Today I headed out into Wellington to take some Street Photography. It’s always been something I’ve kept in mind, and have enjoyed it when I’ve visited other cities overseas. In the past, I’ve always used my telephoto lens – though this time I challenged myself to just use my 50mm lens.
As I wandered the streets, I found it quite stressful. I found it difficult to keep focused, and having to constantly browse my surroundings in case I missed the moment.
It also took a while to get used to the fact that people didn’t know that I was taking a photo of them specifically (at least I hope they didn’t), and that maybe they thought I had on a wider lens to take photos of the whole scene, and not just them.
On the waterfront I came across an old man busking with his Accordion. It was incredibly sweet, with many people putting money in his hat. I offered my coinage, and plucked up the courage to ask if he minded me take a few photos (I know – totally out of my comfort zone!). To my half-surprise, he said “Sure – go ahead”!
I was reminded of some other photos I’d seen on a black backing, and so I did this as well, not in the studio, but in Photoshop.
On the train journey home I reflected on the day. I had found it interesting, and enjoyed it; but concluded that this was because it was something new for me, and something that was out of my comfort zone. I much prefer taking photos of the land and architecture, much like a friend of mine who owns Antonio Cuellar Photography. There is much more time, and less pressure to capture that “moment”. I like having the time to survey your surroundings, to pick a location, to set up the frame, and to set a long exposure to capture. Much of this is lost in the hustle and bustle of street photography.
I did enjoy taking photos of people. It added some additional life into the photos, and made you think about their story.
Some of my favourites from the day didn’t actually require people at all however.
All in all, I suspect I will continue to take photos in a street setting, but it won’t be a regular thing or staple diet in my photography. But expect to see a lot more still life, a lot more macro, and a lot more landscapes, than pictures of streets, cars, buildings, and people.