If you want to try your hand at street photography there is no better place to start than an event, especially when participants are all dressed up and raring to do. Whether it is the Goth Weekend at Whitby or the Chap Olympiad in London, there are dozens of interesting and unusual occasions to tempt your new camera.
Last weekend I took two cameras, a Leica M-P and the Fuji X-T1 to Military Day at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey. This is just one of the special days which take place at the old racing circuit throughout the year and which provide suitable fodder for the street photographer. I took just two lenses, the workhorse 35mm Summicron on the Leica and the astonishingly good 56mm (85mm equivalent) f/1.2 Fujinon.
The combination of Leica M and 35mm Summicron is an old favourite, one that is just perfect for street work. The lens is easy to focus and has a respectably bright f/2 maximum aperture. The Fujion 56mm is a decidedly different beast. It is much bigger, for starters, and is on the long side for close-up people photography. But despite the very fast f/1.2 aperture combined with the X-T1’s maximum 1/4000s shutter speed, this is a lens that can be shot wide open on a dull November Sunday. The face detection autofocus mode on the X-T1 worked really well in many of these shots, proving reliable for quick opportunistic shots. Although slower to focus in similar situations, the manual 35mm Summicron on the Leica proved its mettle in terms of superb image quality.
All pictures in this article were processed in Silver Efex Pro, vignetting added where appropriate (though not a characteristic of either lens), grain added to some shots for period effect