Its two weeks since we received the brief for the street photography/moment assignment. here are some things I have learned so far:
#1. Not much happens in Wexford during February.
#2. Street photography is best suited to spaces/places where there is a reasonable amount of people coming and going. This is not the case in Wexford town during February.
#3. A brass neck is required. street shooting is definitely not for wallflowers. I heard many muttered swearwords as I clicked away on the street. mothers with buggies gave the most evil-eyes. As a parent with young children, I empathise.
#4. I used some techniques used by Garry Winogrand. He used to play the role of silly tourist type; the hapless kind of character, accidentally clicking the shutter while toying with his camera; pretending to check his gear then… click. I found smiling helped a little. The wife had a good laugh as she watched from the sidelines!
For the assignment I had to borrow a friend’s 18-55mm Sigma lens to go on my 5D. the Sigma lens was made for APS/crop sensors, leaving me with heavy vignetting on anything I have so far shot. Good glass is expensive, and even the modest quality Canon EF 35mm f/2 lens is 300 euro. I have a Leica M6 with a 35mm Summicron but BW processing is slow and expensive here. So, despite the Leica being camera of choice for this assignment, I had to go with my not so inconspicuous 5d. Maybe my lotto numbers will come in and I can get myself a Leica M9. (drool)
Having said all that, I realise there is no ‘silver bullet’ camera or lens. Chase Jarvis once said: “The best camera is the one you have with you”.