Alley Smoker

Posted on January 27, 2014

I’ve been mostly concentrating on architecture lately but this one appeared when I least expected it. I stopped at the entrance to an ally and was in the process of framing a shot when this man asked me “What do you see?” He added that he’s out there everyday and someone always stops to take a photo. He had always wondered what the allure of the alley was.

I explained to him about the quality of light in ally. The alley is enclosed on three sides by some very tall buildings. The light from the sky is framed by the buildings and creates a gigantic soft-box. The light fades beautifully as it descends the height of the alley. At the far end of the alley there were some windows with interior lights glowing in the darkness not getting any light from above. I started to explain to him about how the perspective lines lead the viewers eye into the composition and that’s where I lost him.

Just before he went back to his cigarette, I captured this photo. It’s slightly soft probably because he was moving but I still really like this moment. He wasn’t expecting me to take his picture so his gesture is honest and not at all posed. I wished him a nice day and headed back to the office.

SONY, ILCE-7, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
1/60, f/6.3, ISO 1600

Above Water

Posted on January 24, 2014

I took this portrait of Alanha a couple of years ago at Rattle Snake Lake in North Bend, WA. We were doing a photoshoot for stock photography where I wanted some water shots. This one is still my favorite shots from that shoot.

SONY, SLT-A77V, SAL 35mm 1.8 SAM
1/320, f/9, ISO 100

Quickly from Instinct

Posted on January 16, 2014

This shot is looking down Bush Street in San Francisco’s financial district during rush hour. I set up to take this shot because I was interested in the view if a traffic jam from a higher vantage point. As I was moving around trying out different framing options, this man got out of his car and struck a pose, it completed the composition. I focused on him, centered him in the frame and captured an image as quickly as I could. I knew this moment wouldn’t last very long so I made all of my decisions quickly from instinct.

It’s these happy accidents that are the real joy of street photography for me and the reason I keep me coming back for more. These moments always seem to happen at the most unexpected times so it so important to practice everyday. It’s like being a musician, you need to practice everyday to get better.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/8000, f/2, ISO 400

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