Thursday, June 11, 2009

OId City Strangers...

Being stuck in the office all week has made it difficult, to say the least, to get out and and do any street photography... so I am reaching back to our February trip down to Saint Augustine (see my "St. Augustine in 50 mm of Black and White" post) to fulfill my first iteration of the "strangers" posts.

We had stopped at the Tiny Martini Bar on the front porch of the Casa Blanca B&B (great place that Kay and I have stayed at) -- and ended up sitting next to a growing family gathering of folks vacationing from the northeast. I jumped off the porch midway through my glass of California Zin (no, not a sweet white zinfandel, but a real, pure red robust zin!), turned and focused with my camera while encouraging the gang to smile...
Little sister on the porch, obviously in a playful mood put up the ubiquitous horns behind her husband's head... you can invent stories for each of them -- all good sports. By the third time we ran into them in different parts of town, they were certain we were stalking them.

After shooting the above frame, I turned toward the rumble on Avenida Menendez behind me in time to capture this group of bikers...
I stepped off the curb, hollered "smile" (most of the did), and pressed the shutter. Another opportunity to imagine their stories....

I'm not very comfortable with this style of shooting -- taking a chance at photographing complete strangers on the street. Half of it is the fear of being perceived as one of those dorks with a camera (yeah, I know..), and the other half is fear of getting my butt kicked by offending someone in a federal witness protection program. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a good thing, too. I watched a video blog this morning by a guy (Tim Ferriss) at a Google conference who talked about Stoic productivity principles... his point was that it's more important to define your fears than your goals. At my age, new approaches are more difficult -- but I'm willing to challenge myself -- and (hopefully) show up here with new shots of new friends each weeks, and no bruises for the effort.... simple?

2 comments:

I am a lover of children's literature said...

It's funny, but for some reason, black & white photography has a special magic to it - something that's different, yet unique.

Not sure why that is? Could it be, that b&w photography makes us all long for a time long ago, a time when life was simpler, less troublesome? That is an answer that I do not know.

I do know, that I love b&w photography and hope that you'll treat us to some more in the future.

Thanks!

The Vital Muse said...

Thanks for the comment, Don. Black and white (or any monochrome) images are more dependent upon light, shadow, and contrast to "catch" the eye rather than color -- really great B&W shots are more artistically dramatic (in my opinion) than color, and (again in my opinion) therefor leave a deeper emotional impression. Part of that emotion response may certainly be nostalgia!