Monday, March 24, 2008

Facing Your Fears From Off Center

I read this post from Shutter Sisters last Monday and decided that would be a great way to start getting over my fears of being yelled at by people for taking photos on the street. I held my camera up about chest height and munched on some cookies for cover while looking around and mostly just randomly hitting the clicker when I saw something I liked, hoping to capture it.

This first one is my favorite and pretty much sums up what happens when you work like this. I would never have framed this shot this way but there's something about it that I like. He was holding the door open for an old lady. Bless New York's Bravest, they do look good in those dress blues.
Did I point out that it was St. Patty's Day and I work about 3 blocks from the core of the parade and in a spot that is triangulated by popular Irish pubs?
I thought it was hilarious that this guy was wandering around in the midst of the St. Patty's Day hoopla wearing the British flag on a jacket labeled Rebel. I didn't have the stones to ask if he was doing it on purpose, though.
Possibly my favorite couple of the day. I have a real weakness for those headbands with things bobbing on top. Since their backs were turned I actually framed and focused this shot.
Here is an example of how sometimes the technique doesn't yield something exactly useful. But how sweet is she in her beret and sash?
This one, odd but sort of nice and I liked the typical family outing feel given that the parade's surrounding shenanigans are known to be rowdy and full of vomit.
Ah, this was a tragedy. What you can't see in this photo is that this man was holding hands with his (I assume) wife and she was dressed exactly as he was.
Here I used another technique. I was waiting for the light across the street from these young ladies so I took a shot and then cropped and enlarged it so we could see them better. It was while I was doing this that my photo-taking anxieties were reinforced because a young Asian woman came up to stand beside me, took one look at the camera and (so not kidding) leapt out of the way, behind me and crossed the street at a run. Seriously it was like I was pointing a pistol at her. I never bring my pistol to St. Patty's Day. I hate to be wearing the same thing as everyone else.
Another slight mishap. This young lady's outfit was a classic example of what I expect to see along the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. If I remember correctly even the shoes fit the ensemble.
I'd call the experiment a success by and large. If nothing else I had a lot of fun with it.


  1. Good work in overcoming your fear of photographing the public. I like the photos-I need a green hat like that!

  2. great job!

    I just pretend I'm a clueless tourist and stand in one spot, taking shots. Some people scamper away, but some see that I'm not about to move and become oblivous to me. Thank goodness.

    I'll have to try the cookie routine, though. Sounds like fun!

  3. I like all of the green!
    I couldn't take photos that good even if I tried. And the way you were taking them... challanging!

  4. Kitty, I've been marking spots where I'll be able to stand or sit quietly when the weather is warmer. I plan to sit and shoot on my lunch breaks. Can't wait! How much are you loving your new camera?

    Gert, it was totally challenging but fun and weird and freeing too.