Welcome to this week’s special edition of the photo of the week. It features the winning image from Baker Street, London taken by Martin Duffy in our “Travel Stories” photography competition. Here is his story behind the photo…

About me

I’m Martin, a 38-year-old dad of two based in North Nottinghamshire. Being a busy working professional (not in the photography industry) with two young boys I have very little time to fully commit to photography like I would like to (or aspire to!).

My photography journey started in 2012 when I purchased my first Sony SLT-A35 mirrorless camera with a basic kit set-up with the intention of getting good pictures of our newly arrived son. From there I really got into photography. I’ve been a member of local camera clubs since 2013 and doing well in local and regional competitions and absorbing knowledge like a sponge!

I am fortunate to travel with work across Europe and the US. So I cannot pass on the opportunity to arm myself with my camera. I have really taken to urban, landscape and street photography in recent years. Because of my limited time when travelling with work, I meticulously plan my shoots to the minute. I work out where I need to be, sunrise times, compositions and most importantly an idea of my what I want from my final images. I am also venturing into macro, studio and nature photography. You never stop learning in this hobby!

The winning image

The city suits me well. I have been lucky to spend quality photographic time in New York, Philadelphia and London. I have been fascinated with the bustling city life of London, particularly the disconnection between people in the age of technology we’re in. It is the citie’s hustle and bustle with people barely engaging with each other, this is what I originally aimed to capture.

Baker Street London
Camera settings; ISO 1600, f/5.6 @ 1/30 sec

I planned Baker Street station in London as I love the architecture, lighting and high traffic of people at this station. After spending about 30 minutes here, purposefully missing a few trains in between my own commute. I planted myself on an adjacent bench and kept firing away when trains came in and the commuters offloaded or boarded. It’s a fantastic a forever changing scene every 3 minutes! I knew I wanted the magical number of 3 to be the main part of my composition. The three arches, three benches and three commuters. It was pulled off as these unassuming characters entered and sat down in the scene – a bit of luck!

How I took the shot

Low light was the greatest challenge, so bumping up the ISO to 1600, dropping the f-stop down to 5.6 for maximum light allowed a less than forgiving shutter speed of 1/30 seconds. The high ISO has also left the image with a sense of grittiness and grain which kind of works – some call it noise! The images were shot at 35mm on my 17-50mm 2.8 Tamron lens, a great all-round lens for city work. I manually focused on the benches on the adjacent platform. In regards to editing, I used a combination of Photoshop to remove a few distractions on the walls and litter on the floor and Lightroom to enhance light to put the focus on the main subjects.

Martin has won a one to one 1 day photography workshop in London worth £395. He also receives a copy of our forthcoming Essential Travel Photography Lightroom Preset pack worth £49.

Do you fancy winning a cool prize like this? Then why not enter our current competition in partnership with Photocrowd. You never know you may have the winning photo for our “Into the Wild” competition?

Article and images are subject to copyright. Photo by Martin Duffy. Copying or reposting of photo or article elsewhere is strictly forbidden.