I just came back from a few days in Guadalajara visiting family. While this wasn’t a photography trip, per se, I did spend time each day walking around the El Centro area doing street photography.
I used the 24-70mm exclusively in an effort to wean myself into seeing in wider angles with deeper depth of field. Often at 70mm, but as the days went on, was working more wider angles.
If I were counting the number of “keeper” photographs, I would surely be discouraged. However, I am instead focused on what I learn each time I go out and trying hone in what I want to say and do. After taking workshops with both Sam Abell and Jay Maisel over the past year, I have plenty of lessons to still to master. The information and ideas that these masters so share are not things that are learned quickly and require a fair amount of concentration. They are not recipes for good images but rather methodologies that help with the process of creating a good image. For Sam Abell – set the stage and wait for the action. For Jay Maisel – look for the extraordinary, the “rip in the fabric”, think about light, color, and gesture, wait for the trigger.
Both masters talk extensively about controlling the frame, which is still probably my biggest weakness. Sam Abell controls the frame ahead of time by find the stage (the macro-composition) and waiting for the action and the backstory to come together (the micro-composition). Jay Maisel often finds the subject first and often uses long focal lengths (100-300mm) to frame in tight. Both men have years of experience and practice to which I will never catch up.
Through my experiences I am honing into one thing that I came back to over and over again – the idea of creating a series. These are not typically projects that come about over a long period of time, these are more like the panels of a storyboard taken in short bursts. Three mini-series emerged on this trip to Guadalajara: Through the Cab Window and In the Rain. There are, of course, other random other stand-alone images.
The imagery here in In the Rain was taken exclusively on a 45 minute cab ride from the center of town (El Centro) to our hotel. It is the rainy season in Guadalajara with storms most nights. The rain on the window combined with the brightly colored architecture of Guadalajara and its narrow streets provided this opportunity. Although I know a series like this could be achieved in many places, this opportunity would rarely occur in Los Angeles where I live. The rain is scarce, buildings are (mostly) bland, and the streets are wide.