Infatuated with color

Finally getting around to processing all the color slide film I have stashed in the freezer.  Found some fun street shots, probably from the spring of this year, made in Cedarburg, WI, just north of Milwaukee.

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With color film you of course look for over the top color.  Have you noticed how bold, primary colors are showing up in advertising and displays more and more?  Makes it fun to see how people present their goods while having a good time with them.

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Makes you want to throw on a swimsuit and hit the beach for some serious sand castle building.  The reflection just adds interest.

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According the company, Milwaukee’s finest beer.  Definitely some of the best signs around.

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

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What’s your perspective

Effective composition results in interesting images.  No brainer there but sometimes there are multiple possibilities for a single image.  Effective perspective delivers emotional impact in addition to interesting images.  And it can sometimes be the simplest of things.

For example, how do you photograph your roaring lions?  It does seem to make a difference how you pose them to get the greatest effect.  Should you emphasize noses?

Eyebrows?

Or manes?

Hard to decide.  Here’s all three for comparison:

Portrait photographers address this issue constantly to deliver the most flattering image of their subject and it does get harder as more people are added to the group.  People who study faces and catalog what we react to for beauty follow the rule of thirds as well, it seems.  The most dramatic pose doesn’t target the center of someone’s face but rather above the nose, with 1/3 of the face above and 2/3rds below.  Looks like it works for lions as well!

What do you think?

I don’t do street photography

Well, not as an intentional style.  You know, where I would hang out in the city with my Leica and B&W film, probably a 50mm lens, and observe what’s going on in search of a very poignant human moment or a lovely interaction.  Hey, I love great street photography and admire those photographers who jump right into the mess of humanity to focus on just the one composition that tells a great story.  Look at Allard’s work and you’ll see a true artist at work in the genre.  It’s just not what I’m comfortable doing.  At least not the traditional way.

ISO 100, 400mm, 1/30 sec., f/11

No, my street photography takes place on a little larger stage.   Catching people and nature interacting in a fashion unique to each and yet compatible together.

ISO 100, 108mm, 1/40 sec., f/11

Sometimes I wonder if people even know that animals are paying attention to them.  The goose won, by the way, and squawked victory for a minute or two afterwards.  Don’t think the kayak-er even noticed.  Two paddles in the water at the same time beats one stroke per side any day.

We’re only a veneer of civilization away from our roots in Nature and our connection to the citizens there so why not consider this a form of street photography?  I’m sure if the creatures had cameras they would be making similar images…..

Guest Post – Street Photography

Today I’m offering a perspective on an area of photography I don’t work in but appreciate people who give it a try.  Kate Cooper is a colleague from photography school who is stretching her skills to learn about street photography as a way to see differently through her viewfinder – she can usually be found in her studio creating portraits or at weddings making videos of the celebration.  Not only is this different from what I usually write about, it has the added benefit of a perspective from Great Britain, a transoceanic viewpoint if you will.  Kate does follow this blog so feel free to comment on her article.

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Street Photography

I stumbled across this genre of photography when I heard about the Street Photography Now Project (www.streetphotographynowproject.wordpress.com)
As a photographer it made a refreshing change to take images just for the fun of it rather than thinking how can I make money from this.

Street Photography aims to document the world we live in, it needs to have a strong human element, and can very often focus on human interaction, but more importantly it has to have something that makes you look at an image again and again; sound familiar?

How do you do it? A lot of the time you can incorporate signs, posters and other written messages and put a wry twist on their meaning. Other times you can take something everyday and by photographing it in a certain way use it to say something completely different.  Shadows are particularly good for conveying different meanings.

What are the challenges? The biggest are taking pictures of strangers without first asking their permission.  If you alert them that you are going to take a picture you get a pose not a natural response. On rare occasions you won’t get a positive response so you have to be equipped to deal with adverse reactions.

What are the photographic challenges? Street is usually capturing the moment so you will normally be without flash and tripod, dealing with low light or artificial light, where getting the right aperture and shutter speed is a constant battle.

You also need to be patient.  If you see a good composition you might need to wait for the right person to walk into your shot, what colour clothes are they wearing, red can be very eye-catching, does it need to be a young or older person, male or female? 2point8 (www.2point8.whileseated.org/wow-footer/) gives some really good advice on the practicalities of Street Photography. Colin W. Hunt takes his Street one step further by using fisheye (www.flickr.com/photos/25162451@N04).

Interested? Join in, its world wide, have fun.