Street Photography Revisited

Street Photography Revisited

I mentioned this in a previous post but I miss walking around and indulging in one of the two loves that I have of photography – street photography.  Not only do I love walking around and getting lost within the world around me but I like to try and do that without being noticed.  No, I’m not hiding behind trees and bushes cloak and dagger style.  However, I do like to walk around camera hanging off my shoulder and shooting from the hip.  I keep at least one hand on the camera with a finger near or on the shutter button at all times.  In doing this I can snap a pic of whatever wherever without drawing attention to myself or making people self-conscious or on notice.   Recently I was asked by Andy, a photographer friend of mine, if I wanted to join him for lunch while he grabbed some local building stock for a client.  Clearing out a little time I said sure why not.  Before joining him I debated on whether to bring a camera as well or just take the opportunity to stretch my legs,grab some fresh air and enjoy the weather.  What a crazy thought.  Why would I pass up an opportunity to grab some shots myself?  With a camera in hand we met up and started out on our lunchtime adventure.  Andy was looking for houses and areas that had a DC residential flair.  Me?  I decided it was time to reengage in one of my favorite styles of photography – street photography.  While we walked around trying to find the ‘right street’...
Challenge 6 – Paper bag with one light

Challenge 6 – Paper bag with one light

My results for the photo club challenge this go-around is not going to be for everyone.  I am not sure if what I have produced is as obtainable as my other pictures from previous challenges, and I’m ok with that.  Just like in previous challenges I have been struggling with choosing which image to show.  As is my fashion, I chop down the field to a handful, get some comments from a couple people and then pair it down to the final 2.  The difficult part at this stage is making that choice between option A or optionB, not an easy task.   Today this task is even more difficult because the final two images are so very much different from each other, from the lighting, to the composition, to the subject itself – an ocean of differences separates the two. Before we get into the final selection, let’s talk about the rules and then the process I went through in carrying out this challenge. The challenge from the piece of paper – Photograph a paper bag with one light – make it cool and the rules: Subject is a paper bag, so whatever else is in the image, the bag must be the main subject in the image not a supporting or tossed in the shot use Only one light source.  This light source could be a studio flash, a hot light, desk lamp, on/in camera flash unit, the sun.  Doesn’t matter what the light source, it can only be one light though. Make it an interesting picture. Bring one picture to the table So this time around...
Everything in camera

Everything in camera

After talking about the recent photo challenge I participated in I thought that since I had the web space that I might as well talk about the other challenges we have done.  Today I will talk about the ‘in camera’ challenge   “Fix it in post” is what they all say.  It doesn’t matter if you are in film, (movies that is), photography, or any other production medium, the fall back when you aren’t sure if you have everything right or notice something wrong after everything has wrapped is “that’s ok, we can fix it in post.”  Some extra tweaks here and some extra nudges there and viola, you have either corrected the mistake or edited it to the point where it might not be what you intended but still is passable.  Now, I don’t think it is right to say this is a crutch to enable sloppy work.  Taking the lazy approach of ‘eh, we’ll fix it later’ does show a sign of a less than involved tone in the project.  But ever since photography has been around there has been editing.  As you can see in this image (the very famous image of James Dean in Times Square has edit notes all over the image. I am linking this image from an article online “Magnum and the Dying Art of Printing“)  Dodging, burning, adjusting shadows, basically the tools that are in PhotoShop today are pulled from the dark room toolbox.  Editing is nothing new.  When we are not in the studio we can’t control every element that will be captured within the frame.  Hell, even when we...
What is 40?

What is 40?

Today I turn 40.  What does that mean exactly?  Cultures and people try to place a significance on ages but to what purpose?  16 you can get a license, 18 you can vote and enlist, 21 you can drink, 24 you can rent a car.  Arbitrary years that don’t seem to fall in any sort of logical reasoning.  16 you can drive, because that was when Drivers Ed was able to be worked within the school schedule?  Well a lot of schools are removing that part of the curriculum and people are going to private lessons.  18 to legally use your voice and make decisions that alter the country by voting or signing a piece of paper stating you are willing to fight and die for your country yet that same country that you are shaping and wagering your blood on says you aren’t adult enough to take a drink or rent a car on your own?  Where is the logic in that?   Or is it our innate ability to find patterns in nature that makes us more aware of certain ages.  What is the big difference between 29 and 30, or 39 and 40?  It is just another year, but maybe we see the ‘0’ as the beginning of a new time?  A turning of a page in ages that holds within it a new door?  I don’t know.   Time is somewhat arbitrary.  The Earth spinning while traveling around the sun at regular intervals and the tilt of our axis causes day and night and the seasons.  We a human have chopped up those spans of...
Photo Challenge #5

Photo Challenge #5

  So I am part of a small photo group here at work – shocking I know.  Last year a few people here wanted to get together to talk shop and eventually we all decided to make the talks a regular ‘thing’ and the photo group was born.  Paul, my co-worker here in the studio, and I have been looking for new inspirations and making this group seemed to fit the bill.  We have a great group of people and they are all very talented and excited about creating memorable images. When we get together it isn’t just to talk about photography in general but to also challenge each other.  To keep things interesting each of us brought a few photo challenges to the table on little pieces of paper.  Each week someone reaches into the lens bag and pulls out the a challenge for us all to undertake. Typically what happens after the challenge is read is that we discuss the parameters of the challenge, establish ground rules based on what the challenge is and then off we go, see ya in 2 weeks.  So when we get together we review how each person accomplished the challenge put forth.  One by one we examine, critique, and talk about the process of how each image was created.  I love seeing how each person interprets the challenge.  We have seven people in the group and each person comes up with something completely different. With the background about the group and its purpose out of the way it is time to dive into talking about what our latest challenge is for the...