This man was something of a curiosity. The image was made on Wall Street, the day the protests before the protests began. Cycling close to the Stock Exchange, the man got off his bike, wrote “don’t write on the sidewalk” then added beneath it – “it’s history!”. He then stood up, admired his calligraphy and cycled off laughing to himself. As I said, he was something of a curiosity.
An evening walk through town presented me with no real photographic inspiration, apart from this man. He was sitting outside the Apple Store on Buchanan Street. Although the street was a throng of people, all going about their business, he was quietly sitting there, texting someone on his iPhone. I liked the contrast of his quietness to the energy all around him.
Walking through London on the eve of the Royal Wedding, I saw these people sitting on a street-side cafe having tea. The French name of the place aside, it was such a quintessentially English scene. Everything stops for tea.
The problem here was how to capture the shot and remain discrete in doing so. I was walking on the other side of the street and I knew that if I stopped walking and took the shot, I would be spotted before I pressed the shutter and the scene would be changed and ruined. The solution was to prepare the shot whilst still walking. This image was the result.
The skate park at Kelvingrove was filled with people practising their skateboarding, rollerblading and other artistic skills. In the midst of it all, this man stood out precisely because of his stillness – he sat there very quietly for some time before finally making some moves; after that, he sat down again.
I spent the afternoon in the city centre trying to practice street photography and candid portraits.
All the shots I made were hand held and spot metered as I knew the sort of ‘look’ I was after. My intention was also to think in monochrome and capture images accordingly. Interestingly, some of the images I made simply didn’t work, even though I thought they would; others worked better than I expected.
This is perhaps the image I liked most from the afternoon. Depicting a man standing against a restaurant wall, looking up the long and busy street, I couldn’t help wondering what (or who) he was waiting for; or was he simply out to enjoy a cigarette before returning inside the restaurant to his meal?
Seeing the final image as it is here, I was reminded of film noir or Fifties French cinema.