Thursday, December 13, 2012

The World as I See It!

The title for my blog entry for today is the same as that of my blog page. I wish I could have italicized the word 'I' but text formatting wouldn't allow it. My point is that this is my blog site, and the title was carefully chosen to permit me the flexibility to say what is/was on my mind about a variety of subjects which are always buzzing around in my head - I guess I have way too much time on my hands, hey that's retirement! If however I were to have titled the blog site Musings of a Street Shooter, anyone who came to this site would reasonably expect to find subject matter pertaining to street photography. If one of my wild fantasies were to come true: that through my expertise and artistry as a street/documentary photographer I were to garner a very large following of acolytes who flocked to my website, bought my books, attended my seminars, and joined my organization to glean all they could through my teaching based on my experience as a photographer, and I were to abuse that trust and expectation by using my position to espouse a philosophy of life, that might well be called (in the words of our esteemed onetime progressive Republican president Theodore Roosevelt) using my position as a bully pulpit. If a blog is entitled Photoshop Insider, I don't think it is unreasonable for readers coming to the site to expect to find information or a discussion about something related to digital processing or photography.  

But there's gems to be found out there in the blogsphere. I was surfing around over the past several days and came across this blog. In particular there was a quote by Ted Grant (an outstanding Canadian photojournalist whose work can be seen here) regarding b/w photography: When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!

Expressions and gestures are everything to me when I shoot street. I can think of a dozen different captions for this image, each one is a story in itself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elvis Redux

I've been waiting for too long to get my 14mm lens for the XP1. As I was reading my daily round of blogs today, there were several that discussed the first of the Fuji zoom lenses - 18-55mm - and showed sample images. This lens too is not yet available in New York. I have until now resisted the temptation to order it because I already have the 18mm and 35mm lenses, and the zoom would just be redundant. 

Or would it be the other way around? Would the zoom make the two primes redundant? Notice that in the previous paragraph I said that I have until now resisted the temptation? Well ..... so much for self discipline! Now I have to exercise extreme patience while I wait for two lenses to arrive. 

The zoom is a variable aperture lens going from f2.8 at 18mm to f4 at 55mm. That's only one stop difference and with the image stabilization that has been touted as superb I should be able to shoot comfortably at 1/125th or even 1/60th second which more than makes up for the variable aperture. 

Still, the IQ of the two primes is so great that they will be difficult to leave behind on any particular outing. Wonderful, more gear to carry around.

I saw Elvis on Fifth Avenue the other day, trying to hail a cab by waving his cell phone in the air. 
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog .......

Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't bite your tongue!

One of my favorite photo blogs, which I read daily, is the Online Photographer. Today's entry talks about the opinion of Bill Jay regarding photography and the current art/gallery business and is very much to the point regarding the commercialization of a photographer's work. It's well worth a few minutes read.

I'm spending this rainy Monday afternoon updating the images on my 'commercial' website, so I don't have anything thoughtful or pithy to say. I like this photo. The composition is not great, but I like the characters and the juxtaposition of the two slick guys on the right with the blue collar guy and his son on the left, and the gritty New York streets.

Don't bite your tongue!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Enlightening Exhibit

A new exhibit has opened at the Metropolitan Museum in New York featuring pairs of paintings by Henri Matisse, the exhibit is entitled In Search of True Painting. I sometimes have a problem with exhibits such as this because they are so stimulating that I get sated before I can see the whole presentation. I definitely need to go back and spend more time in the last room of the show. The premise of the show is that Matisse made paintings and then experimented with techniques he saw other painters use - especially the pointilism ofCamille Pissarro and the flat colors and geometric shapes of Paul Cezanne.   

Seeing how a master creates a composition in a painting, how he uses outlines and edges, and how he emphasizes the geometry and weight of the objects/people with color - and then viewing another work of the same scene and objects but with an entirely different palette and technique, made this show really special. The curators provided interesting explanations of the similarities and differences but I generally find that reading the intellectual verbiage distracts me from responding intuitively and interferes with my own personal explorations. 

Painters have such a luxury to have the time to create their own composition from scratch. Street shooters need split second timing to read a scene - the characters, light, and drama - as it unfolds and grab that special moment. 

Just what do you think you are doing?