I went to a workshop on street photography in SF this weekend. The location was the Haight-Ashbury, so no shortage of unusual people in the street. The instructor taught a specific style, with zone-focusing and some other tips. It’s not how I do street photography, but it’s a useful technique.
I was shooting with my unobtrusive monochrome camera and a 28mm prime, which is pretty much ideal for street photography.
As always, I got only a few shots I like. One mistake I made consistently was to have a bright background when my subject was in shadow. Gotta reverse that. And I was often shooting quickly without bringing the camera to my eye, so doing exposure compensation or changing exposure settings manually wasn’t in the cards.
I really do prefer engaging people in a conversation, then asking if I can take their picture. Just works better for me. These three were Jehovah’s Witnesses looking for French converts and I talked with them—in French. That broke the ice.
I talked for several minutes with this man. Gave him my card so he could email me for digital copies. Not expecting to hear from him.
This was the kind of “decisive moment” we were trying to capture. Shot from the hip. Not my style, but quirky.
Check out the tattos on this couple. I probably should have chatted them up and asked them to pose for me.
One more decisive moment. Out of focus and blurry, but it does capture the moment when she threw her head back and laughed at a remark from her boyfriend.
All in all, I learned something useful and got some, well, one, decent street portrait. But it was a fun day. Makes me think of that T-shirt, but with “photographing” in place of “fishing”: The worst day photographing is better than the best day working.
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