Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Los Tres Amigos

This afternoon on Scott Kelby's webcast of his program called The Grid his guest was Joe McNally. Joe spent an hour discussing and critiquing photographs that were submitted for consideration. His insights and suggestions were instructive and enlightening. I wish there were more of this kind of material presented in this format. The potential for learning on the web from wonderful practitioners and experts in their fields is just not realized often enough. There is a plethora of webinars presented by software developers about their products - my favorite is Nik Software - and often there are webinars about digital photography gear. There are quite a few venues for taking classes (for a fee) such as Peachpit Press and Kelby Training. But few actually get into the nitty gritty of the esthetics of images. It's always a touchy subject because, after all, what is beautiful to one person may be poison to another. It really is in the eye of the beholder. But when I listen to a master such as Joe McNally, Jay Maisel, or Vincent Versace I always come away having learned something that I can put to use in my work and adapt to my own personal style. But rarely, if ever, is the reviewer a person well versed in the craft and art of street photography. How wonderful would it be to have someone like Bruce Gilden or Elliott Erwitt do a class like that.

I took this shot on Fifth Avenue with my Fuji X Pro-1. When I was out that particular day I set my goal to shoot always looking through the viewfinder - I didn't take one shot that day from the 'hip'. I dressed inconspicuously and wandered around looking in store windows and at buildings, pretending to be a tourist - pointing the camera at typical touristy kinds of subjects, looking through the optical viewfinder at the scene that was evolving at the edges of the frame. When I saw the shot that I wanted, I quickly recomposed, refocused, and got the shot I was after. That's much the same way I used to work with my Leica M6. It's taken me a bit of an effort to get back into that mode, but my success rate has increased dramatically.