Thursday, 26 April 2012

Shooting the shifty lookin'

Now you know me well enough by now to know that a great deal of my time is spent hanging around street corners, recording newsworthy detritus and talking hairdo's for the news junky masses of the South of England. Most of the pictures i take roll past my lens in an evenly flow of death, accidents, politics and animals. Stories to inform, educate and entertain the good people whilst they push fish fingers and chips down their throat at teatime.

Occasionally though, i'm given a challenge by my shiny suited journalist to capture the image of certain people that are of upmost importance to a story that is forming in his mind. However, when that particular person does all they can to evade digital capture of their likeness, i dig deep into my resources of the cameraman technique handbook, under 'S' for stalker.

The look of a Sniper.

I make it a personal challenge to film the person involved like a sniper waits for his quarry. We are both waiting to shoot. Me, to turn the likeness of a person into a digital stream of 0's and 1's, the sniper, to turn his head into a slushy mush. The people i tend to film outside the County Courtrooms of this fair nation sometimes make me wish that we were interchangeable, but alas, i make do with shooting from afar with my long lens and the intake of light.

I often find though that the types of people who appear at court are not the brightest of people. When they know the press are outside and that they are the target, they often cannot resist peeking their piggy little eyes out from a window, or from around the door frame to see if i am still there. I am. Or better yet, be possessed by an addiction to the filthy weed that is the cigarette, forcing them out into the open where they attempt to hide themselves in a cloud of smoke, in amongst the trees.

Avoidance is futile...

Too late my friend, i haven't stood here in the pissing rain and cold wind to miss out on you revealing yourself to the news watching public when the urge to dose up on nicotine overtakes you. Like the sniper who has watched his wind gauge, double checked the distance and squeezed the initial trigger pressure, i have flipped the lens doubler, adjusted the iris and focus and waited with my finger on the record button. And even though you try to hide in the foliage of a nearby tree, i will find you. Job done.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter