So, what’s with the title? Well, it is the perfect combination of wanting to carry as little as possible to not hinder my evening and the fact the pub was called The Bear.
My aim was simple, have a great night and take some great shots. I really wanted to push the camera and give it a good run in low-light, and inside this pub it wasn’t hard as it was noticeably dark. This allowed me two options; shoot at high ISOs or use fill-in flash. I choose to have a little combination of the two. When I first arrived, I just took some time to take in all areas of the bar, the lighting, the people, everything and anything that might be interesting as the night went on.
After taking in the environment, I knew I needed to get a good spot for the music. The best I could muster was a front row ‘stand’ as I couldn’t find a seat at the edge of the stage area. The lighting in the stage area was still very dimly lit on one side, but quite bright on the other. This made for some excellent contrast, which if you didn’t guess already, I love a bit of contrast in my images.
I took a break from the music and went outside with friends, aiding another perfect opportunity to catch some good candid shots. Here is a handy hint I discovered: For great candid shots without being noticed, bring a friend. You can aim the camera at them but focus beyond them to get the ‘actual’ subject you want to capture. Here is a shot that reflects this ‘technique’.
As the evening went on I just kept snapping away trying to get a blend between abstract and street style. Generally I kept the aperture wide open to ensure the stunning bokeh you get from the 35mm lens, and also to keep the ISO down as much as possible.
I love the simple, yet powerful message scribbled on a window pane in this shot below.
After having such a great evening with the X-E2 and XF35mm combo, I thought my luck was all but spent for good photography, then, on the walk home I got just a couple more shots that I was pretty happy with. As it was getting dark and the shutter was very slow, I kept my elbows tight into my sides and always shot the image on my out-breath.
I also caught some wedding dress makers working very late, maybe it was a short deadline? These are the kind of self generated questions I love when shooting street photography.
I hope you have enjoyed this little blog and it inspires you to keep your camera on you at all times. You really can push the camera and retain excellent quality images that can be enjoyed by all. Here are all the ‘keeper’ shots from the night.