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Socially distanced ? but back in the game!


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Socially distanced – but back in the game!

3 Apr 2021 8:49AM   Views : 696 Unique : 470


The English lockdown rules are going to change again a week on Monday, and most of us will be freer than we have been for six months or more to get out and see people. Social distancing will remain, but we’re all going to have to learn to have casual conversations with others again!

And we also have the opportunity to photograph people, in various ways – street photography may again be a ‘thing’ without being, literally, photographs of streets, empty of people. And maybe a lot of people will be happy just to be able to interact again, so I propose that we each plan a week of photographic celebration.


Let’s have seven days of post-lockdown portraits. We can all ask as many people as possible if we can take their portraits, and get snapping away. My approach is going to stay as it usually is, because an 85mm lens does a nice head and shoulders from around two metres, so I can stay at a distance that doesn’t require a mask – though I’ll have one with me in case one of my subjects wants to be particularly careful.


If you’ve got a kit zoom lens, just go for the long end: 55mm on an APS-C sensor will work a treat, and 105mm on a 24-105 is fine. If you’re really old school, and own a 135mm, that’s fine as well. My strong suggestion is Aperture priority, and focus on the nearer eye – the latest cameras are good on picking up eyes if you’ve enabled this in the menu, otherwise select the focus spot carefully, and line it up!

Be clear, think about what you’re going to say to people you approach, smile a lot, and take any refusals gracefully. If your social skills are feeling a bit rusty, this might be just the squirt of WD-40 that they need to get going again…


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
3 Apr 2021 8:53AM
Top to bottom: the Beatrix Potter walk - this National Trust lady led a walk round Sawrey wearing the same sort of wooden clogs and woollen clothes that Mrs Heelis would have worn (look her up if you don't get this bit). It was drizzling gently... Next is my friend Fred Whisker, just before the opening of his exhibition at The Camera Club some years ago, followed by Joceline (do I need an excuse?), and finishing with my late father-in-law's hands. Not all portraits involve faces...
PaulCox Avatar
3 Apr 2021 11:30AM
I think my social skills in asking permission to take a portrait would need more than a squirt of WD-40, considering I Lectured Engineering for nearly 30 years, asking someone in the street if I could take their photo literally puts me so far out side my comfort zone, one day maybe I'll master my fears. Paul.
PS another great blog and I found the link suggested by "Chase" in your daily entry very interesting.

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