I’m often asked questions via social media about my photos, ranging from the gear to the methods I use while photographing the streets of London. I always make sure I reply to everyone who is kind enough to show an interest in my work, so I decided it would be a good idea to list the most common questions along with their answers in one handy place, which I will keep updated as time goes by. So let's begin!
What lens do I use?
Probably the most common question. The simple answer is. It’s not important. The equipment isn’t important. Getting out, taking photos and gaining valuable experience and practice is important.
Instagram is a great example. You’ll find countless Instagram accounts with some incredible photography all shot on a camera phone. There is no advantage to owning the best lens if all you want to do is take great photos. Imagine the best photographer in the world and then imagine what they would do with a phone camera. They’d take amazing photos. It’s that simple. I covered this in a little more detail in a previous post here so have a quick read.
However to answer the question, because it would be rude not to. I currently use three lenses. A 35mm 1.4 prime, 10-24mm and finally my ‘walkabout’ lens which is a 16-55mm 2.8. Oh, and an iPhone.
What editing software do I use?
Most photographers, it seems, use the desktop version of Adobe Lightroom. I’ve never been a fan and prefer to use Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop. I have a workflow which I’ve used for years, and I can’t imagine changing it anytime soon. Adobe Lightroom uses the same RAW converter as Adobe Camera RAW, so the results are the same.
However, in recent years mobile photo processing has come on leaps and bounds. The two notable apps I use are the incredible VSCOcam and the mind-blowing Adobe Lightroom Mobile. Lightroom mobile is incredible because it uses the same RAW converter as the desktop version via the cloud. When I’m out and about, I’ll often do a little processing using either VSCOcam or Lightroom Mobile, and the results are epic!
Do I use JPEGS straight from the camera or do I shoot RAW?
I’m a Fujifilm kind of guy, so this is a question I’m often asked. Mainly because the Fujifilm JPEGS are famously brilliant. I shoot RAW+JPEG, and I shoot both for three reasons. The first being RAW is simply the best format. It gives you unlimited control over the final post-processing of your photos and provides you with all the uncompressed data the sensor captured.
The 2nd reason, when shooting JPEG the Fujifilm camera will allow a 100% zoom in camera to check focus. Something it doesn’t do if shooting only RAW.
The 3rd and final reason is, as part of my workflow I view the JPEGS using Adobe Bridge to quickly preview and select images. A little like you would with film contact sheets.
Why do I shoot a majority of your photos in portrait?
I shoot in both portrait and landscape; it really depends on the photo I’m taking at the time. However, as photos are most commonly viewed using mobile devices, it makes sense to post portrait photos to services such as Instagram, etc. Portrait photos will fill the screen much more effectively than landscape, which I find dramatically increases engagement and exposure for each photo I post. Irritatingly, and for no reason I can fathom, Instagram limits portrait ratio to 5:4… Why, is anyone's guess. Design by committee I suspect.
Do I ask people before I take a photo?
A lot of my photos are taken on the streets of London. I’m fascinated with street photography for many reasons. People are without a doubt the most interesting subject to photograph, and the streets are full of them. Fleeting moments, never to be repeated are constantly unfolding in front of you. I walk the same streets week in, week out and every day is different. This for a photographer is simply too interesting an opportunity to ignore.
Street photography for me is all about capturing candid moments, so I have never stopped and asked someone for a photo. That’s not to say I never will as there have been occasions where I have been tempted to ask. But for me, I find the candid photos to be far more interesting than street portraits.
If you've read this far why not take a look at some of my work here.