Street Portraits

Here is the story …

I moved to Northern Sweden in July and have been busy with house renovations. I have been out shooting landscapes and sunsets from time to time as well as the Aurora and some star trails. But I was getting the bug to shoot large format film and decided to go to the local town, Skelleftea to shoot some street portraits. So I loaded up the 10×8 dark slides with X-Ray film which I rate at 80 ASA and headed for the main square in Skeleftea with my mate Phil who was going to  be helping me out.

The idea was …

to stop people who were passing by and who looked interesting and ask if we could shoot their portrait. Of course we got a lot of noes, but since I only had eight shots with me we didn’t need that many yeses. Whilst shooting the first of these street portraits I had two blunders … first was I forgot to check the shutter speed, but noticed immediately, one film ruined! The next frame I didn’t realize that the shutter released cable was in its latched position, another film ruined (if it can go wrong it will!) Finally I got in to the swing of it and captured the first of these street portraits.

Of course there was a problem …

no light, well not much light, it is after all winter here. I wanted to shoot at f11 to have some vestige of depth of field so that the posing wasn’t too difficult for people. This meant a shutter speed of an eighth of a second and I did mess up one guys image by tripping the shutter just too early and there was a lot of movement. However, I think that it is an atmospheric image which I have given a particular treatment that I think suits the image and his character … I hope that he agrees, though if he doesn’t like it I will of course re-shoot it for him. I had originally intended to make the images in the panoramic format but two of them really demanded a different crop in the end (judge for yourself below!)

I stand develop my negatives …

so it took two evenings just to process the images then there was the scanning, spotting and processing of the images which all told has taken five days. I will definitely be doing more of this, it was great fun and everyone who took the time to stop for us were great sports. Of course, big thanks to Phil for his help, shooting in large format is a lot of work so help is always gratefully received!

Here are the images …

Thomas & Frida

Street Portraits


Street Portraits


Street Portraits


Street Portraits


Street Portraits


Street Portraits


Interested in getting started in Street Photography in General?

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8 thoughts on “Street Portraits

  1. I think you have captured the characters really well..the people should be really pleased with the images, I think. The light has a quality which has brought out the best in the subjects, despite a dull day. Having spoken to them briefly I would say that they are well represented. The final one was a pity but actually that too has a lot of qualities. It goes to show that a photographer with the right attitude is welcome and can bring people together.

    • Hi Phil

      Many thanks for your kind words. For sure the last one is a nuisance, though I think that the image as it turned out isn’t too bad. Large format has any number of pitfalls, but I will re-shoot if he is unhappy about his image.


  2. A magnificent story/adventure,giving you some excellent images!!

    • Hi Hans

      I am delighted with the images, many thanks for taking the time to drop in on the blog and for checking out the image set. There will be more like this in the future … especially from travels!



  3. What strikes me is the relaxed and natural manner of the subjects. That’s really refreshing to see. Something in your manner has allowed them to do this. So many images around are posed and artificial. As for the last one, it’s actually the one I would give to students as a creative writing stimulus… Always enjoy seeing your work.

    • Hi Janice

      Many thanks for taking the time to look and for your kind comments. Was definitely great fun!


  4. Hi great photographs 🙂 it was great to meet you

    / Christoffer

    • Hi Christoffer

      Nice to hear from you. I am really pleased that you like the image, Phil and I both had a great time and met a bunch of great people during the day. I will certainly be back in Skelleftea at some point to make some more images. It was apleasure to have had the opportunity to meet and to work with you

      Best wishes


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