These few photos are from the hottest ever winter day in England. I thought that would be good enough of a reason to get outside with my new camera. It was still February and nearly t-shirt and shorts weather. However, it takes way more than nearly t-shirt and shorts weather to get me into t-shirt and shorts.
It was a beautiful day though - there’s something magical about winter sun. These felt like stray summer rays, it was no time to be inside. No time to be anything but photographing your town with a plastic camera.
I should say that these are not the first rolls of film I've shot with my new lomo LCW camera. I spent the previous week or so making every mistake I could with it. It resulted in some cool, interesting, happy accidents - and lots of rubbish photos too. I'll show you some of those another time. It was fun and frustrating too but I'm slowly getting used to how the camera works.
So on this warm winters day I enjoyed wandering around my hometown of St Ives in Cambridgeshire with my camera as I have done so many times before. It was refreshing as I wanted to capture the town in just a couple of rolls of film on that particular afternoon. Photograph the town as if I'd never photographed it before. That was the simple assignment I set myself. Like a simple, uneventful documentary with no drama, just sunshine on a winter’s day.
The unseasonal weather may still prove to have been a pleasant prelude to the end of the world as a know it, but there and then it was enjoyed as a welcome break from an already mild winter.
I took a few detail shots of things that caught my eye, but with the camera's wide 17mm lens it was mainly about the big picture. I took pictures of buildings I've photographed countless times before, but anticipating that the wide lens would offer a new perspective and give a new look to very familiar scenes.
I love the way the wide field of view swallows up buildings and surrounds them with sky and pavement. It isn't quite the toy-like look of a tilt shift lens, but it can remind me of that.
My favourite pictures are the few with little characters standing by buildings, crossing the old bridge, going about their lives - reduced to the smallest figures - anonymous, kind of decorative. Lacking detail, they are simultaneously no one and anyone. I do like that thought, I may well take more distant portraits with this camera the next time the sun is out.