Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Through the Viewfinder

No doubt about it, when I compose through the viewfinder I become much more involved in the scene I'm grabbing. I get a reaction from the subjects, and it's not always pleasant. But hey, if I wanted pleasant, nicey nice I'd sit in Starbucks with some friends and sip cappuccino.

The feelings about the interaction between this couple is so beautiful on the guy's face. Maybe I should have stayed around and photographed him strangling her.

I think this gentleman was giving me his mean nasty look, I get a lot of those.

I'm not sure about the statue in the window of this shot, I was thinking maybe Confucius (this being shot in Chinatown). The gentleman was just oozing peace and serenity.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Doctor Death and his Mistress

My walk route this past Sunday was one of my favorites - east across Canal street, up the Bowery, back west on Grand street and then through SoHo and the west Village. Lots of interesting characters even in this scorching weather we've been having.

I noticed this gentleman's shirt from a half block away, turned out he was very friendly and after asking how old I was he offered me his business card, he's a mortician.

He was heading for a meeting with is girlfriend - this beautiful lady who was for several years an assistant in his business. I can just imagine what the pillow talk is like.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finally The Heat Broke ...... Sorta

It's tough for me to get out on the streets of New York when the temps go into the 90ºF range, and for the past week the heat index has been hovering around 104º. I get stir crazy sitting inside in air- conditioned comfort. So when I saw that the temp was going to be around 88º today, I grabbed my gear and headed into the Big Apple. The air wasn't what I'd call cool, just marginally tolerable. But I needed to be out to give my brain and fingers a workout.

I"ve been working really hard to not shoot from the hip. It's a technique with which I'm really comfortable and for a long time it was my default mode of shooting. In a pinch I'd still do it rather than lose the shot. When I was shooting film with my Leica M6 - 20 years ago - I hardly ever shot without composing the image in the viewfinder. Developing film was simply too much of a pain in the ass to take a chance on losing a shot, but with digital that became much less of an issue. BUT ....  I've come full circle in my thinking. I've been getting much better results that require mostly no cropping and are much more consistently in focus. And while before I would try to be as unobtrusive (read sneaky) as possible so as not to invade the scene, now I find I actually wait a half second after raising the camera before I click the shutter, just to see if I can elicit some kind of response. I'm not saying one way is better than the other, just different. Each has their use and place, and being able to shoot both ways is more tools in the arsenal.

Outside the Hog and Heifer on Washington Street in the Meatpacking district:

On Broadway in SoHo: