It's been months since I have been active with this site and with photography. Inspiration is still there but I must get out and about again or it will go away. Here are some shots of people I made at Tybee Island back in 2016.
Early August in Asheville, NC I made this shot of a couple of young people playing Pokemon Go on S. Market Street by the Jackson Building. The city building is the reflection in the window.
A little grain in film photos doesn't hurt, but there is such a thing as overkill. Recently I shot a roll of Illford Delta 400 black and white film. The finished product I wasn't excited about. Typically when I shoot film I bump up my ISO to 800 to make the shutter speed faster. It may not be a good idea to do that with this particular Illford film. I found many of the photos I made too grainy. Based on the amount of grain, I am thinking the film may be too grainy even shot at ISO 400. I'm undecided if I'll give it a second change.
The image above was shot in Asheville, NC on Eagle St. I think it turned out pretty good. Thanks for viewing.
Once again last week I hit the streets of Asheville, NC with my Canon film camera loaded with Kodak BW400CN film. The first scene I came upon was a group of young people doing dance moves on the sidewalk.
I like the contrast of the Kodak film. The photos are grainy by my choice. When I shoot film I bump up the ISO to 800, giving the images more grain.
Thanks for viewing!
A new gallery has been added to my site here titled 'Performers'. Asheville is my favorite place to make photos. During the spring and summer seasons you can find musicians playing in different spots of the downtown area of the city. The street performers are a major target for my camera. There are homeless performers and those who are not homeless. And there are musicians playing on the streets for exposure. Most of the ones I've met are playing for food, cigarettes, rent, etc. There are a few who play to get other things such as alcohol. Some just play to supplement their income from a full-time job.
The story I get from this image I made is, the gent looking upon the violins is imagining playing various ones. He may be imagining the sounds he could create with a stroke of his bow across the strings. Possibly he's never played a violin and imagines himself doing so in the future. Whatever it is, it's a good story.
Of the photos I made during my visit to Quebec in September, this one is my favorite. It was a rainy cloudy day which is perfect for photography, without the rain though. It may be the bokeh that makes the photo a favorite or the couple walking along the old streets of Quebec. As I'm looking at it, the lady's red coat is an eye grabber. Feel free to share your thoughts about this photo. What story does it tell you?
Street performers are a target of mine when I hit the streets to make photos. I do give them money after making photos and offer to send a photo or two that I make. Performing on the streets for money is not acceptable in all cities. If you're entertaining the idea of performing on the streets, investigate if it is legal where you live.
Here is a small collection of street performers from my trip to Canada this past September.
Week before last while in Canada, my brother and I spent a night and a day in Montreal. This is a city worth visiting. The culture is rich and the people are friendly. There is one particular neighborhood we visited, maybe it was called The Plateau, that I found to be cool. It was busy with many eclectic restaurants and shops. I don't have many words to share in this blog regarding Montreal than what I've given you here. The only thing I found to be hectic there is driving around. You must pay attention if you're not used to driving in Canada. Enjoy the street shots.
The image above brings back memories of my food experiences in Canada. Excellent food in all of the restaurants I ate at. Food is an important part of the social scene in Canada.
The gentleman above seemed please that I wanted to make a photo of him. He looked up at me as I composed the shot then looked back at his phone with a smile. If he had expressed his disapproval of me making a photo, I would have honored him by not making the shot or deleting any I had already made. There you go... a lesson in street photography.
The above shot would have been a good addition to my Caught Sleeping glog.
I'm in Asheville, NC a lot for business and pleasure. It's one of the most interesting cities I've visited. I count on interesting things to happen that I can capture with my camera. This past Monday an interesting thing happened as I walked through downtown Asheville. I saw a tall man dressed in red and wearing a top hat exit a coffee shop. My immediate thought was, "What is that guy about?". The guy in the photo above. His name is Gavin and he's part of a band called Interstellar Transmission. I engaged him in conversation. I had to. He obliged a few shots and then proceeded to tell me about his band. The bus in the background of the photo is the band's stage. They have a drum kit and keyboards set up at the back of the bus. Gavin plays guitar. At night, in whichever city they may be in, they cruise around a city and play. The concert includes a light show. Here is a link to one of their performances. The band does have a Facebook page for more info on the band.
Last week I was in Fort Worth, TX for business and pleasure. The day I arrived I came upon the Sundance Square Plaza and found people standing in front of a set of wings making photos. Being a photographer this was a great opportunity. The name of the wings is Alas de Mexico. There was a website for the wings but it's now closed down. Have you ever dreamed of having wings to fly? Here's a few photos for your viewing pleasure.
Earlier this week in Asheville I was in the mood to make black and white photos. As I've said before, color photos are my preference. But, sometimes you feel like a nut. One thing I like to do with black and white photos is go heavy on the contrast.
I'm back at it with black and white photography. I was trying out film I've not used before, to see what is produced of course. The film was Ilford HP5 black and white and I used my Canon EOS Rebel film camera. The camera was set to P mode and the ISO bumped up to 800, allowing the camera to determine the shutter speed and aperture.
In regards to post processing the photos, I focused on adjusting the contrast, whites and lights/darks. The photos didn't have the contrast I wanted so I added to my liking. Also, the film gave me more whites due to the time of day I was making the shots. I reduced them significantly.
One of my favorite areas to make street photos is Camden Rd. in Charlotte, NC. It's a spot where many people pass by and kids skateboard. On this day I lucked out with the skateboarding activity. I used up two rolls of film within an hour giving me 72 shots to work with. Below here are more of the photos I made.
This collection of photos are of people I've walked upon that were napping on the street or in a park. Sleepers are one of the best targets for making street photos. They hold their pose very well. The way some of them were sleeping would give me a kink in my neck.
The gentleman in the photo above was snoozing on that bench near the University of South Carolina. He was in a deep sleep until rain came down.
Sleeping in public like these featured gents is something I could not do unless I was very tired, ate a large pizza and drank a six pack of beers.
When I first started making photos, landscapes and things nature were going to be my focus. I did this for awhile until I began looking at street photography closer and experimenting. My theme for photography quickly turned to capturing life on the streets. But, from time to time I step out of that zone and make nature photos.
There's a lot of talk in the street photography scene that you want to make as many photos as you can. I'm not into that. I want to create art. If you're just blasting away with your camera, you're not thinking about what you're doing. Make interesting photos. I'm not innocent of practicing that. I used to blast away at everything. Looking back on my early photos of life on the streets, I discovered I was making more bad shots than good ones. I'm more focused now and creating better shots.
Street photography for me is ever evolving. I never stop learning and never stop practicing. Lately my interests have turned more towards making street portraits, both candid and posed. People are beautiful, interesting and the photos tell better stories. They are more interesting to me than landscapes and flowers. Go with your heart when it comes to photography and don't be mindful of what others think. Make photos for yourself and no one else.
Every two weeks I make a business trip to Asheville, NC, known as The Land of the Sky. But this isn't about the city. When I visit there, I hit the streets with my camera to make photos. During the warmer months individuals and bands perform on the streets for money, of course, to make ends meet. If I make photos of street performers, I give them money. That's my rule.
The man in the photo is one street performer I've come to know. His name is Michael. When I met him for the first time last spring he told me he is homeless. He plays to get money to buy food, cigarettes and a night on a couch somewhere. For six dollars he can rent a couch for the night. The last time I saw him he said he usually talks the price down to five dollars. There are places in Asheville the homeless can visit to shower and wash clothes. So he takes advantage of that.
The autumn and winter past he was absent from the streets. He went to Tampa to see about a job that didn't work out for him. Now he's back. His desire is to work in a tattoo parlor but it's hard to get in to a parlor in Asheville. He's a good dude and I hope the best for him.
Shooting with film never crossed my mind when I entered into the realm of digital photography. I didn't know film photography still existed. Digital was the way to go and that's all I focused on, until I began rubbing elbows with other street photographers. They all began with digital photography, then somewhere in time film captured their hearts. As it has mine. What peaked my interest were the blogs about using film in street photography. The mystery of shooting film is one of the highlights blogged about. Meaning, when you shoot with film you don't have an LCD screen to view an image after made with a DSLR camera. With film, you see nothing and you must wait to have it developed before you see the end result.
Wanting to give shooting film a go, I put the word out in social media that I was looking to buy a film camera off of anyone who wasn't using theres. A friend of mine responded by giving me for free a Canon EOS RebelG that he doesn't use now. This film camera is a good one. I'm forever grateful for my friend helping start out with shooting film.
From time to time I post on my website photos made with film. My preference is Kodak Portra 400. I've dabbled a little with black and white film, but I love color. After you read this take a moment to view the photos in the Film gallery.
Meet Ellen and Sam. The couple lives in a run down house that sits literally by the highway going through a small town called Gerton, located in the foothills of North Carolina. On my way from Fairview, NC heading to Forest City, NC, I came upon their home and noticed a large sign by the home saying, 'Stop! Meet Sam!'. As I passed I saw Sam sitting on his front porch in a well worn recliner as he gave a friendly wave. I’m thinking, “I need to turn around and meet Sam.” Turning my car around, I parked and made a short walk to the house. There I spent some time chatting it up with Sam and eventually met his wife (she came outside with beer in hand). Sam considers himself to be the original hillbilly of North Carolina. Making photos of them is quite welcomed. I made several shots before hitting the road again.
Sam was born in the very house he and his wife live in and has lived there all his life. Ellen is from Ohio. I forget how they met. Sam’s family had owned as much as 300 acres of land in that area. He’s down to owning just nine acres now. Many years ago the family sold off most of it. The area of Gerton is not heavily populated. The closest grocery store is about twenty minutes away in Fairview. Having no vehicle, Ellen hitch-hikes to the grocery store; to and from.
It was quite interesting and entertaining to meet the couple. I'll be heading back to visit them again.