Posts from the ‘Street’ Category
Began tonight to go back through all my images to create a list of potential selects for my book, theme known but yet to be revealed. This is the first image to make that preliminary cut.
So, a year (or so) ago, I wrote a blog post about how I was going to embark on a learning vis-a-vis the 28mm focal length. This started because I had just returned from Dublin where I had purchased a 28mm-equivalent for my X-Pro 1 and had trouble framing and using the thing. Now, I was aware that some of my heroes used the 28 to great effect – Winogrand, for instance – and as I love to shoot on the street, I thought that I needed to wrestle that beast to the ground. Before this had all came about, I had primarily used 35mm and 50mm focal lengths, and always had felt — on the street, anyway — that zooms just didn’t work for me. I loved and used zooms for landscapes, but on the street I just felt they were cumbersome and got in the way for me. What I knew was that I had developed the ability to ‘see’ at certain focal lengths, meaning that I could pre-frame in my head, raise the camera to my eye and trip the shutter, thus shortening the time from seeing to composition to exposure quite a bit.
I saw in 35mm, I saw in 50mm, but 28 confounded me. So I determined that I would dive into the 28 for a year and come out the other side with that lens in my arsenal. I had the 28-equivalent for my X-Pro 1, and I then acquired the 28mm Zeiss for my rangefinder and the 28mm for my Nikon film camera — at the time, the F100. I went out to shoot. Instead of the 35mm, I always took the 28 out on the street, to force myself to begin to think with that lens.
It took a while, but now I feel comfortable with that length. Since I’ve been back in the US, I’ve been scanning some of my negs and came across a roll I shot last November or so in Venice beach. One frame appears at the top of the post.
Just thought I’d mention some techy-stuff with this image. First, I bought the 28mm AiS because people had recommended it to me as a great Nikon lens. Sharp, etc. Well, take a closer look at the skater-guy. Check out the earbud cable. Nice, huh? This could not have been achieved without a great film, and that film — one that I was experimenting with at the time — is Adox Silvermax. A new film, slow (ISO 100) supposed to have lots of silver, extended dynamic range, beautiful tones, designed to deliver exceptional results. When I took a look at the roll, there were many shots — all captured on a bright sunny day at Venice Beach (so my shutter speeds even at f/8 were pretty darn high) that looked wonderful. Here’s another of my favorites:
So, the things ya learn…
At first glance this seemed too simple. But the more I looked at it, the more it fascinated me.
Behind the busy streets
A back alley of Xintiandi. This X-Pro 1 at ISO 3200 is just an amazing walk-around tool for streets at night.
Brooklyn Waterfront Looking East, July 2012
Early morning, Dublin, Ireland, January 2013
More from that morning walk in Venice, January, 2013
On the Santa Monica Promenade
I remember when I took this shot “I can’t wait to blog about this.” Well, here we are, a year+ later, and I’m blogging about it.
This guy was near my hotel, selling fruit. It’s NYC, mid-town, so I’m guessing the fruit was more than likely overpriced, but very, very tasty. He was a friendly guy, and as I walked to the downtown subway, I would pass him each morning and chat about the day, his fruit, and where I was going with my camera.
On the third day, I simply asked him whether I could take his portrait, he shrugged his shoulders and said “sure, but I don’t see why you’d want to.”
Well, for me, asking him whether I could took a lot of courage. I always feel like when I ask someone that question, I’m really imposing on them, injecting my habit into their lives.
That’s why I asked; just to have the courage to DO the asking. I’m normally pretty talkative to people on the street, but I hardly ever summon up the courage to ask them to let me take their picture. That’s why this was such a big deal to me.
I took a couple frames, nervous as hell as I focused, and we shook hands and I walked on with my rasberries or whatever. I saw him a couple more times before that trip was over, he was always smiling, always happy.
I remembered this image when I was walking around the Marble Arch and taking pictures of all the people. There, that young man saw me taking pictures, came up, and asked if he could pose. I think, honestly, that he came to that place in order to BE seen. But there I was, taking his picture, just as nervous as I was that day in NYC.
There is a street photographer who is the exact opposite of me, who enjoys the talking to people and the taking pictures combo , Peter Turnley. He often talks about seeing someone, taking their image, then going up to them, showing them their image on the back of his Leica (always a Leica) and asking whether he can send them a copy. He’s totally at ease with that situation, and his work shows that comfort. The workshop I want to do is the one he gives in Paris; there, he has access to a b&w lab so the participants can shoot either film or digital; the film gets dropped off at the lab at night and you see contacts the next morning. Then you select some prints and off they go and you see the prints the next morning. Ah, bliss.
In his other workshops, they are digital only. I wouldn’t mind doing them, of course, but the ability to do the entire week shooting film would be bliss for me. In Paris, yiper.
A walk around Brooklyn in the summer of 2012. Roll just scanned in tonight.