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.
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.
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.