Tortoise and the Hare

Posted on November 22, 2013

I don’t remember thinking about the concept of fast verses slow when I shot this image but once I realized it when I was going through my daily shots, I found the best image out the multiply images I shot at the train station that morning. Because the light was quite dim near the bottom of the frame, I had to keep the shutter speed slow. This allowed for the blurred movement in the person running up the stairs but it was still fast enough to capture a sharp image of the man on the escalator. This may have been a happy accident but I really think I perceived the image correctly in the field only to discover it later when I had some time to evaluate my images.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/15, f/5.6, ISO 100

The Element of Surprise

Posted on November 21, 2013

When you spend any time in a city like San Francisco you discover there are tourists with cameras everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with that; not only are they creating memories for of a lifetime, they are also making it easier for me to take pictures without people noticing.

Hardly anyone pays attention to me when I’m taking their picture on Market Street. They are just so used to having a camera in their environment that they give my camera no never mind. Although I still keep my distance as I don’t like the in-your-face style of street photography. A successful photo for me is when someone doesn’t even know they’re being photographed.

There’s something about this shot that always brings a smile to my face. Maybe its the unexpected element like the little camera coming out of the window that I find so amusing. The camera is a surprise, you don’t expect to see it coming out of the window. Then there the surprising scale comparison, the camera is so little compared to the streetcar that it almost seems like a toy. Humor and surprise is a wonderful compositional tool and I should and use it more.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/2000, f/1.7, ISO 50

The Weight of the World

Posted on November 20, 2013

This alley is a block from my work and I’ve checked it out a number of times looking for some interesting light but I was never quiet satisfied. Finally I got the light I wanted and set up my camera for a shot. The idea was to frame an interesting composition and then let someone enter my frame to complete the image. I was actually waiting there for about 5 minutes when someone finally entered my viewfinder, it seemed like forever. The initial person was a man who was walking toward the camera from the far end of the alley. I got about five shots off when from behind me a women entered my frame. She was carrying some very heavy bags and had a this incredibly pronounced hunched in her back. I tracked her down the alley and captured her every ten feet or so. Although I really wanted to move into a different position, I stayed put and stuck to my initial composition.

It was not until I got the frames on the computer that I realized what I had captured. The arch in her back was a perfect addition to the repeating shapes of the light posts. Keeping her in the lower third of the frame makes it feel like she’s carrying the weight of the world on her back. I’ve processed this in both monochrome and in color and both work but the color has a certain mood to it that I really like.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/90, f/8, ISO 500

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