Factory Kitchen (Invisible Wind Factory), L3 7DS
Date(s): 09/06/2023 - 30/09/2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Invisible Wind Factory, Factory Kitchen
Public entrance in Carlton St off Regent Road
Open Tuesday to Friday. 1.00 – 3.00
June 1st – September 30th 2023
I don’t really like taking candid pictures of people in the street. It feels a bit either sneaky or intrusive. And I’m not that good,like some photographers are, at chatting people up. But the streets of any city provide all sorts of photo-opportunities for exploring contemporary ‘modern-life- theatre’. And street photography, has its own long standing traditions.
Taking pictures of itinerant street muscians, is a relatively simple task. Sitting (standing) targets really. Although a bit more challenging if they are also dancing! I always ask with a camera click gesture and a hopeful questioning – thumbs up, so as not to interrupt the live performance, and they invariably nod a yes.
Well so far, so good, no one as yet, has said no. But some of them are actually shy of the photo-thing. You can just tell. Do they have a choice? They are, putting on a show, in a public place. But it is more than just polite to ask permission. The request makes a temporary but personal contact between me and the musician, which feels good. Occasionally some folks are ok for a small chat-interlude. Like the guy from Switzerland playing a wind up music box or Mat and his friends, using sign language to backing tracks and live streaming.
There is, in a small way a bit of a collaboration going on, and some people do, ‘put it on’ a bit for the camera.
The city environment is also of interest to me and a significant part of the image (whatever is included in the ‘framing’ is an important part of the picture). The shops: Primark (Valentines day), McDonalds, Lush, TK Max, Top Shop, (not there anymore, even shops come and go), M&S (will they be there forever?), Clarks , Schuh; are all expressive elements of modern life. And passers-by are included, or not. Sometimes it’s good to wait for a clear space before snapping a pic. The musicians look more lonely then, and a bit lost in their own worlds. Or sometimes it’s good to get in close.
Some people are there: raising money for a good cause; Brianna Ghey , Teenage Cancer Research; some, young aspiring musicians practicing and hopeful, working towards a career; some, just earning a few coins for a pint and an evening out, or many performers, in these days of bad government, are short on income and trying to earn a crust.
And can you hear? What songs are they singing?
‘…O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound, that breathes upon a bank of violets…’ Orsino Twelfth Night
©John McDonald 2023 IG: @johnmcdonald.photo
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