Long ago, in the era of film, it was fun to shoot street scenes. They only thing that curtailed my shooting then was the cost of film, processing, and printing; among other things, like the need to attend school, etc. We always shot in black and white too, as colour was much too expensive, besides which black and white was the medium on the street beat, and could be developed and printed in a home darkroom without an enormous investment in equipment. Digital has changed all that, mostly for the better, with the exception of the tendency to want to buy a new camera every few years. My Minolta SRT 101 lasted 25 years, and was every bit as good as the finest cameras money could buy. Not so today.
Nevertheless, my present DLSR is certainly good enough, even if it is already technically obsolete. This morning I had an hour to kill while getting some work done on the car, so I brought the camera along and wandered around the downtown core. I converted these images to black and white, because I feel that they have more impact when you remove colour as a consideration; it’s all about subject matter. That is the point of street photography. I tried not to shoot photos of people right up front and in their faces, because I’ve never felt comfortable doing that. Today in fact I shot a picture of one fellow who passed me on the sidewalk and heard the click of the very noisy shutter of my Pentax K50. He stopped and turned to ask me if I’d taken his picture. Since I had a photograph of only his back I replied I had not, hoping he would drop the subject, but he didn’t. He told me to show him that I hadn’t taken his picture. I told him there was nothing to see, and walked away. He then called me an f-ing goof. Some street people are known to suffer from paranoia, so I guess he was one of them. I will not use the picture of his back in any case.
PS: last day for the free ebook!
2 responses to “City Life”
Those are very nice images. It is inspiring to shoot monochrome digital, especially with a short flange distance mirrorless where you can adapt a film camera lens and enjoy direct manual focus and a real aperture ring.
Regarding including pictures of people while in public, just tell them, if they ask, “yes,” then walk away. There’s no presumed right of privacy while in public, at least in most countries; though some, like France, give an individual the right of ownership of their public image. So perhaps you made the right decision. I know this can be controversial; follow your heart.
Good points, thanks. Glad this isn’t France. I agree on the old manual lenses being a joy to use, but I have to admit I rarely bother!