Nightlife photography – primary research & experimentation

My initial artist research led me to a lot of photography and inspired me to attempt taking my own photographs of the people and scenes of a drunken night.
My first attempt was walking around Manchester on a Friday night with my DSLR. The results were disappointing as I mostly shot from the waist and didn’t use flash, resulting in a lot of blurry shots. I didn’t feel comfortable walking around with my camera as I didn’t want to draw attention to myself; my intention was to capture candid action shots, so raising a bulky camera to my eye, focussing and a flash firing would hardly be conducive.

I decided to switch to a 35mm disposable camera and took it with me on a Saturday night in Peterborough town centre, which also happened to be Halloween. This time was a lot more successful as the camera was light and compact and could be snapped and hidden away again in moments. It was easy to point and shoot as I walked along without having to even look through the viewfinder. I think the disposable nature of it also influenced my carefree attitude towards photographing; shoot now and think later.

I’m really pleased with the ‘gritty’ nature of the resulting photographs. Some didn’t work at all but those that did capture the surreal, humorous and sometimes nasty nature of alcohol fuelled outings.




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