Since the re-discovery of Elliott Erwitt’s work as a source of inspiration thanks to my daughter and resulting in last week’s post, I went out in the streets looking for occasions to create planned sequences – and not an ex-post created one I presented in the post last week. Luckily, in my city, there is an excellent photography exhibition site including a complete library of books, where I was able to find several of Erwitt’s publications. Sitting down at one of the tables in the library, I was fascinated by the book “Sequentially Yours” (here is a Time Magazine article on the book) in which I discovered many more of the sequences he created over the years and which were not covered in the small book I own. Many of the sequences presented in the book made laugh – for which the library director threw me an interrogative look…
The inspired hunt for sequences
Packed with ideas and inspiration, I went out to catch any opportunity for a sequence. However, this became quite complex as I did not free my mind of any other mini-project ideas and this multitracked approach hampered the focused search for sequences. In the future, I will probably try to really concentrate and prepare for only one (maximum two) of my mini-projects when in the streets.
Working on sequences seems as well to strengthen the need to work a scene, this means, sticking around an interesting spot and waiting for the right moment, the right person/people, or else. I should probably re-activate my connected bracelet to count the number of steps I do during a day in the streets with my camera/s. I might be far beyond the WHO’s recommendations of 10,000 steps per day for those photo sessions. While this is probably good for my health and condition, it is not always conducive to my shooting.
Back in the digital darkroom
Despite those mistakes, I was able to shoot a couple of small series or sequences of pictures. Of those, only one actually made it through the editing process once back in front of my computer. The final decision was made on one criterion: does it make me laugh – or at least smile. Yes, it does and I hope you share my kind of humor on that one. For information, I was out with the Fuji X100F and its 23 mm lens making me stand on the other side of the street. As a consequence, I needed to crop the picture to concentrate on the pub and the main scene of the sequence.
Looking for the four monkeys in the sequence?
Wondering where the four monkeys are? Look in the third window from the right and you might detect another unwanted selfie – repeated four times in the sequence!
My personal takeaways from this experience are:
- focus on one or a maximum of two projects/series per photo session in the streets;
- work the scene and be patient, meaning stick around and find the best angle and perspective and be ready when the right person walks into the frame; and yes,
- sequences and series of photos should be planned and prepared, but are great fun.