Friday, January 11, 2013

Fuji X-Pro1 Crispy Clean

At the beginning of January I posted an entry of what I thought were my ten best shots of the year 2012. You can revisit that entry here. Jim Goldstein of JMG-Galleries asked for the photographic community to submit entries of blog posts, flicker albums, etc. to be considered for a listing of posts of the entrants' ten best shots. The results were posted today here on Jim's blog. There are three hundred listings, and I'm honored to have had my blogpost included (#114). Jim highlighted a number of those entries (with three asterisks - ***) on the list of those he found most interesting, a group in which my entry was included. Again, honored to be included in such a select and accomplished group of photographers.

A list of three hundred links is a lot of material to digest. So far I've gone through those that Jim highlighted and have come away with some thoughts I'd like to pose. There are many types of photography represented that cover a very broad range of subject material. To do any of them well requires hard work, technical expertise, insight, and an artistic sensitivity. All those that were highlighted exhibited all of that. The material on many of the sites I viewed so far was of landscape, nature, and architecture. Also much of the material was of exotic locales. And almost all of the photography was in color.

Why do I shoot what I do? I love a beautiful scenic landscape - to look at, enjoy, and feel a spiritual connection with nature, but if there isn't a person in the scene, I don't feel any compunction to take a photo. I love to travel - new places, exotic or not, offer new insights and new culture, but I don't have to travel hundreds of miles somewhere to find an interesting person or situation to capture - fifteen miles to New York City is far enough for me. I love the stimulation of color something as complex and deep as a work of art, or something as ubiquitous as a street scene, but the color images I capture don't really begin to sing to me until I begin the conversion to tones of black, white, and gray.

Something as mundane as a scrubby bearded guy with a silly winter hat walking with intense purpose makes my shutter finger itch, brings a twinkle to my camera eye, and connects me to every average person walking on any street anyplace I have my camera with me.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Five from the weekend

Shooting on the streets of New York during the winter presents a number of challenges. People are wrapped up in layers of clothes - coats, scarves, earmuffs, hats - and it's tough to get a clear shot of a good facial expression. Shooting from eye level will usually result in a shot with the eyes in deep shadows strong reflections from the lenses of sunglasses. Changing the position of the camera to mid chest level can make a big difference. 

Depending on the situation I might try for direct eye contact which, if I'm shooting from the hip, would result in the subject looking at me rather than into the lens of the camera. 


Sometimes the subject looks directly into the lens to see if there's some indication of the shot being taken (which, with the X-Pro1, there isn't).

Sometimes the subject is oblivious of my presence. 

And then there's those times when I get caught redhanded taking a shot to which the subject objects.
Oh well, that's street photography. Have to learn to deal with it.