Posts Tagged ‘street photography’


Recently I have started following @dymagate on instagram lately, mostly due to him placing decorated padlocks (that he’s done with sharpies) and their keys around Aberdeen.  He then posts some pictures of them, but not all of the ones he has done to Instagram and people like me go out and hunt them out.

Why he does it is as below (copied from one of his posts recently)

1 year ago my mum was in the depths of treatment for skin cancer. Naturally I was incredibly worried. I was still working full time in Aberdeen and driving home to the west coast 3/4 times a week. At that period in my life I was saying “i love you” more than ever before. When I couldn’t be there I became incredibly anxious. I read a thing called “turn your anxiety into creativity” the best way to feel good about yourself is to do good by others. To that end I have left over 10,000 padlocks in Aberdeen Edinburgh Glasgow Dundee and Perth with positive messages written on them and the keys attached with the hope a stranger down on their luck might find it and get a positive boost or even the inspiration to do something special for someone else. Perhaps someone who feels like there is no one who cares will find one and realise thats simply not the truth. 1 year on and the project has become so popular I’ve been sending packs to people who live in areas too far a field for me to place locks so that they too can spread the free love. So far packs have gone to Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, several US states and most recently Kenya whilst I’ve taken them to places like Italy France and Egypt.”

I haven’t found a padlock yet, but have found the stickers that he has placed round town too. I like the Owls and have the Blue “follow your <3” as my cover photo on flickr at the moment. It has opened my eyes to see the town in a new light again (it’s a bit like geo-caching but without the GPS) and I seem to have found my phojo again. Though, to be honest, it’s mostly on the phone and Instagram at the moment. Doesn’t mean to say that I have put the DSLR down, I had it with me on a trip to London last week and I’ll post about that later on this week.

So, Do something special, share the love and remember that if you think no-one cares that you are alive, miss a few bill payments….  Seriously, go out, do a good turn and share the love. This is why I am sharing this with you and if you are in Aberdeen (or some of the other places that Dymagate has been too) keep your eyes open, You never know what you might find.

Have a good weekend!


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Sorry about that, been a little busy with other things but do have some big things to look forward to. Namely FurrieBoots’ first wedding! Am excited and nervous in equal measures. Keep an eye out for the blog post Meanwhile, I’m awaiting the delivery of my first commissioned photos. Will post the results after the client receives them next week when I hand them over 🙂

Last weekend, I put on my good Samaritan hat and came to the rescue of a local charity here in Aberdeen called Future Choices. http://www.future-choices.org.uk/

They are a charity that encourages local people to help people who are less fortunate than themselves in their local area.

Saturday was ACVO‘s (Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations) Celebrate Aberdeen Parade. There were over 100 groups taking part from the Scouts & Guides to Future Choices to Children 1st to name but a few.

Future Choices was founded 5 years ago so as part of their birthday celebrations, they had a photographer on hand to capture the progress of the parade down Union Street. Unfortunately, that photographer had to pull out at the last minute and I answered the call to fill the place.


They are a noisy bunch especially after the whistles were all passed out!


After a bit of stressing from David (the chairman) before the parade started, we finally got underway at 11am


There were plenty of people to wave and cheer us on and a few TV cameras were spotted too (Apparently I made it on to STV while passing by!)


After the parade was over, the next stop was back up at the Trinity Centre, where their mascot was waiting to have his picture taken. Giddy the Gorilla was a good sport while everyone posed and shoppers squeezed past!

A good morning in all, am pleased that I could help them out!

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When you see people with cameras, do you make the assumption that the quality of their photos aren’t great because they don’t have the “correct gear”?

I read the following article this morning and felt that I had to share it.


Yes, I have a DSLR but according to flickr, the most interesting photos on my stream were taken with my Canon Powershot Point & Shoot (though it does have a lot of manual options like a DSLR and to be fair I have been shooting with the Powershot longer than the DSLR too)

In fact, there’s a shot that I took on my phone that’s currently above the first DSLR shot that’s in that list.

Yes, I have a DSLR and I am still learning how to use it properly but I still get the odd moment of genius (even if I do say so myself) and come out with a stunner of a photo!

I don’t have proper editing software, just the Digital Photo Professional programme that came with the Canon 11ood (the Rebel T3 for those not in the UK) and just use http://www.ribbet.com for tweaking colours, adding text/watermark and effects.

One of the reasons I got the DSLR was that it can give you more gravitas, people are likely to believe that you are more professional, but I still can take decent, thought provoking, WOW photo’s with the P&S and the camera phone. It’s not all about professional equipment, it’s not all about the most up-to-date software and equipment. Yes, shoddy equipment doesn’t produce a good job but still the person wielding it has to have the eye, and the knowledge how to use it to it’s best potential!

I have seen people say “Oh, I can do that, I’ve got a good camera” when they’ve seen pictures in a gallery, but I have never seen their results. I have challenged them on it and still waiting on the results. I have seen some awful pictures in my time from people who have very good cameras but a) they don’t know how to use them outside of point and shoot on Auto, and b) they just don’t have the “eye” for the shot.

What do I mean by “eye”? Well, it’s seeing the shot before you shoot it. Landscape shots are easier as you don’t have to worry about immediate changes (unless someone walks into your shot) whereas sporty type shots are harder to anticipate as there is always something changing? Not sure what I mean? Well I like to take photos of landscapes and still life as they don’t move.

Whereas trying to take pictures of my Goddaughter and her sisters is so much trickier as they are always on the go, though to be fair, I have got some really great photos of them when they aren’t paying attention to me.

I don’t have the assertiveness (yet) to be a decent portrait photographer, though some people may disagree. I prefer reportage style photography where the subject isn’t aware of me actually taking the photo, so that they appear more relaxed and look natural and not in forced poses.

I do try to go out of my comfort zone and try new things (Part of rocking my frock in Edinburgh and Belfast was me pushing my boundaries) but I seem to come back to what I know and really love. Talking of which, it’s not raining at the moment, and I’d better go out and take more photos!

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I have as of today started the 100 Strangers project. “What is that?” I hear you ask. Well it is a project to take pictures 100 different people you don’t know to challenge yourself and hopefully improve in your photography! I’m not fond of talking to strangers though I used to talk to them in my retail life (funny that) but then I wasn’t exactly approaching them, they were coming to me!

So, after the trip to Belfast last weekend (yes, still short a post from that, will sort that shortly 🙂 ) I found my phojo but have decided that if I want to keep it, I have to expand my repertoire, challenge myself so that I don’t get bored. This is where 100 strangers comes in.

To begin with, I figured today would be a good day to start as it is Armed Forces Day and Aberdeen has a parade down Union Street. I knew that there would be plenty of people with cameras so I wouldn’t look totally out of place and there are reasons for taking photos.

I was lucky to find a fellow Team Canon member in Gary. He too shoots as a hobby and was out taking some photos of the parade. Up till now he hadn’t heard of the 100 strangers project but was happy enough for me to take his photo.

So, here he is. Thanks Gary 🙂

For more information see www.100strangers.com and www.flickr.com/groups/100strangers

Think I have just stopped shaking with nerves just now 🙂

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This is cool 🙂
I can take tiltshift (toytown style) photos with my camera, just don’t think I’d have the patience to do an Aberdeen version.


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