A GReat day out in Hannover (Part 1)

    No, it’s not a typing error in the title, I really did have a great day in Hannover with my GR.

    Picture the scene, Friday night and I’m thinking where to go on Saturday for a ‘walkabout’…do I go to Celle?….nah I was there 2 weeks ago. How about Nienburg?…nah it’s becoming boring there. Hannover?…I’d love to go there, but when I go there I’m there for ages and I can’t really relax when I know that my wife is at home waiting for me to come back so we can do the weekend shopping.

    Then the telephone rings.

    It was one of my wife’s working colleagues phoning to let her know that she will be picking her up in the morning at 8:30 to take her to a first aid seminar that she requires for her new part time job of looking after kids at the kindergarten in the afternoon. When I heard the seminar finishes at 15:00 I knew where I was going on Saturday :0)

    Saturday morning, I caught the 9:30 train and I was in Hannover by 10:10.

    The night before, I had pondered what cameras to take with me but in the end I decided to do something that I hadn’t done since my first days out when starting street photography….I only took one camera, my Ricoh GR. No camera bag, no rucksack. Everything I need was packed away in my jacket pockets. GR Camera, 4 spare batteries, memory cards, wallet & mobile phone.

    It was a great experience walking around without thinking to myself, ….’Shall I get some shots with the Sony A6000?’….’Shall I get the Nikon out for some portrait shots?’….’I wonder if the 35mm lens would be better than the 50mm lens in this location?’ My mind was totally free from those nagging decisions I find myself thinking about when I go out with a selection of cameras & lenses. Another bonus was the fact that I wasn’t for ever pulling the shoulder strap of my camera bag onto my shoulder when it slips down after taking low pov shots or walking briskly to catch a shot.

    I had also made up my mind that if anything should happen to my GR while I was out and I didn’t have a spare camera, I was going to buy a disposable film camera and carry on. However the trusty Ricoh done it’s job that day and I got quite a varied selection of images to show for my day out.

    So here are a few shots from my day in Hannover which stood out for me and also a bit about why I was pleased with them in particular.



    After I got off the train I walked down the stairs to the main concourse only to be gifted by a large man standing in front of me looking at something above my head on the wall. My camera was already on and set to one of my zone focusing settings. It was a bit dark in the station so I had already bumped the ISO from 800 to 1600 while walking down the stairs and ‘bang!’ I got my first shot of the day and it is one of my favourite shots, not only of the day but already one of my all time personal faves. I was really pleased at how symmetrical the image turned out considering I didn’t even compose the shot, I just aimed from about waist height and bagged the shot. Another point which I find interesting is that due to the size and shape of the gentleman in the shot, there is a sort of ‘Fish Eye’ lens effect going on, even though it’s only a 18.3mm lens (roughly 28mm when you take into account the crop factor of the sensor).



    Some people have said in the past that when it comes to street photography, I have a ‘great eye’. As much as I find this very flattering & humbling, I must admit that most of my images that have received such comments are partly down to pure luck. I say ‘partly’ because in this next shot I first of all spotted the baby photos in the shop window. On seeing these I immediately scanned left and right to see if there were any mums with prams on the way so I could try and grab a juxtaposition shot. As I looked right I saw the balloon vendor crossing the road and heading towards the town center.

    So seeing as there was no one pushing a buggy in sight, the baby juxtaposition idea was scrapped and I was now looking to capture a huge collection of balloons with only a pair of legs sticking out from underneath. So I composed for the lady and her balloons and hit the shutter button. I always have my camera set to continuous burst (which is 4 fps on the GR when shooting RAW+JPEG) to hopefully get the person walking by at full stride.

    This worked a treat as I ‘chimped’ the shot…I got a pair of legs in full stride. It wasn’t until I got home and put the shots on the PC that I noticed the baby looking around the balloons. So it goes to show that you don’t need to have a great eye for street photography (although if you do then that’s fantastic) but a good idea and some quick decision making can lead to some really, what looks like, well planned shots.



    My next shot was already thought about during the train journey. As I was sitting in the train the winter sunshine was streaming in and creating some great shadows and lights on the other passengers. I thought to myself, ‘I’ll have to see if I can use the sunlight down town for some cools shots’. I did try a couple of shots with people walking into light but as I’m not so much practiced in the style I kept missing the moment or the light I was using wasn’t as good as I thought it was…..until I spotted a cyclist pedaling through a bank of sunlight towards the town center. I knew that this was a spot where I could try out some dark shadow and bright light photography. The snow had melted and left the road wet and shiny, which was an added bonus for the shot I was after.



    The last of my faves from Hannover, for this post, has to be the solitary man walking in front of the fire station door with his umbrella. By the time I had reached this location it was very busy with lots of shoppers walking in both directions. I positioned myself on the other side of the street and waited for about 3 minutes, looking for someone on their own to walk past these huge shutters so I could catch myself a minimalist style photograph and then I spotted the man and his brightly coloured umbrella coming my way. The timing of all the other pedestrians couldn’t have been nicer. I snapped the man at a really good spot, (not exactly on the rule of thirds line but rules are there to be broken :0) on his own and at full stride to help add that dynamic touch to to the scene.

    So those were just a few of the many shots that I took that day and once I have some more processed images, I’ll be doing part 2 of what really was a Ricoh GReat day out. Thanks for reading and any comments or feedback is, as always, greatly appreciated.


    1. phil anker | | Reply

      Great stuff Grant. Good to hear the story and thinking behind this and I must admit luck often does come into it. I have also found details in shots when I get home that I missed at the time that in their own way improve the shot, or add that extra touch of juxtaposition.

    2. Mister G.C. | | Reply

      It’s those little hidden extra bonuses now and then that make street photography what it is. Yes, a bit of luck does help in some cases but in the end if we weren’t out there to shoot the scene there would be no image at all :0)

      Thanks for your comment Phil…greatly appreciated.

    3. Amor | | Reply

      When you go on a photographic hike in the streets you never know if you can be satisfied with the photos taken. Sometimes yes sometimes no.
      Often the good things happen in bursts or unexpectedly.
      This is the case here with the man in the station, excellent catch.

      • Mister G.C. | | Reply

        That’s the beauty of street photography….you never know what you’re going to get, or when. Live for the moment and try to capture it.
        Good to hear from you Amor, Thanks.

    4. Esther | | Reply

      Only one camera, and a busy wife on a saturday, this is the perfect recipe to get some excellent shots !! I like the story behind these pictures. I can feel the pleasure to get THE good moment and background.
      Sometimes, it’s a question of luck, but the luck is for someone having a great eye !
      I love the guy in the station too

      • Mister G.C. | | Reply

        Thanks Esther.
        The whole day reminded me of your post http://streetandurbanphotography.com/thealignmentoftheplanets/ where everything falls into place.
        The unexpected free time to myself and some of the images just worked out perfectly for me. I hope the planets align themselves again soon….between the 22nd & 29th of Jan in Scotland would do nicely please :0)

    5. Pingback: A GReat day out in Hannover (part 2)
    6. Draopsnai | | Reply

      Interesting read (and part2). I like having more of an understanding of how and why someone took a particular shot.
      I personally only ever take a small camera with me in my pocket nearly everywhere I go as I find the less distractions the better.
      I agree with Esther sometimes it is luck, but also having ‘the eye’ to notice a lucky situation or potential for a good photo that many without ‘the eye’ would miss 🙂

      • Mister G.C. | | Reply

        Hi Ian,
        thanks for your reply.

        Sorry about the delay on getting your comment approved on here. I missed it for one reason or another, my bad. From now on your comments should appear as soon as you post them. If they don’t then you know where to find me and let me know.

        I’m the same, I like to use a small camera but I miss the picture quality of a DSLR compared to my GR. I don’t think I would have as many images if I just used a DSLR instead of my point & shoot. It’s a case of compromising between the both.

        At the moment I’m quite happy with the GR and I’m also having second thoughts on selling my Sony A6000, I had an urge recently to take that camera out for a shoot, but mainly urban scenes instead of candid scenes. Maybe just take the Sony on my next shoot and see what different style of images I come back with.

        Thanks again for dropping by…always appreciated mate.

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