Today is my birthday and I wanted to share something with you, so I decided to release my second mini tutorial as a way of giving back to such a wonderful community. Thank you all for your support, this is blog post #435 already!
Tip #2 will help you see the light in the streets and be more discerning when the right subject enters your frame. I hope you enjoy it!
This is the first in a series of mini tutorials and tip videos available on my YouTube channel.
Tip # 1 will help you remain invisible in street photography when you want to avoid eye contact and not draw attention to yourself while being very close to your subject. I hope you enjoy it!
I would like to thank my friend Shawn Brezny for making this short video possible.
Roma is a feast for the senses and it inspired me to shoot in color most of the time during my photo workshop last week. This is unusual for me, as a majority of my street work is in B&W. There were a few instances when the scene obviously called for monochrome and this is something I discussed with my students thoughout the week. Either the subject required a more timeless feel or the color was overpowering or too distracting and was better removed because it didn’t add anything to the story. Here are a few of my B&W images of Roma (and two or three pics shot in Firenze):
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Roma is of one of those cities that screams color, as much as Paris screams B&W in my opinion. No worries, the next post will be Rome in B&W but there will be fewer images.
I just returned from teaching a week long workshop in Italy about the Art of Seeing Photographically, with a big emphasis on Street Photography of course. The workshop was a big success and I am planning to run it again in the Fall of 2016.
I’ve never been one to feel stuck in either color or B&W. Some subjects are all about color and removing it would not make any sense. I rarely hesitate between color or B&W. I either see the shot in color or in B&W. I’ve always believed that those decisions should be made before you press the shutter, even if the digital age gives us options we didn’t have in the film days.
The light and the colors of Roma are so warm. There were only rare occasions where I saw the story in B&W, and you will discover those in the next blog post. Until then, please enjoy ‘Roma in colore’!
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A friend pointed out to me recently that he really enjoys my ‘frame within a frame’ images. So I went back through my collections to find the most recent ones. For some of them I waited a few minutes for the right subject to enter my frame. Other times it all happened in a fraction of a second, I saw the moment and had to react quickly. It often results in a softer image but with greater satisfaction attached to it too.
This is also a good reminder that not everyone makes a good subject in street photography and that’s also true when you photograph silhouettes or isolate your subject in a frame within a frame.
This post is for you Dustin!
Cats and dogs have always played a large part in street photography, since the early days of the genre. They continue to inspire street photographers who work on projects that always include dogs for example. Such projects can be so rewarding and fun. Pets often bring an element of humor as well.
I always tell my students who want to approach strangers in the streets to make a portrait, to go for dog owners first. They almost never refuse to be photographed with their beloved four-legged friend and complimenting their pet is always the best ice-break in street portraiture.
He is a small collection of cats and dogs that have entered my frame in recent years. Click on the first pic to view them as a slide show.
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Week 20: Shadow patterns at an artist’s studio in Minneapolis – Week 21: A fan on my desk in Soho, NYC – Week 22: Lying on the bed in New York – Week 23: Made me think of Hemingway, Stillwater.
These are the objects, among others, that caught my eye this month. To see the previous weeks, please visit this gallery. All shot with the Fuji x100s.
Which do you prefer?
I just returned from a 4 day trip to NYC. It wasn’t a photography trip, it was a family vacation. My family has always been very patient with me and would never expect me to leave the camera behind. My kids grew up seeing me with a camera in my hand every day, it’s an extension of who I am. But I want to show them that there are moments that don’t need to be immortalized in pixels to remain in our hearts forever so I make an extra effort to let go a little of what has become the major focus in my life.
During those personal trips I don’t make plans to meet any photographer friends and I only grab a shot here and there without the luxury of waiting for the decisive moment. It’s definitely more of a challenge because, as street photographers, we often have to wait for the right subject to enter the frame to get the shot we envisioned. Removing that important part of the hunt definitely complicates things. I use this extra challenge as an exercise. With so few pictures on my memory card, will I have any keepers at the end of the day? The hardest part is to be able to remain calm and not get frustrated when I miss great photo opportunities. I often have to take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s only a picture, and that the streets of NYC will still be there when I lead my next photo workshop later this year. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, wondering what the big deal is. But I know that many of you know exactly the feeling I’m talking about.
New York is one of those rare places that I see equally in color and B&W. Here are some of the people of NYC (and other miscellaneous things) that caught my eye during the weekend.
Let’s start with color…
Peace and Justice for all at the Starbucks Reserve.
Sometimes the right subject comes around the corner on a perfect backdrop as you are walking by and you can’t believe your luck. This was one of those quick shots that was well worth jumping with both feet in a puddle between two parked cars. The eye contact was the cherry on the cake, even if the focus is a bit soft on the subject.
Other times you see a great backdrop and hope that the human element will be strong enough to make an interesting shot.
The girl and the birds. Other times you walk by a stranger and see a story, even if it is the hair and hat color combination that first caught your attention.
Three yellow cats, one with an eye patch.
And a bright yellow wall. If is wan’t for the ever present smartphone, this picture would have been quite timeless…
Night time and the common sight of steam rising from the NYC grates.
Now in B&W…
It was a windy day in Central Park, some of the paths were quite deserted and people were hurrying to get away from the wind.
There will always be readers at the beautiful Strand book store on Broadway.
Meanwhile, waiting outside the deli…
We finished another busy day at the pub around the corner
where I caught the musicians on a break.
During the visit of Ellis Island, I was quite taken by the large windows, the symmetry and the reflections in the impressive immigrants’ registration hall. I can’t miss an opportunity to photograph a silhouette when I find a location like this. Thankfully, a lone subject entered my frame almost immediately and I caught up with the rest of the family on the tour.
So, if you are a photography nut like me, here is my piece of advice. Next time you’re on a short family vacation, use the limitations as an exercise. Don’t get frustrated when you miss a great photo opportunity in the streets. Some moments are still best captured by our senses.
Enjoy and please leave a comment below. Thanks for your continued support!