Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Open Season

(Click on any photo to see larger)

I declared it open season on tourists and set out to blast them with my flash.  I had a good day, bagging at least 25.

This technique has been popular lately so I thought I would give it a try and see what I ended up with.  The premise is to shoot in a "street photography" style, but use a flash to create a different look.   The narrow size of the walkway made it difficult to disguise what I was doing, but I crouched down and tried to look as inconspicuous as possible.  I clamped the flash to beam on camera left, set the exposure where I wanted it and started firing away.  

The flash tended to draw interest from the passerby, as seen in the two photos below.  It appeared as though many thought it was a camera because they would stare at it and wave (of course I had to blast them with it if they did).   You'll notice I've cloned out the flash or cropped it out in most of the shots.

The difficulty in this whole thing was to capture people in the right spot.  Once foot the the left or right and the flash would completely miss the subject.   Some folks weren't thrilled with this "shoot" I noticed.  The guy below seemed pretty agitated judging by the look on his face, but he never said anything or gestured at me.

The officer in the background asked me what I was doing

At one point an officer came over and spoke with me to see what I was doing.  I told her I was a hobbyist and explained my reason for being there.  She declined to pose when I asked.   I was actually glad to have her come over to me because I wouldn't want a guy strapping things on the bridge without being questioned.

The guy below is my favorite shot from the day.  Everything came together in terms of composition and lighting in this shot.


The girl above seems to typify the All-American look and the skateboarder just seems to fit with the bridge and California lifestyle.

This style is definitely something I want to continue to play with.  It seems the key is to find an interesting composition for the overall frame in an area with lots of subjects passing by.

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