5 frames with...

5 Frames from My First Year as a Photographer [with a Leica M240] – by Simon King

May 21, 2018

I’ve shared quite a bit of my work on here before, so I thought I’d offer something a little different with this article. Unlike my previous “5 Frames With” contributions this one will focus on the progress I’ve made personally, rather than focusing on the gear used. I recently concluded work on my first ever photography Zine which consists of a reflective look at many of the images I took in 2017, which was my first full year I was comfortable referring to myself as a professional photographer. This doesn’t mean that my images were all from assignments – in fact the opposite. The most intimate images I have are the ones I produced in my own time, documenting my own life.

I found that I carried my camera with me at all times, which meant that personal documentary and street photography was second nature to me. That is the true allure of compact rangefinder and mirrorless cameras – they disappear into your daily life in a way that SLR’s simply cannot.

These images may not be the absolute best photographs I made in 2017, but they are ones that resonate with me personally, and have a story attached to them.

This first image is a portrait of a potter at Phoenix Pottery Studios in Angel Islington. I’d recently moved to Islington, and wanted to become involved in the local community. My method for this was of course through photography and documentation, so when I discovered the pottery studio I asked for permission to spend an evening documenting their work during a session. This shot was taken candidly from across the room; this student in particular caught my eye as she was the only one not really interacting and socialising with the other students. She was fully immersed and concentrated on the bowls she was crafting.

This shot was taken at a very recognisable location; the burned out West Pier of Brighton Beach. I often visit Brighton, and find it very relaxing to spend a day photographing there. This image was shot after a drone was flown out over the pier which disturbed the birds, causing them to flock downwards and create this lovely composition. Their interaction with the boat, the balance of the derelict wood on the lower right of the frame – it is an image I really personally enjoy, and that’s as someone who tends to hate landscape photography.

I photographed this scene during the London Pride Parade in the summer. The streets were so full of people, and I was a little overwhelmed by interesting characters and colours. It took me a minute to find a corner where I wouldn’t be jostled but once there I couldn’t help but look up to see this man sat in his window drinking a bottle of wine. It was so perfect, and they seemed so unnoticed by everyone at ground level that I had to make a photograph.

This was taken at the funeral of one of my university tutors. I hadn’t photographed the ceremony, but the atmosphere was very friendly during the wake, and everyone was drinking in her memory. I tried to use the available light to photograph these people in a way that captured the mood while leaving them rendered anonymous.

I find this to be one of my calmest images to date. I photographed it in East London at Surrey Quays. I really liked the isolated square floating in the middle of the water, and the reflections from the buildings made some wonderful broken shapes. The icing on the cake is the way the reflection of the bird is split into two halves.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this, I hope you liked the glimpse into my year. If you’d like to see more of my work you can follow my Instagram, and also read my personal blog where I have posts from throughout 2017.

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  • Reply
    paul snaith
    May 21, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Great shots all in their own different ways Simon. Good luck in choosing to go pro as they say.

    • Reply
      May 21, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Thanks, really appreciate that!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    What is that huge lens?

    • Reply
      May 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      The 50mm Noctilux 0.95 was my mainstay lens for most of my early rangefinder work!

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