Standing still


September 20, 2017

I am starting to get a little bit further down the road in my discovery of street photography. How do I know that? I just do – with every hour more I spend outside with my camera ready for the next shot, I have the impression that I more and more know how to look for the scenes, situations, and compositions that I find worth a shot. This is obviously extremely subjective. And I am starting to overcome – or at least to better manage – the fear to take pictures of complete strangers in the streets: I move less and even stand still to take the picture. Unfortunately, I still shoot quite often from the hip. I still find it difficult to bring the camera to the eye and be in a clear photographer’s posture with a 35 mm equivalent lens and the wish (and need) to get rather close to my subjects. While I more and more have the impression that people in the street do not really care and ignore photographers, it is still a different story when you hold the camera directly in the face of other people.

What changed recently is the “technique” to shoot from the hip: until now, I solely used a wrist strap and held the camera in portrait just at the height of my thigh. Instead of using the wrist strap, I started to use a sling strap which brings the camera up to my belly and in landscape. The strap over my should adds some more stability and helps to better control the direction of the lens. I am far from mastering shooting from the hip and there are still many failed attempts unfortunately, but I feel that the pictures improve in terms of composition and expressiveness.

After this attempt to contextualize my journey towards street photography, I also discovered a new spot for pictures, which I appreciate very much: local markets in small cities. Those weekly markets are venues for the local population to chat and exchange recent updates and interactions between vendors and customers. As those venues, weekly markets are often quite crowded, what makes people get quite close to each other and nobody seems to care for your camera… Today, I would like to share the first of several shots I have made at those markets this summer – and one I am very happy with as the individual in the picture has a strength in his look. I noticed the man when he was still about ten meters away from me and he slowly came closer. When he finally just stopped next to me to have a glance on the stall and its products, I pressed the button. He was standing still and so did I. Again, I cropped into the square format and converted to monochrome. I think there is even something quite poetic to him in the picture.




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