one of my goto subjects lately has been anybody who is asking me for money (that is not homeless), or anybody that is trying to pass out flyers or something like that. I hate being solicited to on the street. Its not like they want to talk to me, they just want to ‘talk me into’ something. I suppose that street photography is sort of invasive like solicitors are, but I’d like to think of street as a way of complimenting people, or at least a way of recognizing them as human. Solicitors just want money, and that is icky. I suppose when solicitors approach me and i shoot them, its my way of disarming them and taking the upper hand before they can get into their pitch. If I really wanted to get her goat I would have taken more shots, but my rule is 1 shot per person. Which I break sometimes, but I find that my first shot is usually better than the following shots, at least when I shoot digi…
So, I could tell that this chick was about to do just that to me, so I took her photo. I think her face really says this as well, because she is trying to greet me, but I’m already attacking her with my camera before she could attack me. i suppose what is extra-ordinary about this image is that when i was showing my girlfriend marisa my photos from this trip, she actually knew this girl, and actually was her roommate in santa cruz, long ago, and the girls name is Liz. She was telling me that i could afford charities if i managed my money differently. What about her stupid hair dye, her stupid ring, her stupid ear rings, stupid nail polish. all that cash could have feed a starving baby. i didn’t say that, but i did tell her i was a starving artist and i spend all my extra money on processing film.
saw this bus stopped and this little dude sitting in the back just zoned out. did my best to make a composition as quickly as possible. luckily i got his facial expression amidst all of the reflections in the window. i suppose if i just got a CPL filter things could be different, but i sort of like shooting filterless and getting whatever reflections the glass gives me. in other news i received a stainless steel developing tank in the mail today, as well as a 28mm nikkor lens. so now my nikon fm is all wide angled out. the lens only opens up to f3.5, which isn’t so wide, but it was only 70 dollars for a minty nikkor lens. also it won’t meter, so i’ll be bringing my light meter around with me. which is better anyways, because when i meter through the lens, i’m always drawing more attention to myself. i’ve became quite good at using the light meter while walking the streets/predicting using sunny 16 and EV values as i move in and out of the shade. i haven’t been processing my film immediatly anymore. i’m sort of sitting on a few rolls, and i think thats how i’m going to roll. i here costco does develop and scan for just 5 large (color). i’m saving up my b&w film to process myself, although i’m sort of scared of buggering it up because the b&w rolls i’m sitting on have some special shots on them. more to come, thanks for reading!
for this photo i was waiting and waiting for him to look at me, be he just wouldn’t. so i took my shot and kept on moving. a lady who had seen me taking the photo said, ‘that will be a good one’. my reason for shooting this fellow was because his nose has some problems, as well as his red umbrella. weird nose + red umbrella = take a shot. again, it would have been nice to have a 28mm lens so i could have gotten his feet into the frame. i like how his hair is standing up in the wind, a detail i didn’t notice when i was looking through the viewfinder.
i guess these free tea people are sort of famous in oakland. i remember a few months ago a co-worker mentioning that this existed and that i should check them out. for whatever reason i wasn’t interested in talking to them, but i did want a photo. the guys in the frame were talking to each other ‘he is taking my picture’. well i sort of was. i like how garry winogrand says it: ‘actually, this is my picture’.
this is one of those times my 50mm lens was limiting. with something wider i could have gotten a better angle on the free tea sign, and there would have been some nice background in between the truck and the sign.
maybe i’ll get one of those 28mm nikkors soon… i’ve been shopping on ebay for a 28mm and there are about 5 choices that would work for me + a whole slew of non nikkors. the lens i have now is a nikkor, and they are all the hoot. the best one i could get is a 28mm 2.8. it focuses at 7inches, and has crazy nice construction. there are older versions with slightly less nice of builds but still pro quality, as well as f3.5′s that are good too and lighter. the cheap skate in me is thinking to go with the 3.5 because it is about 50-100 dollars less on average. but is the extra stop worth it? i guess i’ll still have my 50mm f2 even if i get a 28 f3.5? i’m trying not to buy any camera gear as well, because my film developing costs are rising…. okay thanks for reading.
i took two pictures of this group of kids in costumes. in this one we are missing another girl who had a tail, and some types of ears on her head. anyways they were completely oblivious to me and i didn’t get any of their faces well in either shot. but, i do sort of like this composition. the best part of it is the girl is carrying a monster energy drink; i suppose that is what monsters like to drink for energy? and the three of them walking in line fall right in the center of the two triangular things behind them. anyways, i like this one the more i look at it.
initially i was going to take this mans picture because he was riding on a beach cruiser, and looked rather interesting. he seemed to not want to have his picture taken as i approached him, but then she sort of talked him into it, and very naturally then posed for me like this. i’m glad i didn’t try and get any closer because i like how her hand is on his knee. they were sitting at the top of these steps and i was below them so the angle made everything look sort of nice.
i was waiting for this fellow to cross the street [walking] and i was going to take a candid photo of him walking through this scene. instead he spotted me and i got him to pose for me right where i wanted him to walk in the first place. i think this is one of my strongest street photos so far, and as much as i like candids, i’m almost tempted to shift directions and just shoot posed shots in order to not burn film. over the course of my last two rolls i’ve taken quite a few ‘shots from the hip’ on my canonet – which i’m feeling guilty over. and they are just not good – nothing close to how good this is. sometimes my courage isn’t there and i want a shot anyways. but on my nikon when i can perfectly focus on my subject everyshot is worth it. especially if i preplan the background such as in this photo. so no more from the hip. i just won’t take it. a plan + viewfinder + focus + meter – then take it, otherwise its too expensive to expose the film.
After looking through my first roll of photos from the Canonet 28 I’ve decided that this one might be one of the best that I’ve shown so far. I didn’t appreciate it as much before because I hadn’t put very much time into this. I took it at the spur of the moment. And I really hadn’t given it a closer look yet until today. I think that this photo shows the power of the 40mm Canonet lens very well. I’ve captured some close up details with the people at the bus stop, as well as some middle ground action. And the background suggest that the street goes on and on. I must admit sort of an ethical issue with the fact I’ve turned it black and white in photoshop. But why not? This was truly a color shot, but I wanted to check it out in black and white, for the sake of it.
Thanks for reading.
i’ve been snapping shots of other people using cameras as part of my routine subject matter. usually i think people look pretty funny using cameras and there is something comedic about the images. this girl however is quite stylish and pretty. not to mention she has taken an interesting stance to shoot from, and her shoes really complete the interestingness of how she is just balanced there, with her bag casually hanging front her elbow. unfortunately i was probably busy metering when the duck she was shooting was swimming away out of frame. this image would be perfect if there was a bird of some sort looking back at her on the bottom left of the image. but i was too slow. i’ve been hesitant to share this picture because i don’t feel that it is totally strong, but there are a lot of elements about it that i do like. such as the path drawing you from the foreground across the picture to the background. the family and their attire. the little white flowers on the grass.