The Element of Surprise

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


About the author

Terry Schmidbauer: