Once again I am pleased to present this years ’24 Mobile Photographers Til Christmas’. It is a series that has been run throughout December for the last couple of years and has always been successfully received. In part, it is to celebrate the forthcoming festive season but also to celebrate another year in the timeline of Mobiography.
In the series I ask 24 hand picked mobile photographers to offer an insight into their work, to reflect on their year gone by or plans for the coming year ahead. Each featured photographer is someone who has inspired or supported me in one way or another during the course of the past year. One photographer will be showcased each day until Christmas Eve in a sort of online advent calendar so to speak.
Today’s featured photographer is Nicki Fitz-Gerald.
The photo I am most proud of is…
This image is my favourite image taken this year, 2015.
Although it only took a moment to capture this photo, my 5 years experience of taking photographs with my iPhone taught me that I was going to get something good if I just waited long enough – and the waiting wouldn’t be hard.
The photo was taken from inside one of my favourite pubs in London, the Pillars of Hercules, an 18th century timber framed bar in Greek Street, Soho. It is a special place for me because this is where my partner and I used to meet after work before bundling onto a number 24 bus home back to Camden – and of course they served exceedingly good beer.
This image was captured through the pub window. I’m always on the look out for interesting marks, especially urban marks and graffiti. There is a vibrant energy to these hurried, scribed assertions that contrast starkly against the static order and “uprightness” of the world, particularly the city with it’s layers of vertical, horizontal and lines and geometric shapes. So, this urban backdrop became the perfect backdrop for my characters to walk past. The graffitied wall directly opposite the pub window forms part of an alley in Manette street connecting Greek Street to the busy Charing Cross Road supplying and endless trail of characters passing my graffitied backdrop.
In order to get the shot, I propped my phone up near to the window, locked the focus and exposure onto the graffiti wall, finally plugging my apple earbuds into the phone, enabling me to activate the burst mode remotely using the volume buttons. This way, I was able to get lots of shots of passers by discreetly by just pressing the volume button.
From the many photos taken, this image became the obvious choice. The peak on the cap gave a timeless feel to the character and I liked the way his white collar stood out, giving both definition to the figure and suggesting something of the nature of the man. The soft blur around the figure, his dark indistinguishable face echoed the dark blurred edge of the window to the left adding a sense of mystery. To complete the image I added a little bit of blur to the top and bottom of the image and cropped it slightly.
Now, I am not suggesting the photo above is a great photo but I happen to like it a lot, and it has been well received online – and so to end 2015, I wanted to pass on a very short story to emphasise the importance of practice in photography in order to get a great photograph. As I said, the photo only took a split second to create, but it was all the practice and the knowledge I’d built up over the past few years that helped me to get this shot. Recently I listened to a photography teacher briefing a group. In an effort to enthuse the group, they were told that photography was easy, you just have to press the button. I remember feeling gutted at the time since I always work hard to get a good shot and can sometimes agonise over the post-editing such as cropping etc. The point is the act of photography is easy – taking the shot is easy. But taking a great shot and creating good shots constantly is harder and take effort, patience, experience, a lot of practice and sometimes a bit of luck thrown in! So for 2016, make sure you practice, practice, practice and shoot everyday! – Your cameraphone is the perfect tool for this!