Saturday, 14 March 2015

Is Everything

Since my brain seems to be on a "let's talk about this roll" I thought of one other thing I've noticed while I've been out trying to take photos of people out and about.  Timing really is everything.

See, I know this camera I have does better with more light and so I try to get out when there is more light and to try to find spots where the light is hitting or is reflecting or sometimes both.

So it's all about being in the right place at the right time.  Too soon and they're going to notice you and it'll look weird, too late and they might have moved or left.

Like, I saw this guy standing perfectly awesomely at the corner of a building that was totally lit up by a sunbeam.  I stopped to put my hair up and out of the way and then kept walking (he was about two blocks away) and by the time I got about a block away he walked away.  Darn... missed it.

I know that "timing is everything" is a cliché but it actually really is the big thing in this type of photography.

You have to find what it is you want to shoot... get there... frame it... adjust whatever in the camera might need adjusted and get the photo, hopefully how you wanted it to look.  But often they're moving!  So you maybe take a few shots in a row as they're walking... well now it's blurry.  Or you get to where you want to take the shot from but now something else is in the way and you've got your camera pointed at this person and they look up at you maybe with a smile, maybe with a "what's going on" look and now the shot isn't what you thought you saw.  It's maybe something else, but it's not what you thought you wanted.

I think that's part of why the time a year or three ago I went out and shot with the zoom it felt easier.  I could see something and get it with the zoom and not have to speed walk there.

You're combining the light, the camera, you, the subject, the other people, and frigging everything else and oh, by the way, are you feeling brave enough to actually do this?

I have a couple of shots from my first or second day of trying that I missed.  As in, I didn't take them at all.  And they're rather endelibly stuck in my brain.

One was this gorgeous girl who was standing at the bus stop reading her book but because it's early Spring, people are putting themselves into the light for warmth and so she was standing utterly glowingly highlight by this reflected golden beam of light and I didn't stop to take the photo.  I just walked by.


And then a block later there was this awesome older Asian fellow sitting on an overturned bucket, probably taking a smoke break from the kitchen he works at and it would have been this awesome shot but.. I just walked on by.


I tell myself that it's good that I'm noticing and that I'm working on the timid part of it, but I also reassure myself that I'm still learning and practicing and that maybe these shots are better in my head as I'm not quite able to get what I see and think I took to actually be what I saw.

But yeah.  Timing.



Blogger Yvonne said...

I learned about Cartier-Bresson's Decisive Moment in art school and you've figured it all out on your own!
So glad you've rediscovered your passion for taking photos!
One of the things that has stuck in my head from my first year photo instructor was that when you're taking a photo, you should either be elated or terrified. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2015 8:50:00 am  
Blogger Jason Langlois said...

Can you set your camera to bracket shoot? I found that sometimes helped, letting me mostly worry about shutter speed rather than the f-stops.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:41:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Thanks Y. It's up and down...

And yeah, sometimes terrified for sure ;)

I could Jason, but would rather not. I'm running on aperture mode right now so that's taking most of the thinking out of it anyway.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 7:55:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Beckett said...

I sometimes take photos with my phone on railway station platforms, or on underground trains, and nobody ever raises an eyebrow. I tend to think that most people are really not that interested in what others are doing - we just THINK they are...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 6:00:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Maybe. And a phone is less noticeable too than a giant camera held up to your eye...?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 7:58:00 am  

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