What would "The Cultured Kiwi" be without some cultural evenings? After my realisation that my beloved Landscape photography wasn't going to work so well here in London, I turned my focus to street photography. Studying people and their reactions has always been a fascination of mine. But I have always struggled to get up the nuts to pull out my camera and take a photo of someone on the street. Here in London there is a tremendous sense of anonymity and so far I have had no problems taking photos of pretty much whatever I want. So I have decided that for the next 6 months I will primarily focus on improving my street photography to put another feather in my hat.
I thought surrounding myself with arty types would smooth the initial bumps. So I headed to a monthly gallery event in which a number of galleries on Vyner Street in London open their doors from 6pm on the first Thursday of every month. Here the galleries serve drinks and allow free entrance to all of their exhibitions. There are also small venues such as Limewharf that have live performances. This was the most interesting of the lot for me. I was here for about half an hour and in this time I saw some of the most interesting acts I have ever seen. We walked in on a young man dressed in Black playing a gothic solo on a banjo. We were then treated to a dramatic poem reading and finally a confused young man screaming into the microphone (above). An extremely memorable experience!
In terms of photography it was very challenging. The room was nearly dark and the "act" was jumping around rather vigorously. I have a Canon 5d Mark iii which has astounding low light capabilities when paired with a good piece of glass. In this instance I had a Canon 16-35mm f2.8 ii (right). This combination allowed me to just capture handheld shots of the action (such as the one above) on a manual setting of F2.8 at 1/50s. I then put the ISO to automatic and let the camera ramp the sensor sensitivity based on the light readings. In this instance the camera went up to an ISO of 6400 which is the upper limit of what I let it go to. The image was then post processed with a combination of Lightroom and the Nik collection plug-ins. I first darkened and did a slight bit of recolouring in Lightroom. To finish up I always run high iso images such as this through Dfine 2 (Nik) to remove the worst of the remaining traces of noise.
If you are interested in me digging deeper into my post processing workflow (or perhaps posting a video of this process) leave a comment below or send me a message on twitter @benkepka. Also if you have nay questions about any of your own workflows I am happy to help.