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Street Photography: Events where everybody just loves to be snapped

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  Leica M-P and 35mm Summicron: The only camera to use for this shot
Leica M-P and 35mm Summicron: The only camera to use for this shot

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.

  After the kiss, time to button up for the November chill (Leica M-P)
After the kiss, time to button up for the November chill (Leica M-P)
  Star guest from No.10 (Fuji X-T1 and 56mm f/1.2 Fujinon)
Star guest from No.10 (Fuji X-T1 and 56mm f/1.2 Fujinon)
  Peekaboo, Fuji X-T1
Peekaboo, Fuji X-T1
  Peekaboo 2, Leica M-P
Peekaboo 2, Leica M-P
  All quiet on the Eastern Front (Fuji)
All quiet on the Eastern Front (Fuji)
  Stalinesque, Fuji
Stalinesque, Fuji
  The benefits, or pitfalls, of shooting the 56mm Fujinon wide open at f/1.2: Bokeh front and back
The benefits, or pitfalls, of shooting the 56mm Fujinon wide open at f/1.2: Bokeh front and back
  Staffing the machine gun post (Leica M-P). This duo has a collection of 1930s Leicas which they use when posing as war photographers at various events. Really.
Staffing the machine gun post (Leica M-P). This duo has a collection of 1930s Leicas which they use when posing as war photographers at various events. Really.
  Russian army camp follower (Fuji)
Russian army camp follower (Fuji)
  Defending Stalingrad (Fuji)
Defending Stalingrad (Fuji)
  British bulldog shot by Oberst von Leica
British bulldog shot by Oberst von Leica
  Cigars at the ready for Winston and General Patton (or is it Bradley?) with Field Marshal Montgomery addressing the hoi polloi in the background (Leica) 
Cigars at the ready for Winston and General Patton (or is it Bradley?) with Field Marshal Montgomery addressing the hoi polloi in the background (Leica) 
  Discussing the D-Day landings (Leica)
Discussing the D-Day landings (Leica)
  Field Marshal Lord Montgomery of Alamein (Leica)
Field Marshal Lord Montgomery of Alamein (Leica)
  Seasoned soldier (Fuji)
Seasoned soldier (Fuji)
  Ready for the front line (Fuji)
Ready for the front line (Fuji)
  Jeep driver (Fuji)
Jeep driver (Fuji)
  The three-star General (Fuji)
The three-star General (Fuji)
  Home front girl (Fuji)
Home front girl (Fuji)

  Now listen here, Winston (Fuji)
Now listen here, Winston (Fuji)
  Demob suit (Fuji)
Demob suit (Fuji)
  Now where did I leave Olive Oyl? (Fuji)
Now where did I leave Olive Oyl? (Fuji)
  Now you see him, now you don
Now you see him, now you don’t (Fuji)
  Commando (Fuji)
Commando (Fuji)
  Waiting for refuelling at Biggin Hill (Fuji)
Waiting for refuelling at Biggin Hill (Fuji)
  Captain nurse (Fuji)
Captain nurse (Fuji)
  Orderly business (Fuji)
Orderly business (Fuji)
  Reach for the sky (Fuji)
Reach for the sky (Fuji)
  Normandy landed (Fuji)
Normandy landed (Fuji)
  New recruit (Fuji)
New recruit (Fuji)
  Have Jeep will travel (Fuji)
Have Jeep will travel (Fuji)
  Tailpiece (Fuji, heavily cropped)
Tailpiece (Fuji, heavily cropped)

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