Friday, February 1, 2013

A New Toy

Oh goody! I just received my Fujinon 14mm f2.8 lens today. I'd been waiting for it since September. Hopefully, if the temperature is not too brutal for my old bones, I'll get out and shoot with it this weekend. When I was shooting film with my Leica M6 my favorite lens to use was the Leica 21mm, the equivalent to the Fuji lens in focal length. So I'm going to have a chance to dig deep into my bag of tricks (that's a euphemism for trying to remember old techniques). We shall see.....

Both these shots were made with the 18-55mm zoom lens. I would like to have been able to zoom out wider for the first image, but street happens so fast that's not always possible. Would have been a much better shot with some space at the top of the frame. But I still like her expression.

I caught this gentleman with the very cool beard on 34th Street just after leaving a critique session at B&H Photo. There's just something about facial hair, whether on a man or woman, that's so much fun to shoot. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cell Phone Conversation

 I had the good fortune to attend a critique session this past Wednesday at B&H Photo. Each attendant was given the option to submit three images for consideration. Fairly impossible to get to everyone's work in the allotted two hours for the session. Of the more than 120 images submitted, less than ten were in b/w, and of all the images submitted (excluding the three of mine) less than ten could have been considered street photography. That was a bit disappointing, but the session was handled beautifully by the commentators - honest critiques were offered considerately and sensitively, and I doubt if anyone walked away without feeling encouraged to strive for more.

The session was held in the early afternoon, so I had the opportunity to be on the streets around Penn Station to photograph the early rush hour pedestrian traffic. Quite honestly, I didn't get much. My mind was buzzing with ideas from the critique session. But one woman really caught my attention. She was walking across 34th Street with bags handing from both hands, a piece of luggage hanging from her shoulder, and a cell phone in her mouth. And she was carrying on a conversation with someone who had called her. Go figure ......

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Five In A Row

The International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York is currently showing the work of two photographers who were active in the middle of the 20th Century: Roman Vishniac and Chim (David Seymour). The work of Vishniac that is on exhibit covers his output beginning during his early years in Berlin - during the rise of Nazism - through his post-war work in New York. After viewing the exhibit of his work, I decided to leave the viewing of Chim's work for another visit. There's just so much I can absorb at one time.

Despite technical shortcomings, the Vishniac images were deeply moving: there were areas of blown out highlights, muddy and undetailed shadow areas, images that were not well focused, and (travesty though it may be) images that were cropped. Most of the photographs on exhibit were of Poland, especially the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw prior to the Nazi invasion. It's an exhibit well worth the investment of time and effort to see.

After the visit to ICP, despite the bitter cold and biting wind, I took a walk in midtown. I huddled in the doorway of Bergdorf Goodman for a brief respite and took this shot of the first floor through the window. Five In A Row: