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Street Photography with a Sense of Fun

Members of the Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club were treated to a light-hearted presentation of Quirky Street Photography by Canterbury-based Dave Mason. Dave was heartened by the ripples of laughter from the audience for his Missing Cat poster (where the photo of the cat is actually missing) and admitted that this is a barometer for his audience according to their reaction to this ironic image.

Dave, who originally hails from South London, explained how he takes great pleasure in finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and proceeded to share dozens of images from around the UK where he has documented the surreal happenings on our streets, but often with a touch of humour.

He grouped his images into categories such as “I shoot people” (focussing on the characters he has encountered on the streets); “Borrowed Art” (where he selected an interesting background and then waited to people to walk into the scene); “Colour Harmony” (revealing the repetition of colours) and “Galleries” (capturing life imitating art in front of various artworks).

Missing Cat © Dave Mason
Missing Cat © Dave Mason

Another aspect of his photography which provides him with a rich seam of opportunities is events – who cannot fail to raise a smile at the sight of hundreds of Elvises parading through the seaside town of Porthcawl for the annual Elvis festival?

His personal philosophy on street photography is for his images to have an honesty about them, so he does very little post-processing. Using a Micro 4/3 camera, which is very discreet, he also only takes one shot at the scene and then moves on.

Dave’s work has been recognised – his striking image of an athlete, a taxi cab and a car was chosen for the official book on the London Olympics. He has also shown his work in an exhibition called Colourless: Coastal Black and White Landscapes, which focussed on places that have seen better times.

He offered some advice to his fellow photographers about having a project, or theme, to focus on. One of his more unusual ones was the obsession he had with covered cars, particularly those draped with stripey sheets in the streets of Morocco and Cairo. These images were shared on Flickr and in a self-published book called Covered and Smothered.

A warm round of applause was given to Dave for a most entertaining evening.

If you are interested in joining the Camera Club which meets on Wednesday evenings, please see our Thinking of Joining page.

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