tired old men

There are times when I just happen upon a scene while driving and my foot involuntarily steps on the brake.  It has become a subconscious reaction.  At other times when my brain kicks in, I over analyze and miss everything.  Too many thought processes – will the scene still be the same after finding a parking spot and reaching there on foot?  Is there enough light to make a good shot?  Will I be allowed to take a photo?  Am I nuts?  Is the person I am shooting nuts?  Is there a policeman around?  Will he shoot me if I shoot him?  By the time I have decided to let instinct take over, I’ve already driven too far away.

man, bike, tire

So I always keep in mind that whatever I see in front of me will not happen again.  Ever.  Then I bring the car to a screeching halt, grab my camera and rush out.  I’m sure this fine chap was convinced that I should be in locked up in the loony bin as much as I think that that spare tire of his will never ever fit on his bike.  It sure takes one nutcase to recognize another.

man reading newspaper with a calendar of a beautiful woman at the back

This is another such example.  I’ve circled the block twice, found a parking space but was shooed away by the traffic officer.  He probably didn’t like my looks.  I was fine with that.  The feeling was mutual.   Luckily this guy wasn’t a fast reader.

Ok, ok.  The calendar girl did catch my attention.  She was looking at me very intensely when I first passed by.  After the second pass, she was still looking at me the same way.  So I got up close, and when this guy started looking at me the same way, I had to shoot him.

Shooting people in public draws a lot of different reactions.  Some will cover their faces, while others will just get back to what they were doing.  I let them know that I am posting their photos on this blog, and sometimes show them the other photos I’ve taken, and that puts them at ease.

I usually shoot at the widest angle at 17mm on my Canon EOS405D, or at 24mm with my Lumix LX-5.    Distance to subject is around 1 meter, sometimes even less.  The trick is to get close, and how to get there is done with a polite smile and striking up a conversation.  It’s all about human interaction.  It never was about the camera.

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28 thoughts on “tired old men

  1. Orlando, great narrative and I especially love the black and white take on all your photos. I live overses now but your photos strike a real chord close to my heart as I can relate to the scenery you capture. I grew up in Tondo, Manila. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and keep up the wonderful record of your remarkably unique town.

  2. I’ve just discovered your blog and I absolutely love it! Your photography is raw and beautiful and you make it easy to imagine standing there in your shoes…looking forward to checking back in for more!! Thanks for sharing….

  3. The photo of the young calendar girl and the old guy reading the news is amazing. You get the difference between old and young, women and men, real-life and distilled life. Wonderful!

  4. Nice pictures and story! Good to read as I’m off to North India soon and will probably find myself in similar situation :)

  5. I enjoy seeing your pictures. The people are in their element, and the details of where they are and what they’re doing is so interesting (probably not to them, but to me). I particularly enjoy your comments about how you go about taking pictures.

    • thanks. This is something I don’t envy you as I can really get in close and be literally in people’s faces with my camera whereas you’re sure to get arrested if you do that in the US. And then taking photograph of kids too.. it’s definitely more fun in the Philippines.

  6. Hahaha, the calendar girl caught my attention too, before I could read your narration:) you are such a good story teller, and has a good heart. The camera helped too.

    • I guess it’s because I only have a handful of photos of ladies in this blog.. they’re quite hard to find, unless I resort to just shooting faces, which I don’t think will lead to a good story. Or maybe it will.

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