Saturday, October 6, 2012

Part 1 of 2...maybe 3

Today was an interesting day.  Without getting into the details of the arrangement, I was a back-up photographer for a group today.  Basically it goes like this.  I walk around the town where they have an event.  If their normal person calls in sick/dead/missing or something else awful, they call me to head to the location.  Otherwise, I just walk around.  In a way it's awesome because there's really no pressure...then in a few ways it stinks because of a few things.  First, it's always last minute.  Second, you are loaded up to shoot a wedding and may have loaded up for nothing.  Third, it's never close to home (I do this by choice though) and Fourth, it's the first time you'll meet that client. 

Well today I was in Pittsburgh.  Most of you know that I photograph people.  That's my thing.  People.  I love photographing people in action, or static.  Doesn't matter, just love shooting photographs of people.  When it comes to abstract and street photography...I just don't shoot it.  I look at the scenes and I think "well oh my, that looks great", but then I can't ever get a composition I'm happy with.  When I shoot street or abstract, it's always last minute as well.  Being a PJ at heart in my approach to this things, I don't want to clone out sets of power lines, light poles, cars and bird doody cacca.  I want the scene as it is, but then again, the scene...well it doesn't do anything for me.

That said, I gave myself an "assignment".  I figured that if I'm somewhere else, I should photograph different THINGS and not PEOPLE. 
I spent 7 hours walking around Oakland and ended up in Mt Washington.  I was totally a tourist...a camera around my neck and a starbucks in hand!

I shot some abstract things and some cars (there was a cool car show that seemed sort of hodge podge...there were lambos, porsches and high end bmw's.  Then I seen these guys with their newer camaros and no one was really paying attention to them...I mean, if you have the choice to look at a line of Lambos, or camaros, what are you going to look at?  Aside from running into a moving Lambo with my bike when I was 12 years old, or when I was driving around Dulles Airport (I swear my mid 2000's crv was the crappiest car on that stretch.  It was BMW, Acura, Ferrari, Lambo, but I digress) I had not seen them in person before.  So naturally that's what caught my eye.  I'll post those photos on the next update, but I'll post a goofy one of me in front of them today (totally easy to take a "self photo" with a 16-35 on a full frame camera with an out stretched arm).

Well here they are,

These are some dirty pillars.  The other sides of the building are clean, but these were (to me) more visually interesting.  There's a significant crop to this.  I may post the full one next time. Processing is minimal.  When I shoot B/W I imagine it B/W before I shoot it.  It's not a "oh let's turn this to grayscale to see if it looks good".  I am of the thought you've got to think of it as a B/W FIRST, then convert it.  Just a crop, conversion and a similar action I made up for my fight photos.

I'm just walking around and here's some dumpsters...really nothing more to it than that.  Remember, I gave myself the assignment to NOT photograph people.

How do you not shoot a photo of this?

I know it's a statue but they look like they are having a great time.  Imagine them flesh toned, they would be alive.

For no other reason than the faded and peeling sticker.

Remember when I said about shooting B/W, you have to (at least in my head) figure it out before you shoot it?  When I arrived in town, the sky was gray.  I seen these silver and gray fixtures with the black/dark gray.  Ilike the line leading you into the "OPEN".

It seems that every hydrant is a different color in town.  I swear, I may go back and only shoot a day of them.

As with the above comment.

I typically don't photograph people without them knowing it, unless it's at an event or wedding.  This guy coms out and he just looked like a character.  I only regret that I didn't have a longer lens with me (it was back at my "Operations Point" lol) to get in tighter.  I also would've probably still shot it this way with everything else in the field...just so I could be angry at myself later.  With that said, I wish I would've struck up a conversation with him and seen if he would let me take a few of him.

I love Coca-Cola, and that deep black with this mural painted just JUMPS out.

I seen this place and thought...what an ODD dentists windows?  The woman walking in was completely accidental.

This is yours truly.  just holding the camera and "guessing" where my face was in relation to the focus point (did pretty good!).  Photo is straight out of camera then hit with a boost in the shadows.
Stay tuned for part 2!  Thanks for looking!
(meanwhile I'm thinking about how I bring all of my old blog posts to my new website...)

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