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53mm Featured by Iain Palmer

Craig Whitehead Is A Street Photographer Based in Cambridge, UK.

SIXSTREETUNDER hasn't an Instagram following of 20,000 for nothing. He has a impressively adept skill at capturing truly awe-inspiring street shots that showcase a colour palette that is full bodied in presence and signature in recognition, whilst maintaining a visual potency that forces the viewer to gawp in wonderment at what he records. 

It's a real pleasure to have him agree to be a 53mm Featured Photographer.

What delights me about his work is that is has been honed through practise upon practise, shot after shot to define a style and a vision that is then reinvented constantly to always evolve his calibre of photography. It seems that Craig isn't one to settle easily with what he produces, but is always working, pushing towards improving his photography and his shots throughout this interview and his Instagram feed bare witness to a visionary that is at the top of his game and growing.

His photographs display a certain sheen to them that celebrate a clinical coolness or mellowing warmth to his hues, tones and shadows. Colour grading is wonderfully employed for the genre of photography he is known so very well for and the deep, plush notes and sumptuous, slick tinctures resonate throughout his frames. His images also have an intriguing element of story telling too, showcasing engrossing compositions with the subjects interacting superbly with their surroundings to ingest a point or relationship about that moment of capture.

One of the initial things that alerted me to Craig's Instagram feed, upon clicking on a particular shot that caught my eye, was the traffic he attracts. Now, I am well aware that numbers of 'likes' alone, doesn't qualify for a 'good' shot, but it is a start and from SIXSTREETUNDER's point of view, all the likes that he receives are followed by a plethora of comments explaining how inspiring his photography is and how respected his work has become. For me, these are the things that help constitute to a good photograph. Yes, liking or disliking a shot is purely subjective, but the comments he collects don't lie. He is a photographer that lives the 53mm maxim, Inspiration is the Intention and whether he acknowledges it or not he is inspiring others with his very special eye and brand of street capture.

What you will see in this article is a small series of shots that display aesthetic prowess but also clever chronicles too. Whether that be full in your face obvious or more subtle there is some context to the photographs he delivers. Patience is such a virtue to a street photographer, to wait in order to get that gesture, that item of clothing, that reaction from the street public to complete the vision for the shot at hand. Craig demonstrates all that is needed to shoot a quality street portfolio and for those of us that knows what that entails, many more frames would have been taken in order to get 'that' shot as well as time between them. Nuances of Eric Kim, Alex Webb and Fujifilm's own X-Photographers, Rinzi Ruiz and Ian MacDonald can be seen in his images where his applications in colour, visual realtionships, narrative story telling and dramatic light are concerned.

At the time of writing this, Craig is in Barcelona working his street photography magic so his Instagram feed would be a good place to visit to see his Spanish Street Series.

It's a treat to have Craig added to the 53mm Featured roster and certainly is a photographer to keep a close eye on in the future.

When asked to talk about his experiences with the 53mm FOV, this is what he said:

This may all sound like some crazy rambling but that's because it is. I'm no writer, I've always been involved in image making in some way pretty much. I'm definitely pretty obsessive and anyone who follows my work already I have a style that can only be described as bi polar. One day I'll be shooting with a 35 with a bit of distance the next I'll be using a 12mm and getting so close I actually knock into people often. 

I got my first camera back when I was probably 15, before that I had used my dads camera and disposables on holidays but never really been interested but around 15 I had been rollerblading for a few years and thought it would be fun to get some photos of my friends. I have absolutely no clue what the camera was and had no idea how to use it. I remember by dad relaying the instructions to me about aperture and shutter speed but I didn't understand really and I only put one roll through that camera. 

I probably didn't try again until I was in uni studying illustration. So 10 years ago now. I'm my first year my dad bought me a Nikon d40 for my birthday and since then I've always had a camera nearby. I also have a Minolta x300 with a 50mm on it That I probably used to use more than the Nikon and I still use as well as using the lenses on the Fuji bodies. I went through quite a few different nikons working my way up to a full frame d600 which I eventually got rid of for a Fuji X-T1. 

I'm assuming everyone reading this feels the same way I do about Fuji camera so I won't get into trying to explain the unexplainable feeling of using a Fuji for the first time. There was no turning back at that point. I'm now using an X-Pro2 and as of writing this I have a 35mm f2 in transit. The photos accompanying this were all taken with the X-T1 and the 35mm 1.4 which I actually sold to get the 23mm 1.4. The wider focal length personally suits me but not having a 35 in my bag has definitely frustrated me. Although I may prefer something wider I really don't think anyone should be without a 35 (50) it's a classic for a reason. It's an incredibly versatile focal length and especially when you consider the new 35mm f2 it's super light and small and weather sealed which definitely comes in handy in the UK. I think if I had to travel with a single focal length it would have to be that! 

Iain Palmer

Abundant Magazine