Street Shooting – When things go right

When things go right, I can usually trace it back to one of two working styles after seeing the opportunity

  1. The image is instantaneously purposeful, per-envisioned, and backed up by sound technique. I take only a few shots and walk away knowing I have something to remember. Somehow I work through a million combinations in the short amount of time it takes the opportunity to appear and then disappear just as rapidly.
  2. The situation persists for some period of time and I see the potential, but I can’t quite get a handle on where to take it. I work many angles and perspectives. Only after many shots am I able to hone in on the essence and sometimes I don’t even know that I’ve gotten something worth keeping until I review my images at home. I’ll often spend 10-15 minutes shooting the same area or the same person.

As I practice, I strive to increase the amount of time I am successful using the first case – see, think, shoot. But learning to work a scene is also important and I’ll often wind up with something completely new.

In this instance I had one last morning in New York and I had forgotten to take a picture of the front of Jay Maisel’s building. So I returned to the scene of the crime and saw this woman in purple, leaning on a yellow cab, with blue reflected light. I took a first shot and realized I had far too much in the frame. So I move in a couple of steps to get this framing.

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