Here are three more images from the weekend workshop with Ian MacDonald.
The young woman above was sitting at the Vancouver Art Gallery listening to her music, watching some skateboarders. A smile and a wave of my camera was all it took to get a approving nod from her as an OK to take some photos.
The images below were all studies in practicing ‘light’, ‘shadows’ and silhouettes.
In this next image I was capturing shadows cat by people waling in front of the lit pillar. I was having some success but it wasn’t until this cyclist walked by closer to me, out of the light that I captured this. At first glance it appears to be a shadow on the pillar but upon closer inspection you can see the cyclist is just a silhouette. The added bonus here is the mirroring of the two similar cyclists.
The image below from the Waterfront Station had this man on the phone. I liked the lighting but the image was not working. It wasn’t until he leaned over to look out the window that the ‘story’ gets captured. It appears he is looking at the man outside the right most window. This may not be the case at all, but from the viewers perspective, that’s how the story reads. This lends to the importance of the man outside being there. Imagine this image without the man outside. The story changes completely.
There are many things to photograph on the streets. These can become a distraction if you wander around aimlessly. If you choose ‘something’ to photograph ahead of time, like specific subjects, themes, or in this case, lighting, it becomes easier to get images because you are actively searching them out.
One thing that always (mostly) works well in Street Photography is capturing moments. No, not the right timing and not the Henry Cartier-Bresson “decisive” moment, but rather a moment where emotions can be read in people’s faces. A moment between two people or a moment when someone realizes something or notices something and you can see it in their face.
These moments can be difficult to catch as they are often fleeting moments. One must be ready, and quick. Or, one must be stealthy and maneuver into place and then get the shot knowing you will only fire one or two off before they notice you and the moment will be gone. They can also be difficult because the perceived moment we see in real life will not always transfer into the final image. Sometimes the lighting will cause problems or perhaps the subjects face will not transfer or display emotions well when captured in camera.
Here are two examples of moments shot this past weekend. The above one is a calm, caring moment between two young people in love. The background and location help set a story for you to read into. In this case I had to do the stealthy thing and be ready as I approached. Amazingly I was able to fire 5 or 6 shots and continued on my way and I’m not sure if they even noticed me.
In this example I was chatting with Ian and the camera was hanging from my neck. On and ready. All of a sudden, this woman started yelling at this man. Keep in mind this is in Chinatown close to the Vancouver East Side. We had seen and heard a lot of people yelling for no reason all day. After a few short yells she grabbed him as it was time for him to take the family photo in front of the pond. They were both so loud and animated at the very beginning. As they were so close it was startling at first but then the “get this shot” got in my head. I quickly fired off two shots before the event was all over.
This is the other kind of moment where something dramatic happens and all you can do is react quickly to catch it. The gestures here play an important role in telling the story.
The exposure was not perfect as I was set to underexpose by one and a half stops as I was working on “shadows”. But, still managed a workable grab. You can never set this kind of stage!!
I just completed a two and a half day workshop with Fuji-X Street Photographer Ian MacDonald. A full day of class split between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and a full day and a half of walking the streets.
Ian talked about Street Photography, what it is, the art of, skills, techniques, camera settings, how he does things, what to shoot and what to look for. We did some drills and practiced some techniques and had some time to photograph on our on and some one on one time with Ian to get personal help. We also had Q&A session throughout all three days. Sunday afternoon we finished with showing fellow classmates some of our images and having everyone critique and discuss images. It was a fabulous two and a half days of Street Photography immersion, meeting new friends, improving our skills and gaining street confidence. Thanks Ian for the great workshop! Ian’s workshops sell out and he just recently announced a third Vancouver workshop. He also has workshops in Paris and Toronto and has some excellent must read articles on his bog. Check him out at ianmacdonaldphotography.com.
I’ll post a few images of mine from the sessions in the next few days. These here are all of classmates at work!!