Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bubblegum Factory

Things To Do With A Camera When Your Wife Isn't Looking

an abstract color photograph that looks like bubblegum
Bubblegum Factory

Just don't get caught! And if you do, it wasn't my idea. ;-)

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens:     Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Street Vendor At Sunset

Better Late Than Never

It's been several years since I took this photo, but I remember the evening well. The weather was warm (August), and I remember thinking that I had arrived too late. The light was fading rapidly. Conditions might have been better fifteen or twenty minutes earlier.

Shooting from the other side of 34th Street, I used a 70-200mm telephoto lens to isolate the subject. I composed the shot and then waited through two cycles of the traffic lights for the street to be free of vehicles. When the break in the traffic came, I made fourteen exposures rapid succession as pedestrians walked into and out of the frame.

a photo of a new york street vendor food cart
Street Vendor At Dusk

Thinking back, I couldn't remember if I had used a tripod for this shot. Normally, I wouldn't in these conditions. The sidewalk was crowded, and I didn't the guy in the food card to think that I was being a nuisance. But when I look at the composition, it seems nicely balanced. I thought that perhaps I had set the camera on a tripod and composed the shot methodically.

I checked, and sure enough, no tripods were used (or injured) during the making of this photograph. Minor variations from frame to frame indicated that I had been shooting handheld. With a tripod, every shot in a series will be framed uniformly.

Out of the fourteen exposures, I chose this one primarily because of the man's gesture. We see him raising his hand expressively as he speaks with a customer. This small detail adds life and dimension to the image.

Gestures are difficult to capture because they are difficult to predict. Sometimes, you can tune into the flow of a conversation and predict when things might happen - a hug, a laugh, etc. In this case, I was dealing with a silhouetted figure from across a wide and busy street. I couldn't hear the conversation, and I could see his shape only from the back. 

What was the secret to capturing this gesture? Well, there was some luck. He did it when I was there in position and ready to shoot. It was just a matter of observing the frame and acting when things happened (or when people got out of the way). When I saw the man's hand go up, I didn't hesitate.

Fortune smiles on us when we're ready, but it won't happen unless you're out there in position with a camera in your hand, observing your surroundings closely.

(This image is featured in my Summer In New York collection.)

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lenses:  Canon ES 70-200mm f/4L IS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved