Street photography is an aspect of my professional development that continues to be a work in progress. Snapping candid photos of unsuspecting people on the street is the easy part, capturing a truly interesting and quality photo is where my challenge lingers. Once in a while It just pops up in the view finder like some from the water park series last summer. The Rodeo I shoot every year always provides dozens of good opportunities for good “street photos”.
Knowing that, I look for them between action shots of the cowboys and livestock. It can be easy to find good street photo opps at outdoor gatherings like Rodeos, farmers markets and street fairs. People are generally up beat and in good humor. That alone can be all you need to get your shot. Most dress for the event too, unlike the same people just walking to the car after a trip to the store or walking to work. I suppose what I’m learning is just some age old photographic basics; you just have to be patient . The good photo your after needs your effort in time and planning. Very few subjects just walk up to you and smile.
During a road trip to Spokane Washington a couple weekends ago, my buddy and I stopped by the park near downtown. As I was walking around the park with my camera I couldn’t help but hear the joyful screams of dozens of young children. When I rounded the corner of the on site snack bar I found what was creating all the fun.
I attended the air show photo contest and in the end I think it was a great weekend. I was a little out of my element meaning that I rarely shoot on such tight deadlines and with strict guild lines. I altered my approach early on figuring that they were looking for photos that would translate to marketing photos like pics for a poster or brochure and not straight art photos. When your standing with a group of twenty or more photogs aiming at the same subject you soon feel the need to separate your style from the others. Over all I was happy my final submissions. Three photos in each category, in flight, static (on ground), and people at event. With one overall for a total of ten. Since the event I have had some nice feed back on my choices. Here are the ten I submitted. The winners will be picked early on in September.
Last fall I enjoyed a week in Cancun to attend and photograph my son’s wedding. I didn’t wonder far from the resort simply because I don’t have to. There was plenty to do and lots to see fifty meters from my room. What a great location for any photographer. Great photo opps while sitting on the beach lounge chair. My biggest worry was keeping the towel covering my open camera backpack. On the field trip day to the Mayan ruins I was busy editing wedding pics from the same lounger. I came home with hundreds of great photos from candid children to sunsets and sunrises. Needless to say I also brought home over a thousand photos from the wedding. Over all I would have to say some of my favorite photos are the candid kid shots. Kids will always be the best subject for street photogs like me.
The trouble with being your own boss is that you have to work when you have to work and not when someone else suggests it. The result is I have been busy the last few weeks, a little too busy for my cameras or my blog. However I did take a 36 hours holiday on the first of the month and I did pack my cameras like a baby tote. I ended up with some pretty good shots that I’m happy with but this one stands out as my favorite. While boating with a pal of mine I noticed this young couple wading in the shallows and kissing. I asked them if they would do it one more time and they were more than happy to comply. Too bad they didn’t take my invitation to contact me because I would have happily gave them a print in exchange for the photo release I will surely need for this one. Oh well, that’s photography.
It’s hard to hold back too long without posting a set of fly fishing photos. It would be a stretch to say I have thousands of them but I probably have several hundred. I was a fly fishing guide for many years here in British Columbia. Mostly the South East corner, (where all the fish are). Not many people would disagree with the thought that the S.E. corner of this province is the real fly fishing Mecca of North America. Some in Montana fight me on this one but my only response is to say, “Come try it out for your self”. I packed a camera along on every trip. For myself and for my fishing customers.
It would take me hours to go through them all to find the ones I like the best. Here are a few that I have always liked. Photos where I did get the results I was going for. Grip and grin photos are what you get most of the time with fishing snap shots. I always tried to get a photograph and not just a snap shot. Because I live in the heart of the Rocky Mountains it’s kinda easy to get a great back ground scene and wonderful water colours. I don’t think I could ever pick out a favorite photo. I do know that I have a few hundred that I enjoy looking at over and over again. Lots of great memories are attached to them. I have decided to post a few fly fishing photos in this blog because even for non-fishers I think we all can imagine being there at that moment. All the fish I ever photographed were released live shortly after the grip and grin.
It just goes to show you that you never know what you’ll find when you leave the house with the camera in tow. When I stepped outside to start the afternoon photo journey I had little expectation of a good photo-op close to home. My time was limited so I did not plan to venture far from home. The local wildlife sanctuary is my “go to” spot. I know that in winter the opportunities for something worthwhile is pretty hard to find. As I pulled into the parking area I could see this kite or parachute thing sailing away fifty feet or so in the air. When I got closer I could see this fella having a grand ole time skiing along on the frozen lake while being pulled by his kite. Sure looked like he was having the time of his life. I did talked to him after he was finished and he looked pretty tuckered out but had a smile from ear to ear. So it just goes to show you cold frigid windy days are good for something.
I get this eager feeling every year about this time. Spring training is not far away and I can’t wait. I know that with spring will again come the tug-of-war between watching baseball and packing my cameras off into the forest or wildlife sanctuary. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. This year will be the same no doubt. I dug these photos out of their file for another look to get the juices flowing. They are a few of my personal favorites.
I just up-graded to a new 1tb hard drive. I can see that in the not so distant future I will need it. Digital photography has afforded me the ability to shoot like crazy and edit/delete later. I am careful how I download and file with so many photos every week. But I do keep some to refer back to as a learning tool. Still trying to better my craft. I do have thousands of photos and out of that I have a few hundred that I like. From that I can break it down to a few dozen that I truly call my favorites. As this blogs goes along I will post many of them. If anyone is interested in a photo just contact me for the high res copy without by line.