Street photography in the countryside

Despite having MND I can still manage a short walk occasionally, just so long as my crutches take the strain. I’ll normally start off confidently but gradually, at around ten steps in, will experience the start of increasing pain as my already tight muscles contract and say “no, slow down” – That’s my inner zen master telling me not to rush and to enjoy the moment.

If you’ve ever clambered up scree to reach the summit of a mountain, that’s what walking at near normal pace feels like for me. If I walk at a snail’s pace very mindfully – and I mean VERY slowly – I can carry on. It’s a kind of enforced meditative walking and the motor neurone disease is my Zen Master punishing me if I lose concentration or try to speed up!

Despite this hard task master, I’ll always try to have a camera with me in case I come across an interesting shot, and I do normally enjoy myself.

I took the first of these photographs because there’s an odd Englishness to the scene, as a lone family enjoys a picnic surrounded by lush summer vegetation. Also, fairly typically for England, clouds are threatening rain overhead.130714_3-2This next was one of those spontaneous happenings that make “street” photography fun. Just as I pressed the shutter, the man decided to take his red jumper off. It makes the picture more interesting – I love the contrast of the 2 paths amongst the greenery and the red jumper catches your attention.R0012320-Edit_edited-1

Slowly approaching this lone sunbather my mind was thinking “please don’t move, please don’t move”. I thought it would look surreal if I photographed him from an angle where you can’t see his head – an anonymous human torso surrounded by green. The path, red towel and of course pink human skin help draw the viewer’s eye in to the picture too.

sunbathing torso

I had to walk onto the grass to get the right angle for the photo. Luckily he didn’t look up and see me or I could have had some awkward explaining to do (and I can’t run away!). Telling him that his headless body made a great image might not have cut it!

I hope you can appreciate the unusual imagery and don’t think I’m too much of a voyeur!

That’s it for now. Hope to see you soon and be happy.


words and pictures © all rights reserved Miles Pilling

3 thoughts on “Street photography in the countryside

Add yours

  1. Actually that headless body does look a bit like a crime scene. You’re sure that was a red towel and not….
    Sorry, Miles, I had to say that.
    Great shots by the way. Hope you have a good zoom so you don’t have to worry about running. The idea is….take two shots….one of the water so if he looks up and asks if you’re taking his picture you can say no you were looking at the water and then if he comes up to you to prove it you can show him the shot of the water! Rather simple solution. I’m sure you’ve thought of that.

    1. Hi Michelle. I like your thinking. I’ve photographed people up close before and straight after looked at an imaginary thing behind them that I was “really” photographing. I’ve not tried the 2 shot technique, but it’s a good idea. You are more of a “sneaky” street photographer than I thought 😉
      There was an American photojournalist – Weegee who became famous for photographing crime scenes. That’s not my intention. I’m too soft for that stuff. I hope it was a towel! 😉
      Thanks as ever for taking the tie to comment. Miles:)

      1. I haven’t actually tried that two photo technique yet but glad I thought of it….just in case I need it someday.
        And I’m too squeamish for crime scene photography.

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