Featuring…..Mark Liddell!

I started as a landscape photographer but these days my focus is mostly starting to shoot fashion and I’m slowing building the skills and portfolio. I picked up street photography because it meant I could shoot whenever I wanted with no agenda or planning at all which is often a relief after the constraints and pre-production work required for success in other kinds of photography.

For me street photography is all about the people as individuals so I like to focus on that rather than people as figures in a scene.  I enjoy the unstructured nature and usually like to shoot impulsively in very busy places without too much time to think but sometimes I’ll just wander about and see what interests me. I tend to walk for miles when I go out and shoot, I just can’t wait in a place for a shot to happen I need to go out and find it. Often I feel street photography is one of the hardest forms of photography, it’s a tough challenge taking unscripted everyday life and making extraordinary pictures from it and I also find it very personalised with one person’s amazing shot being another’s run of the mill snapshot. I find my street pictures sometimes look better in colour so I shoot a mix and decide which works best later which still feels odd after shooting with b&w film and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I bought the X100 almost as soon as it was available: I walked out of the shop, put in a battery and started shooting immediately. This was the first small digital camera I had found with good physical controls and a good optical viewfinder, the whole of my first day I caught myself reaching for the film wind lever! My battered old Nikon FM which was older than me was sold a few months ago on ebay 😦

Fav shooting locations

Almost always London though my X100 has been to Morocco too

Oxford St – not my favourite place to visit in London but it’s total chaos so there is always something to shoot, you just have to be fast enough…

For less chaos I like Paddington basin/Little Venice or perhaps Angel.

A pic of your X-100

Cheapo ebay hood

B+W UV filter so the camera isn’t toast if it gets knocked about

Home-made strap

Manfrotto Nano case.

I wanted a strap that could take the weight of the camera while leaving it ready to shoot to save my hand gripping the body tightly for hours at a time. The straps available all seem to mount on the strap lug which if allowed to take the weight of the camera doesn’t leave the camera in the hand ready to go so I made my own.

 

Any quirks/fave settings/workarounds you have come across

Auto ISO menu will only let you use 1/125 shutter speed or lower, too slow to freeze motion on busy streets. Luckily auto ISO still works in manual so I have it on and set my shutter speed to 1/500.

Despite what the manual says, the X100 does take advantage of UHS-I cards which really helps improve the startup time. Remember to always format cards in-camera too.

Contrast detect AF works best on textures and not lines/features like phase detect on slrs, this is why the X100 often acquires focus on the background. Choose where you focus carefully.

Usual settings:

f/5.6 or f/8

1/500

Manual focus @ 8-9ft

Auto ISO

RAW

Links to your blog/site/flickr/500px/whatever

www.liddellphoto.com

liddell.500px.com

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