Note: Every Wednesday, I feature street photographers with great skill and soul. For this week, I decided to feature street photographer Gavin Zeno Watson from Glasgow. I first stumbled upon Zeno’s work randomly on Flickr, when he commented on some of my images. I was taken aback by his provocative b/w imagery, and the strong eye he has for geometric shapes and lines. Check out his interview and leave a comment to show him some love below!
1. How did you get started in street photography?
I always see people, situations and scenes as a photo in my minds eye, so it was only logical that should capture what I saw. The photo’s captured in Street Photography tend to be more unique and almost impossible for someone else to re-create, making street photos that little bit special.
2. How do you shoot in the streets?
I use my digital SLR on manual setting, and I shoot from the hip and sometimes from the toe as well. Most of the time I shoot with a 17mm so I can walk very close to my subjects, becoming involved in their world; as I want the viewer of my photos to feel a connection or at least capture have their interest.
I rarely stay in one place, but walk the streets looking for interesting people, situations and scenes. Ideally I like to capture people being natural, so I will not make it too obvious I am taking a photo, but there are times and angles where I cannot help being obvious.
I wear clothes that do not draw attention to me, and have my camera in my hand, hand at my waist, with the lens cap always off. I check regularly my exposure settings while walking (in Glasgow the light changes so fast), so when the moment arrives I am prepared.
3. What do you love most about street photography?
I enjoy capturing the moment, whether it is human expression, juxtaposition or people in geometry. I love the fast split second thinking that goes into seeing, composing and capturing, while shooting from the hip and dealing with the ever changing lighting conditions; which becomes a natural reflex after lots of practice and from failed shots in the past. There is also a part of me that loves the fact I have no idea what amazing photo could be just around the corner, so I always carry my camera with me.
4. What is the #1 tip you have for aspiring street photographers?
Learn from your failed photos… Ask yourself or from others where you went wrong. Learn from failure, do not let it put you off and become more skilful from past mistakes.
Add Zeno on Flickr and show him some love by leaving him a comment below!