Introspectives #19

I’ve a habit of buying books on hobbies (crochet; Spanish; Tai Chi etc.) perhaps in the vague hope that the reading material will convert to skill through some kind of tactile absorption. So it was with some relief to read this in my latest acquisition: “The Street Photographer’s manual”:-

“A camera is a tool but a small library of photographic books contributes far more towards the goal of taking meaningful pictures” (David Gibson)

I can’t praise this volume enough since there is plenty of name dropping for inspiration as well as digestible chapters on the contextual aspects of taking street shots as opposed to technicalities e.g. busy; quiet; abstract. Moreover Gibson provides a number of interesting projects to follow through on with helpful hints and guidance.

Despite living in the city I shy away from taking photos in public not least because I am loathe to intrude on people – but since the street is my landscape I ought to make more use of it. I yearn for the photogenic wide open spaces but am confined to rub shoulders with a large population and although not beautiful, there is surely most interest in people and their activities.

I’ve put together some archive and recent shots to give myself some idea of what catches my eye. Split second timing can make or break and shot and here are some that did not make it!

Although not technically brilliant, am happier with the composition of these:

Street Photography Project for May: Once a month I’ve decided to pursue the street photography projects in Gibson’s book – first up is Order: “Practice on the flow of people coming towards you on a busy street or from a fixed point”



22 thoughts on “Introspectives #19

  1. Split-second timing is essential for panned shots. To get that blurry background effect – which shows movement best – you have to work out exactly where figures will be when you click the shutter. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. It entails judging at what speed the object or figures are travelling, and how much faster that will seem to be going as they pass by. Then you have to try to work out how fast you’re going to have to pan in order not to miss them. It’s a lot easier done from a distance.

    Just to correct one tiny weeny point; having lived in Spain for well over a decade I can say with great confidence most Spanish people do not regard their native language as a hobby : )

    1. Crikey Bryan that sounds like geophysics! fortunately there are often so many of us in one place that we cannot move fast 😉
      shamefaced I am about treating Spanish as yet another of my on-off hobbies- have lost my mojo for learning at the moment and yet estaré allí en dos semanas, para caminar en el norte este

  2. Hi Laura, I love the cropping on the intro to this project. I took a course some years ago on photojournalism photography and the very first lesson in the course was to be able to take photographs without looking through the viewfinder. It is not like taking blinders on but knowing where your camera is aimed whether you shoot from the waist or shoulder or even from the side. Since that course, I have been able to take pictures of people with the camera practically in their faces without them knowing that they are my subject. Of course with digital, you can practice away without end at no cost and really refine the art.
    Blessings on your shooting.

    1. one of the guiding principles for street photos is to have zooming and cropping at minimum so unless I’m prepared to do as you suggest, the subject will often be too far. I tried that aiming without viewing on trees not so long ago and was a fascinating endeavour. Thank you for all your input and encouragements Sherwood

      1. Actually, that was one of my instructors innovations, get in close and use a wide angle lens. I have even talked to the people I wanted to photograph, using the (not so innocent excuse) that it was for a photo assignment. Surprisingly they would allow me to follow them around. It is extremely difficult at times but occasionally it actually works and the results can often be remarkable.

  3. I’m going to have to look up that manual. I feel the same way about living in London and taking photos around the city. I seem to take pictures everywhere else but here. Of course, things like everyday life get in the way, but still. Looking forward to seeing your results.

    1. You’re ‘spotted cow’ I guess – let me know your thoughts on ‘David Gibson’s “The Street Photographer’s Manual (2014)- maybe we can join up for the projects some time

      1. I’ve found it on Amazon. Yes, will let you know when I’ve got stuck in. And it would be great to have a fellow photographer to do projects with around town.

        1. Enjoy! Am just over half way through and searching out the images of the several famous street photographers that are mentioned whom I’ve never heard of! Must get out more 😉 I am doing the first one in May – fancy it? You’ll find it on p 55

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