Seize… every… opportunity…

That is exactly what I did when my business required me to take a trip down to the “Big Smoke” for a meeting.  I saw this as a perfect opportunity to get out into the city with my camera and do some street photography.

I also went into this shoot and editing process keen on the final result being predominantly black and white photos.

So, bag packed with everything for my meeting and also my Canon 6D and a Canon 85mm f1.8 lens that is borrowed from my good friend and fellow photographer (albeit he is much more professional than I), off I went.

What I found

As you can see, there were several characters out. From the man engrossed in his painting at Trafalgar Square, to the woman with the amazing operatic voice at Covent Garden, the man I’ve dubbed “Italian Charlie Chaplin” to the greatest busker and musician I’ve ever seen live in Benoit Peille.

“Lost Girl”

As I was walking around, with my camera up against my eye, I turned around just as a large group of people crossed from my side of the road to the other but as they did, they revealed a young lady who seemingly seemed to be… lost.  I normally wouldn’t have taken much notice (given I was in a huge city and lost myself) but all of her body language screamed out “I’m lost.”  I couldn’t miss this opportunity and I’m so pleased with this shot.

For those of you interested, I did then catch her eye and ask if she was OK and helped her find where she needed to go, of which she was so grateful for.

My thoughts on the Canon 85mm f1.8 lens

As I mentioned above, I had borrowed the 85mm lens from a good friend of mine, Chris of Sansom Photography; a phenomenal, award-winning photography.  It is a lens I have considered purchasing for a while so I made the most of trialling it before I head out and purchase on.  Until this, my only experiences have been with a 50mm f1.8 lens and even a 24-70mm f2.8 for street photography.My first impression once I looked through the viewfinder with the 85mm was… wow, everything is a LOT closer!

My first impression once I looked through the viewfinder with the 85mm was… wow, everything is a LOT closer!

This took a while for me to get used to.  With images I’ve taken before with the 50mm, I’ve been able to fit a lot more into the frame (obviously) and taking a photo from one side of the street to the other wasn’t a problem, but with the 85mm the focal length fills the frame more.  At first I wasn’t really that pleased with this, but only because I hadn’t planned for it and was walking around enclosed streets.

Once I got my head around the fact that I need to be looking further afield for photos rather than what was going on around me, I quickly discovered… I love this lens!  It has all of the benefits of the 50mm f1.8 but it allows you to get closer and more intimate with your subject without having to take that big step forward, thus giving away what it is that you’re doing.

This is definitely a lens I’ll be looking to add to my bag very soon!

Camera: Canon 6D
Lens: Canon 85mm f1.8 (thanks, Chris!)
Locations: Various spots in London.  Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, etc.