Photography in the Streets

There are two types of photos that I have always loved to look at but have never really attempted.   The first is war photography.  Don McCullin is by far my favourite on the war side but obviously war photography is not something I will ever be doing (I hope) but I find his images so captivating and horrifying.   The 2nd type is street photography.   This is one I can do but have been kinda baffled on how to do it.

Earlier this year I posted about trying to do more black and white and street work.  This was my excuse in purchasing the X100F when I already had the 100S and the X-T1.   New camera will give me more courage right?   LOL, ya right.

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After all the stresses of the past 3 months – losing Jackson, death of Jen’s dad, illnesses and the winter that will never end, we ended up FINALLY getting a lovely sunny day, on a weekend.   It was a lovely 10C with blue skies.   Time to try out street work.

I usually do my best work when I’m alone but given that it was a beautiful day and I have been trying to teach Jen photography (passively) she came along.  Not that I have any issues with her being along – haha.   She has my older X100S and me with the new F.   All the pictures are over here – The Canadian Loon

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What did I learn about street photography?  I learned that I have no balls.   It was also very hard to stay in black and white on such a beautiful blue sky day after months of white and overcast.   But that’s ok, I shot black and white but had RAW set to capture those images in colour that needed it.    But where I struggle is taking pictures of people.  With 23mm you really are up close and personal.    Even though almost no one looked at my little Fuji or freaked out.   Not that I took a lot of pictures either.   But I still feel that going to a 50mm lens would feel more like stalking.

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The pleasant surprise to me was that Jen seems to take to the streets way better then I did.   She would actually stop and talk to someone – in particular one lady who was carrying a rabbit – have a conversation and then ask to take a photo.   That is what I need to learn to do.  Talk to a stranger.   As well, make sure I have some coins in my pockets for taking pictures of the various performers.   That slipped my mind.    I did manage to get a few candid shots that I liked but I definitely missed a ton that I should have gotten.  I look forward to seeing Jen’s shots to see how she made out being way more aggressive then I was.

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This was a great scouting trip, my next step is to get down there and just sit somewhere and try and be patient to catch passing moments.   The other is to get back down there at night.   I think I identified a few good locations for some night shots as the Byward Market which is usually hopping.

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But happy to take any advise from those who work the streets.  I kept it simple.  Locked the F stop to F8 to give me good focus, RAW and Arcos to catch both colour and black and white and tried to blend in.   We walked several kilometers but I can see hunkering down to a smaller area.

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It was weird not to try and look closer instead of taking big wide landscape vista pictures.   That parliament building was screaming at me, but I have tons of those photos.  I need to retrain my eye to see up close and more personal and to try and capture a story.  I didn’t really get the story this time round but we’ll be out all year trying to wrap my tiny brain around this now concept that I do enjoy.

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