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Community photography

Capturing the zeitgeist of our time. #photography

On cloudy days, the cloud diffuses the light giving you a nice even light but there are fewer shadows and shadows give things form. The other thing to look at is colour. A grey sky gives the whole image a grey colour-cast. You can compensate by setting your white balance to cloudy but generally speaking sunny days give us brighter photos!

the zeitgeist of our time


We have an archive of old pictures stretching back over 100 years. I’m adding my photos to it. I carefully select which photos go in the archive and the above photo is my latest addition. It does look a little grey and wintry but I will have sunny pictures to add to the archive this year too. The main thing is to get a sharp picture and that means a fast shutter speed even in poor light.

Shutter speed

I shot some of my photos on manual and some on aperture priority this week. On aperture priority, I need to set the ISO high enough to get the fast shutter speeds. ISO 100 was too low to shoot these pictures. Shooting on manual, you have to watch your exposure. You need enough exposure or your pictures will be under-exposed and dark. Today’s picture was shot at f/8 with ISO-160 which gave me a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second. I actually prefer to shoot faster than that but it was fast enough. There is a lot going on in the photo and it has some depth as the road goes away from us. I try to capture vehicles in these street photos and although there aren’t many people about because of lockdown, I try to capture people in the photos as well. The deserted streets do look a little eerie at the moment but we will be able to look back on them in the future and see that the deserted streets capture the zeitgeist of this pandemic.

Artistic expression

There is always something that captures the spirit or mood of the place or the mood of the event. The photographer is the artist looking for signs of what is really going on. Deserted streets can say something and bustling streets can give a picture mood too. Sometimes focusing on one person in a scene can set the tone for the whole picture. The photographs that I took last year when I was isolated from people were of the birds, the squirrel and the flowers in the garden. They not only capture the spirit of my isolation but also collectively the series of photos tell the story of my isolation.


I often end up with whole folders full of photos that tell the story of an event or of a day out. I try to include pictures of one or two people and those images can be the highlight of the shoot. I hope to do more street photography in the future and I do like to zoom in with a 300mm lens into the centre of a crowd of people going about their business or waiting for a bus or just relaxing in the park. You can capture the general mood by capturing people’s expressions. Capture the smiles, the frowns and the looks of joy and frustration and you create an interesting image. The zeitgeist of our time can be captured in pictures and is our story.

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