Street Photography Gold / by Hugh Rawson

 London, December 2017.

London, December 2017.

Here I am sitting on a train; being jolted over ageing rails on a weakened weekend service. It’s dark. There’s frost and the temperature is trying to decide which side of zero to settle at. The sun is straining to pull itself up at the windows of this Sunday service and everything tells me I should have stayed in bed.

I look out at the backs of blurred houses with their curtains drawn and the occasional dim orange bedroom light. I pat my camera bag as if to reassure myself. I mentally inspect it’s contents - camera, headphones, wallet...

I’m tired. I’m cold. I’m hungry and I’m in bad need of a coffee.

But I’m buzzing. The morning stretches a ahead of me with the hope of returning with the best shots I’ve ever taken. That’s what’s brought me here. Passion.

I doff my hat to those dedicated landscape shooters who drive through the night for the slim chance of a magic moment of light that will give them a unique shot of a much captured vista; waiting for hour after hour at some fabled tripod worn patch of earth. I don’t have that patience.

I keep moving. Always looking. Keen to catch that elusive moment, a hunter seeking out a fast disappearing instant before it becomes extinct.

This is what drives me - a fear of missing something that I’ll never capture again.

Yet I know that the majority of what I return with will be destined for the bin, culled before it’s seen the light of day. There may be one or two shots worth saving, nurturing, bringing to fruition - time will tell.

But, despite the efforts involved in bringing home just a few shots, I keep doing this. Panning for street photography gold. Maybe it is precisely that low return on investment that has me hooked; a promise of one or two golden moments; my fix.

And as the train pulls into the station and the city blinks awake to welcome me, opening its arms and it’s coffee bars, I grab my coat, my hat and head for the sunny side of the street...