The camera was ready

I just had my bike parked in the underground parking and, as usual, had prepared my camera for the shoot of that day. And then I had to wait for this lady to finish loading her bike. Click.

Maybe it’s better to have my camera around my neck already when I start riding, even more chance of catching impromptu street scenes!

Work?

Last week a member of the photoclub cited from a book and that was interesting enough to have me buy it. And it provided some insights; one of them was that an underlying theme often makes itself clear during photographing. Thus I noticed I often make pictures of people involved in or related to work.

In a video of his Chuck Jines suggested to look for scenes instead of people and that’s exactly what I did here. The shadows of the trees on the white wall drew my attention and I’ve stood here for over half an hour waiting for things to happen.

And this comes from playing with the camera.

I just wonder if you noticed that the tree obscures the separation between the building which introduces sort of a puzzle. My wife, being my most candid critic, saw it but didn’t think much of it.

On another note, I had a full-blown setup with me comprising 4 lenses and a gripped camera in a sling-bag. Completely unnecessary for this shoot, I only used the (big) 35mm lens but this combo was far from inconspicuous. All the passers-by saw that weird guy with his big camera taking pictures of a wall, but they apparently couldn’t care less, even when it was completely obvious I was waiting to shoot until they appeared in front of the lens. Once again it shows me that size of the camera is not a real factor in how people react.

Evening shots

These dark winter days are the time to do evening shots. They pose their own problems: people’s faces are often badly illuminated, if at all, and tend to drown in bright shop windows etcetera. It often calls for more post-processing and color balance hardly ever is ideal. Nevertheless I think these work best in color. The square where these photos were made, is an interesting place: it’s part of the city center’s shopping area, but also serves as a pathway for pedestrians and bikers between the railway station and an area with a lot of offices, so this makes for a mix of activities.

It feels like I kind of exhausted this line of photographing, maybe I’m repeating myself. Maybe it’s time to do something different or step up my game. On a few occasions I made pictures in less crowded areas, also shooting scenes without people, but once again I just didn’t care for what I came home with.

A change of place maybe? I made a series in another city (Utrecht) and I still haven’t come to the point of deciding which of them to publish. They feel so different! Upon revisiting the photos I also noticed I switched between 35mm and 50mm lenses a number of times. I don’t do that anymore, I leave home with only one lens these days. Changing focal length throws me off, it takes too much time to get a feel for the field of view after the lens swap.

Ordered a book today, a re-issue of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment, hoping to broaden my horizon. I’m most drawn to Garry Winogrand’s work at this moment, he made the kind of pictures that I’d love to have made.