The Spinning @ 2015 project was started with the aim of me taking photos of life at Spinning @ for the year of 2015, when I was able to make it. Below are some details of the project.
What is Spinning @?
Spinning @ is a London group of spinners/jugglers/hoopers, which has been running for around 12 years. It is one of the largest and most successful circus skills groups in Europe and really the hub of London spinners. The group meets up on a Tuesday evening and people practice or teach varous different circus skills. These include.
and various of performance skills
What makes Spinning @ so special is the people who attend. Most of the individuals are quite young and very commited to improve there skills. What really makes it stand out though is how friendly everyone is. Everyone is willing to help each other and it is a place of positivity. Often the conditions are rather cramped with the number of people attending but everyone still gets along.
Why start the Spinning @ 2015 project?
I had been looking for a project to do which involved photography for quite some time. I didn't want to spend lots of money on it and I wanted to practice my photography skills because I wasn't taking enough photos. I have been going to Spinning @ for 7 years and had been taking photos occasionally for quite some time. For various reasons, the location is a very challenging place to take photos. The lighting in the location is very mixed most of the time and because I cannot use a flash, I have to rely on high ISO's. I try not to pose people too much and often my favourite photos are people just being natural. There is the occasional photo where people strike a pose or pull a funny face and whilst this isn't natural it shows what they are like when a camera is around.
One of the biggest challenges is to not get in the way of people or get my camera/lens bashed by some random bit of equipment, which often ends up flying around, when people practice.
The last reason I started the project is to try and give something back to the people of Spinning @. I decided straight away that I wouldn't add my watermark to the images and I have posted the photos on Facebook since the very beginning, were people can download the images and use them as the would. It also shows people who join the Facebook Spinning @ group, what goes on every Tuesday, so hopefully, it will encourage others to come along.
So do you have any rules on taking photos at Spinning @
As mentioned above, I don't use flash and try not to get in peoples ways, when they are Spinning. I try to capture as much of the shot in camera as possible and try to capture a moment instead of just spray and pray shots. Almost everything is shot manually, this is done for a couple of reasons, partly because it is very hard for the priority modes to get everything right in an image and also it makes me think more and also practice my set up.
I generally use autofocus when shooting as it is much faster and more accurate than manual focus. When I use my Fuji, I generally have to focus manually as I don't have any fuji fast prime lenses and normally I use my Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton SL2.
So what is the future of the Spinning @ project?
I will keep it up until the end of year. With the summer months coming, I should be able to vary the style of photography a little more because of the added light. I have a couple of interesting ideas, which I would like to try and hopefully before the end up year, I would like to do a evening shooting film, which will be rather challenging.
Spinning @ take place at:
The Rag Factory
16-18 Heneage Street
Spinning @ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spinningat/?fref=ts