2.2 People & Activity

A few weeks ago, in a state where I was possibly affected by the sun, beer or perhaps both, I set myself a challenge for our upcoming holiday – “This year I’m going to photograph the Broads in the style of Martin Parr. Then I’m going to select, whittle down, edit, arrange and present this trip.”

I’ve been struggling to complete 2.2 with a combination of work and some sort of ‘photographers block’ – this challenge is just what I needed to get me moving on it!

It was a fabulous week. Wall-to-wall sunshine, a gin palace cruiser, the pace of life slowed to 4mph and a different pub every night. I pretty much stuck to my photographic focus, but with Norfolks skies, landscape and wildlife there were a few diversions. I returned with 1,512 photographs, of which perhaps 2/3 are on-theme. I left them a few days, then whittled them down to 200. Another pause and there were 40 left. My final selection is 19.

My challenge was to photograph in the style of Martin Parr. For me that means colourful images of the British on holiday – “Think Of England” and “The Last Resort”. The nature of the Summer of 2018 has also brought back memories for me of past summers, usually visiting the U.K. from wherever we we living at the time, and using my Kodak Instamatic. I’m editing the remaining images to replicate the feel of the photographs that treasured camera produced. Colours from using cheap film and cheap mail order processing. White borders on the prints and soft, vignetted corners.

Here is my final edit, individual images are below:

Remember The Summer Of ’18?

Broads Collage v2

Overall I’m happy with the result of my challenge. I still need to develop some nerve for the more in-your-face shots. I’ve also learned that editing this number of images is a big task, and in future I might be prepared to spend months rather than weeks on it.


20 thoughts on “2.2 People & Activity

  1. Good set of images Mike. I think this type of photography is very difficult.
    I have been watching the Master of Photography series you recommended and what seems to come across a lot is that the photographers are being to told to get close, get intimate with their subjects.
    I think this is really difficult with street photography , I noticed in the episode I watched yesterday (series 1) that a number of them were refused permission by people in the street or were challenged when it was realised they were taking pictures. Perhaps this gets easier with experience.
    Of your pictures my favourites are the Kayakers, I love the tones and colours in this and also Ice Cream, this is a little story within the picture, the man queuing, the ladies in front and the young man to the right all engaged in something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jonathan. One of the key tricks with street photography is to not make it obvious to your subject that you are photographing them. One of the bast ways to do this I find is to blend in with a crowd, preferably touristy with lots of cameras, and don’t make eye contact. As you can imagine, this was a little difficult on top of a boat in the middle of a river! I expect that time and experience will give me Parr’s level of cheek.

      This challenge has also answered my need to complete 2.2, one I’ve really struggled to get round to, so don’t be surprised to see it pop up again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been a pleasure to watch your process of putting this series together Mike and can certainly see the resemblance to Parr. The guy on the boat where we see the rear of him, and the woman smoking particularly remind me of him.

    I take my hat off to you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes. Very much so. It’s interesting for me to be able to see that there is a difference between generic street photography and the photography that Part and you make. You’ve given me more of an appreciation of Parr.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think there are 3 types of street photography. There’s the really graphic, fine art type stuff like that Aussie guy with the shadows whose nome I can’t remember. There’s documentary like Parr’s, and there’s what I call atmospheric/storytelling – the kind of shots which make you think up a story to go with them – Daido Moriyama is a Master of that. Moriyama is my absolute idol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will have to look up Moriyama. I know the guy that you mean, we had to review him as part of the light and shadows exercise. I also can’t think of his name just now.


  3. I loved your images. And to be honest, I prefer them to Parr’s any day. Your images are really colorful and I enjoyed looking at them. My favorite is the couple (the last image). Really well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Archna – that’s probably my favourite too. I think there may have been a bit of a ‘domestic’ going on! He’d tried some fancy manoeuvre to get the boat tied up and nearly ended up leaving her drifting on the boat. There we a few forthright opinions being delivered!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Mike – there’s definitely a strong and coherent approach to colour that brings the group together. Is that always your palette or is it here to evoke that sunshine look and a slightly film look from yesteryear ? It seems to evoke that people here are (hoping to be) making memories.

    I think the last one rounds it off very well and that’s my favourite !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Andy. If there’s a certain palette that I tend to follow it is generally quite monochrome and dark – Winter evening street photography is probably my favourite – so this is a bit of a departure. That said, I do think it’s important that any series of photographs presented together should have a feel that’s consistent. Not necessarily the same, but at leat flowing from one style to another. The kayakers nearly didn’t make it into this series for that very reason.


  5. Wow, great work. These remind me of a family holiday on the Broads c.1970. You’ve really caught the nostalgic feel for cheap film and processing. The colours were always a bit off weren’t they. Question is what’s the soundtrack? I’m thinking Mungo Gerry’s ‘In the summertime’.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a wonderfully evocative series of a lazy day on the river, perfect colouring over the whole series, I really like the couple with the yellow t-shirt holding their fish and chips waiting to cross the road, it has a nice alignment of angles.

    Liked by 2 people

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