Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Shooting in the Streets

Matt Stuart got it right when he started focusing on the optical illusions in his street photography. It's hard to tell how much of his work is posed, or even edited in Photoshop, but after falling for Andreas Gursky I just don't give a damn. Art is as art does.

When I started playing around with photography after college, I was a purist. I read Ansel Adams and his Group f/64 and wondered if, even though I loved colors, I should be shooting black and white film in my Nikon F3. I had an actual hand-held light meeter, average gray card, and little boxes of slide film. I printed my own color from negatives for a short while, struggling with the technical aspect of printing as well as the expense. Then came a fully automatic Nikon F 100 into my life, as the F3 left with a well meaning (or just mean) ex-girlfriend. This changed everything.

No longer bound to calculations of apertures, I was just clicking away. I burned through film faster than I could scan it in. Around the same time I upgraded my computer and borrowed my first illegal copy of Photoshop with all the bells and whistles. I learned how to airbrush in color and out clutter. I thought: my tainted photos are much better than my pure photos. Huh.

Not long after spending a camera-body's worth of cash on film and developing from a northern European trip, I switched to digital completely. And, like everyone else, I've never looked back.

I've considered taking my camera out for street photography more from time to time. The real skill here being open to being stared at, I think. Well, and always having the camera ready. I mostly just shoot my own dog and flowers because they seem to do better when observed in detail. Any they are very accepting of my efforts.

I doubt I'm going to jump up and start shooting people in the streets, but I am looking for something more creative to do with my glass. Stay tuned.

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