Sunday, February 10, 2008

wait here

aaron85mm, 1/1250sec @f2.2, ISO 100
Went to another flickr group meet up yesterday, in South Austin. Afterwards, a few of us decided to do some street portraits up and down South Congress. At the flickr meet, Chris had asked me how I go about shooting strangers and street portraits. We talked a bit about some of the techniques that I find work and things I'd learned on the Next Step workshop. I agreed to go shoot with him and back him up until he got around to asking someone. South Congress Avenue is a busy street with a lot of colour and colourful people. There are restaurants and lots of distinctly Austin stores. Within a few minutes we met Aaron (in the center above) and a few of his friends (on the left). It helped that they approached us in the first place, looking for spare change, so we easily turned the tables on them and asked if they'd let us take some natural light portraits. They were really in to it and just wanted to have something fun to do. Chris was a bit nervous at first about approaching people, so this group were a real ice breaker and easy introduction. They were high energy, enthusiastic and didn't care what people thought about them. We tagged along and used them as an opening for quite a few portraits and that got us into the flow. I'll be posting more of those later in the week. People would react and talk to them and get sucked in to the group, as we walked along. Further down the street, a couple ran up behind us, wanting to pose with Aaron and his sign. They were happy to oblige and got a good tip for their work, too. I really like what's going on in this shot, the energy in Aaron's pose, the contrast in styles with the woman who is posing with him and then his friend looking on. This shot was converted to black and white in Adobe Lightroom, then I've dialed back in about 33% of the saturation to get to this partially colored look. The expressions and posing really make it for me, along with his friend's glance on the left.


Anonymous said...

Gordon, this is one of the best street portraits I've seen in a long time. This is one I wish I would have taken! Keep up the good work.


Paul said...

Gordon, that's fantastic. You know what else works, funny hats and a camera. People can't resist! It really opens them up. When I wore a hat with a chicken head on top, some people would laugh and others would try not to, but if I caught someone's attention, which wasn't hard to do, I asked if I could take a picture or if they would take a picture with me. Great fun!

Unknown said...

Paul - that does sound like a great one. I've had various ideas I haven't yet followed through on, in terms of bribing people or turning myself into some sort of sign etc to get more people coming to me rather than me having to chase them down.

Chicken hats sound perfect.

Anonymous said...

Great capture Gordon! Street photography is always intriguing to me...but not something I've done a lot of. You do it very well. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great shot, fun story. Thanks for sharing!