Category Archives: Street Photography

Thanksgiving Anti-Parade

My grand daughter wanted to see the photos I made at the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. Come on, cut me a break….I live here and I’m not letting an event like this pass me by. So I load the GRD4 attach a strap, put a few batteries in my pocket and hit the street. See, that’s the word that gets me every time…”Street”. I’m a streetshooter. What could be easier then doing a parade? Well, if the parade wasn’t on the street…I’d be ok.

Unfortunately, when I hit the street, I go into work mode. I’m just waiting for an image to pop up and call to me. This may or may not be a good thing. I guess it depends on what part of the parade you want to see.

So I walk around making photos and try to keep from feeling like I don’t belong. I try to find what makes me feel like I fit in.

I never find that tho’ and just keep looking and making photos.

I guess it’s just that I’m a streetshooter…..

Hipshot, Chestshot, The GRD4 It Still Smells of Street **** or **** How The 21mm Adapter Showed Me The Way Home.

Well the GRD4 once again proves to be a very worthy camera. It’s that I feel that any camera provides me the energy or inspiration to work, it’s just that the Ricoh lets me work and thing without intruding on me.

I went out today and used the 21mm adapter. It’s normally to wide for me but I need photos for an upcoming workshop on freeing the self and also editing. The camera is on a neck strap hanging as low as I can get it. I don’t use a finder even tho I have the Leica. I hate putting the camera to my face and covering life in front of me. There’s a magic in working this way without a finder and using your internal eye.

I think the beauty is in the discovery of a shared vision. The camera and I work together to make the images. Yes, it’s always like that but working this way is more of a conscious effort in the collaboration between the two of us.  I can’t make claim to 100 percent of the result. The camera gets it’s say as much as I do. This being the way I think and actually the way it is, is liberating and visually exciting.

With the camera hanging in front of your chest, theres a very cool non intrusive presence to the subject. I let it hang and when getting ready for an exposure, I place my hand on the camera and my thumb gets the duty the finger usually has.

The strange this is, the photos show eye contact but yet the camera is hanging down low. If in fact it was true eye contact, then the eye would not meet the viewer right on. This means that the subject looks at the camera but mostly never sees the thumb release the shutter.

I find it interesting that so many people walk around with their head in a low position. Of course the camera loves this kind of positioning.

So, even for straight street, this is a great setup. In all the photos, I never looked at the screen. I just feel the frame and then move my body slightly to make the frame the way I want.

It should be noted that the GRD4 has a sense of humor and proves itself in some photos that I won’t publish.

More tomorrow as the 21mm adventure continues…….        It’s tomorrow…strange how that works….hmmmm

This is more mainstream for me but it was because I met a shooter downtown from a forum we both belong to. She asked me to show her how to feel the frame. A good question I thought to meself.

I said, self…we need to help this lady out. Her issue was that she didn’t understand how to relate the subject to the background. I explained that, that is the entire thing about photography, painting etc. What lives in the fram must relate to everything in it good or bad.

Taking the elements of the frame and putting them together makes the image. Just as important is the presentation of the image.

All photos processed in http://www.streetpresets.com/  my presets for Light Room 4 & Nik Silver Efex.

Saturday Morning…. I had an appointment at the VA Hosp for more treatments. I’m not excited about that but it gives me a reason to get on the street and work.

I’m still doing the chestshot with the GRD4/21. It’s interesting. I can just about see full frame now and that’s neither good nor bad, not sure. I don’t like being predictable but I love consistency. Beings a Libra, balance is always my goal. The above photo was made on the spur as this new work is. I saw the image come together in my head in a fraction of a second. I knew how to process it to get my result. and new the framing about as good as I could get it.

I get these images sometimes that are more like dreams to me. I mean I am conscious when I make them but when I get them finished….it’s just a dream….. There was this kid named Jasper at the bus stop with his dad and sister. Jasper was about 10 years old. He liked my white camera and asked if I had a white camera because I was white. I asked him if he had a black camera because he was black. He smiled and said his dad did but he was allowed to use it at partys. Then he used my camera to make a portrait of me…..hmmmm

Observations

I posted this image a few days ago on Flickr and a few forums I visit. No one could figure out what the woman was doing. Some thought she was on a cell phone. Some thought she was doing something with makeup or the like.
Actually, her name is Diane. She is a photographer. She came to me for guidance on street work. She was changing the lens on her M8.2. She was worried about dust from the concourse getting on the sensor so I told her to get close to the wooden wall. I made the photo with every intention of it being ambiguous.

Subway Concourse, Phila. Pa

I planned on documenting the occupation on Dilworth Plaza whenever I could get there. I would go and take my GXR and move in and out of the scene and capture the overall feeling of the group. I work almost invisible and try to only observe and record. I really try to do the documentary thing but sometimes, like always…. I see an image that is a part of everything and yet it is just there by itself. It is just breathing by itself. The energy starts to overcome me and I go into my usual semi-trance mode. I hear nothing, see nothing, smell nothing unless it is related to the new image waiting to be born.

And then when all is right, the finger gets to do it’s magic….Snap!

Occupy Philly