I’ve been working on taking weekly trips into the city to walk around and do some street photography. These were taken with my Fuji X-70, a wide angle fixed lens camera that I can easily stash in my backpack. For people with larger pockets, I’ve read it can be stuffed into your pocket. The lower profile is ideal for street photography, as it tends to not draw too much attention to myself. It’s also extremely quiet, and has little noise at high ISOs, so the need for flash isn’t necessary 90% of the time. I can shoot in manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, and can control white balance, noise, and more things that I have yet to explore!
Though the images below were shot with some intention, I do hope to take more street photography that would be more spontaneous and interactive. I will need to work on how to engage if I want to make images that are more intimate. With almost everyone carrying around some sort of camera, I wonder if people are a little more aware of a lens’ gaze, and feel the need to duck, dodge, or photo bomb! Oh well, if they do. But I want to further my reach, both as a photographer, and as a community member. Wish me luck!
The other day, I took a trip to the local Fisherman’s Terminal to pick up some salmon for dinner, and thought it might be fun to do a short photowalk through the shipyard. September has been cool and sunny, and the light gentle, yet intense. It turned out to be a meditative escape in a playground of shapes, texture, color, and light.
Sometimes I think I can take photographing for granted. With easy access to any kind of camera, we can capture what we want when we want. It’s easy. It’s fast. It can sometimes be more of a reactionary response, or a “this might look good” moment. I don’t discourage myself from just shooting because sometimes those moments turn out really well. Some of my favorite images are things I caught by luck or random happenstance. But the amount of snap-shot/just because photos I have can totally burn me out. I tend to get bored and frustrated. Where is the work I’m dying to make? The work that really stands out for me that isn’t just another random image? That’s when I realized: My mind is not always in it’s prime state when taking photos. Simply put, there are times I am present with my camera and the moment, and there are times when I am not. I want to strive to be more present. Not only is this healthier for my mind, it yields my more thoughtful and impactful images.
As I continued my walk through the shipyard, I felt every step on the wooden pier, took a breath and stabilized my feet before every shutter release, thought about how a subject might look at different angles, remembered to consciously practice things I learned in school like hyper-focal distance focusing, and visualized how I might want to process a moment differently than how I saw it at that moment. I was patient with myself. I let myself try. It was one of my more immersive photo walk experiences. I was eager to edit what I had shot, because I knew I had good things to share.
So, I’d like to ask you: What intention (if any) do you set for yourself when you go out shooting? When do you think you feel disconnected from your work? When do you feel connected with your work? Do you practice a sort of mindfulness when you are shooting? And just for fun, where are some places in your hometown that you can always go to to explore your creative seeing? As someone who can struggle with creativity and finding inspiration, I’d love to hear your thoughts!