I haven’t had much opportunity to do any street photography in the last year so I decided today that the annual Coal Valley Community Garage Sale might be a good opportunity to get back into the game. In the past I have shot with either my Canon G-10 or Nikon P700 but today I broke out the vaunted iPhone. I shot from my right hip using the Hipstamatic app. To make things even more challenging I brought Ivy, my chocolate lab, with me.
Most street photography is practiced in urban settings but today’s adventure was strictly suburban. The village-wide garage sale attracts a unique blend of folks all furiously looking for a bargain. The streets of our sub-division quickly morph into a bizzare flea market for the day. It can be treacherous walking, especially when you are taking pictures and walking a dog.
The fun thing about this kind of photography is that you take aim without taking aim. I hold the camera, mostly to my side, and point it in the direction of what I think might be an interesting photo. Sometimes I walk and shoot and other times I stop and wait for a moment to come to me. I wasn’t sure anyone else approached street photography in the same way until Scott Strazzante, the award winning photographer from the Chicago Tribune, started his blog Shooting from the Hip. Scott is the current master of this art form and his blog is well worth bookmarking.
Since you point and shoot without the aide of looking through the ‘viewfinder’ sometimes you strike gold and sometimes all you get is knee caps and asses. You shoot a lot and sometimes you capture a nice moment. The art of street photography is a well worn photographic art form. More examples of current street photography can be found at www.street-photographers.com/ and www.lfph.org/what-is-street-photography
If I had to pick one image from today that I was really satisfied with it would be this one of a little boy in the $2 “Thing” mask. I saw it developing as a walked up the street and was able to get to him in time before he took it off. I missed the shot of his brother trying on the “Thing” shoes.
One of the other freeing things about this kind of photography is that it is photography for photography’s sake. My newspaper photojournalism requires me to get names and talk to my subjects. When you shoot like this on the street you are just a fly on the wall. In a few of my shots the subjects are reacting to Ivy which adds a unique spin to the aesthetic.
Here is the rest of my edit. It could be tighter but it’s Saturday and I am enjoying a glass of wine while I type. – Todd