Photography, photojournalism

Assignment #2 street photography

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”.

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One thought on “Assignment #2 street photography

  1. Jo Ellicott says:

    Yes, Yes and Yes again! I have encountered similar experiences even though one might think that strange being that I’m in Johannesburg! I like your ‘coping’ strategies for getting in close; I also struggled with this. I am interested in the kind of people you have been following. I found that in more central areas people are so aware of the potential of a digital photograph that I even found myself in a confrontational situation but when I visited China Town and played the tourist (with family in tow; a very useful diversion!) no one took much notice. So maybe its a cross between the audience and their experiences/feelings and your own approach including entourage or not! Looking forward to seeing a bit of Wexford….

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