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  • Jamie Dean

Shoreditch, London with the 50mm f1.4

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Street art at Leake Street graffiti tunnel by artist adamilles.visuals

So today is not only the start of a new year but also the dawn of a new decade, 2020. With it being the first day of a new year I wanted to get out with the camera somewhere, anywhere. Unfortunately the options for locations for me today were a little limited, so I decided to head into East London and walk around the vibrant streets of Shoreditch. The kit I decided to take was pretty basic, nothing more than my trusty D800 with my 50mm f1.4 lens. I am going to set myself fun challenges this year and a series of these challenges is to go to a location with just one of the lenses from my collection. The idea is to use it to it's fullest extent, using the two extremes of focal length if a zoom, using it's minimum focus distance and it's maximum aperture. With the 50mm having a fast aperture of f1.4 this could be interesting today.

It was foggy in the streets as I walked down towards my local station, and the temperature was just about zero. Hopefully it wouldn't be too long for the day to reach the maximum forecasted temperature of 7ºC. The conditions didn't improve much onceI arrived at London Bridge. I met with a friend (@sarah0photo) on the bridge and together we headed off to Brick Lane meandering through the side streets of the City, pausing to shot some scene that caught our eye. Due to using a fixed focal length I needed to use my feet as the zoom. With the weather conditions being the way they were and the light being so flat the intention was to make the majority of these images monochrome during the processing. for the first image (top) I was attracted by the reflections of the surrounding buildings in the windows on the left, also the lines and anglers of the office buildings. When the seagull flow into the scene it filled the space in the middle. The second image (above) was the reflection of the general street scene in one of the office buildings windows. I placed the D800 as close to the window as I could to emphasise the depth of the reflection. I waited for the lone figure to walk a distance into the frame to give a human element to the image.

Once in Shoreditch we walked around the street capturing images of the colourful and vibrant graffiti. Walking down Brick Lane and the side streets. I found the above piece under a railway bridge> due to the low light levels I had to increase the ISO to 400. Although the art was mainly monochrome I still turned it into black and white to give it a more macabre appearance. At the Shoreditch Art Wall, there were three pieces of art to promote the fragile existence of the Orang Utan. This was were I missed having the 24-70mm attached to the D800, as with the fix 50mm I had to wait for a break in the traffic and stand in the middle of the road to get the whole painting in the frame and hopefully limit the amount of convergence of the edges that I would correct in Lightroom back on the Mac. It was great to get out with the came at the beginning of the year. 2020 seems like a kind of special year, hopefully this will be reflected in my photography.

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