Monthly Archives: November 2019
Importance of Approach
What’s the Point of this Picture?
” Street Photography ” has a few requirements to be successful. You need awareness of your surroundings, an understanding of a situation, quick reactions… and a lot of balls.
Of course, you also need a good street and those happen in active cities. This one is in Paris, but that’s not the point of this, it could be anywhere. It’s a slice of life taken from your point of view and presented to others asking for theirs, and the best part is hearing what theirs is.
I was taken by this homeless man who fell asleep on a very busy corner in his makeshift shelter and he passing crowds, who walked by carried along their way. I had to stop and shoot the scene. My view was on the man who made for me an interesting shot, but it wasn’t until later in post that I noticed the girl who was as struck by his presence as I was.
In my review I saw a different scene… the homeless man was no longer the point of interest but it became the girl’s reaction to this situation. Now my image took on a different meaning, and a life of its own changing my original viewpoint.
I started to look back on the many other images done by others that became Icons for an era, a movement, used to support some other cause, and wondered if originally did its photographer intend something different than how it had been interpreted ? Do some images take on a life of its own, one far from its original intention?
Could this image become a statement by her surprised stare, an awareness of those who have and those who have not… the difference of one generation to another……
Without diving too deep into this image,
What do you see?
The “decisive moment”..when you find it, and when it finds you
There are times when you seek out to make an image. Searching to find it is one thing, but being there long enough is everything.
So here I was with a group of various photographers, gathered together to share a day taking pictures at the Gold Coast Train Museum in Miami, Fl. which was a perfect and willing subject.
After spending a few hours shooting the exteriors of the trains I needed a break from the sun. I stepped inside one of the older cars and sat in one of the seats. My thoughts brought back memories of summer vacations , leaving New York, to visit my grandmother in Tampa, Fl., by a train just like this one, when train travel was more common.
I set the Blad on the tripod and took my time framing the scene. Just as I thought that I had found a perfect image, I looked down to focus, as an older gentlemen came inside tapping his cane followed by his younger granddaughter. As she sat down to duck my camera..
he asked: ” Am I in the picture?” I raised my head slowly, as though to receive Holy Communion and answered emphatically
” You are the picture “ ..
I asked the gentleman if he could just stay where he was and if he could remember a time he might have traveled in this type of car. He did… it was during WWll, taking him, a young soldier to his training camp… and lost in his memories, he struck a pose, cane in hand. I released the shutter and like in a matador’s “moment of truth,” time stood still long enough to steal it and become mine.
There are moments in photography that we look for but never find, but once in while, when we stop looking and take the time to connect to our surroundings, the moment finds us.
I love cartoons, especially those from Looney Tunes. Their characters were priceless, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and poor Porky Pig ( you remember him…” Aba De, aba de, aba de, …that’s all folks”). He had a hard time trying to say something when getting out his thoughts and would often just change his stuttering words to another. Like him, we can often do it as well, only visually.
The image on the right is the original ( jpeg ) as shot in camera. Nothing great about it, while it caught my eye, I reluctantly passed on it in my first edit.
A few days later I did a second edit and pulled out the same image. By applying some filters and effects I came up with the image on the left… maybe something with an artistic flair…
A few days later, in a final review, I couldn’t leave it alone, so I did a Wet Plate rendition.
With digital , we could go on endlessly with just one image, regardless if it’s good or bad. We could try to make something better than what it was to begin with….
BUT the question is: Are we really making it better or are we just doing
” Photographic Stuttering “
Like Porky stumbling on his words, are we stumbling on an image, trying to get something out there and that might not be any good to start with ?
are we visually saying ” Aba de, aba de, aba de,…that’s all folks” ?
Leave your thoughts below?