun because I get to relive the experiences of being back in all the places I've been to. Sort of like a virtual holiday :-)