Street photography in Newcastle city centre with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human naturefeels.

It waits upon the lawn;
It shows the furthest tree
Upon the furthest slope we know;
It almost speaks to me.

Then, as horizons step,
Or noons report away,
Without the formula of sound,
It passes, and we stay:

A quality of loss
Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a sacrament.
— Emily Dickinson

Predictably perhaps, my previous blog about my personal photography was extreme. I shot in black and white, with strong grain and heavy (in camera) processing. The subject matter was also very sombre. You can read my musings here if you so wish.

The photographs were about as far as I could get away from my client work, and served as a great break. With that out of my system I could move on to other considerations.

My next trip out with the camera was more formally conservative but it may contain the seeds of my future artistic direction. I ventured into the heart of Newcastle on a crisp day early in March.

Having shot in black and white I now shot in colour. Classic Chrome is my go to film simulation so that was banned. I wanted to explore all of the film simulations in turn, so I chose Pro Neg Standard first. This is a film simulation I’ve largely ignored in the past. For more subdued photographs I love classic chrome, and if I wanted punchy colour I’d pick Velvia.

After some experimentation with the rest of my settings I settled upon this recipe:

  • Film simulation: Pro Neg. Standard

  • Dynamic range: 100

  • Grain: off

  • White balance shift: R+1 B-1

  • Highlights: -1

  • Shadows: +1

  • Colour: +2

  • Sharpness: +2

  • Noise reduction: -2

Here are the photographs I returned with. They are all straight out of the camera jpegs with only minor exposure adjustments.

The brief I set myself for this street shooting session was to forget about subject matter and just look for light, shadows and colour. I wanted to strip my photography right back to the basics and rebuild it from the ground up. I clearly have more work to do to create better photographs that reflect my ideas and concerns and might connect with others, but at least I’ve started.

I shot all of these photographs on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and 35mm f2.