Randy: typing NYC by Nigel Rumsey

Randy sitting typing on New York street Randy, strangely enough, was sitting on the kerb in Chelsea (NYC) typing a letter. We had a great chat he explained that he ran a business selling used records from outside of a disused shop. Apparently the landlord is gradually trying to close down the businesses on the block so it can be redeveloped, so Randy has set up his stall outside one of the vacant stores selling his records.

He told me about the changes in the area and that the majority of the creative folks had been driven out by the increasing rents. Rather a sad story and something echoed in London.

Randy was a really nice guy but I left our encounter with the sad feeling that we'll see fewer of the eccentric real New Yorkers on the street in the future.

New York City, USA

#picbod by Nigel Rumsey

#picbod self-portrait I'm participating in #pidbod 2013.

"Picbod - [pic-bod] is a free and open undergraduate photography class run by Jonathan Worth from the photography team at Coventry University in the UK."

The class comprises a group of Coventry University undergraduates and a larger group of 'photographers' who participate online from locations all around the world. We number a nice round 150 in all, of whom about 15-20 are actual proper undergraduates - I'm guessing here because as is the nature of the thing I've not met them and probably never will.

The first week's task was "Pre-visualize and produce a self portrait [using only available light*] unrestricted in theme and technique yet still supplying a message to the viewer. You should spend time first understanding what it is you wish to convey before then looking at the composition and mechanics of the image and finally production.

* While you are required to use only available light you can still shape and adjust this light as you see fit. Street lights, laptops, computers and televisions can all be employed"

This is far from the most flattering portrait I've taken or had taken. However I'm pleased to say one small benefit of getting older is I'm slightly less concerned about others see me. It's interesting to hear how much some of my fellow, younger, classmates struggled over the way they portrayed themselves. And there's nothing wrong with that, we all need to feel comfortable with the image we show to world. Which seemed to be the crux of the exercise - would I take the same photograph if I weren't the subject?

I'm not particularly happy with my submission. It's fine in as much as it's a passable portrait, but I don't feel as though I pushed the boundaries of my imagination. Having said it's the first time I've exercised my photographic creativity in such a formal way and there's a long way to go another nine weeks in fact. I'd be interested to hear what you think?


Peter - stranger #13 by Nigel Rumsey

Peter Beeson, artist, eating lunch in St. Ives The Digey, St. Ives, Cornwall

I interrupted Peter eating a lunch of roast duck and roast potatoes outside this restaurant in St. Ives. He had a digital Leica sitting on the table and he kindly let me try it out. We got talking about film vs digital the pros and the cons - as you do.

Peter works as an artist, based in St. Ives, and shoots landscapes. I can't remember if he said he painted from life or the photograph. A really confident guy, I got the impression nothing would phase him!

Sorry about interrupting your lunch Peter.

Leica M6, Kodak Tri-x, HC-110 'B' - 7 mins.