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Author Topic: Philadelphia Street Musicians  (Read 6229 times)
PhillyPhotographer
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« on: July 19, 2009, 04:15:50 PM »
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This is a start of a portfolio that will be submitted to LensWork at the end of the year.





































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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2009, 04:44:11 PM »
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Michael, It's one heck of a start. I hope you'll show us more as you go along. Sure beats flowers and birds.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2009, 04:47:24 PM »
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Not landscapes, but who cares? Great shots & I look forward to you sharing more of the same. BTW, as B&W images go, they are pretty damned good. I'd be interested in some of the technical stuff to do with processing.
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John R
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 04:51:40 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Michael, It's one heck of a start. I hope you'll show us more as you go along. Sure beats flowers and birds.
The work is excellent. Of course, it is silly to suggest that 'flowers and birds' are hardly worthy of being posted.

JMR
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RSL
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 08:36:45 PM »
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Quote from: John R
The work is excellent. Of course, it is silly to suggest that 'flowers and birds' are hardly worthy of being posted.

JMR

John, You need to read more carefully. I didn't say that. I said people are more interesting than flowers or birds. Obviously, it's a matter of opinion. If you like the antics of flowers or birds better than those of people, so be it. That's one of the things that makes people so much more interesting than flowers or birds. People are all very different from each other.
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 09:26:08 PM »
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Quote from: Chairman Bill
Not landscapes, but who cares? Great shots & I look forward to you sharing more of the same. BTW, as B&W images go, they are pretty damned good. I'd be interested in some of the technical stuff to do with processing.


The photos were shot with a Nikon D300 and a Leica D-Lux 4 with some of the iso as high as 1600, just like my Ben Franklin Bridge portfolio in LensWork last September I cropped the photos square. I learned how to get some interesting effects by lowering the "clarity" slider in Adobe RAW. On some of the photos I masked the musician and really worked on the contrast and structure. I would then dodge and burn to taste and then I warm toned the image using Photokit.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 12:19:05 AM »
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Some nice work here!  Thanks for sharing it...

Mike.

(who also likes flowers and birds   )
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
RSL
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 10:48:41 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
(who also likes flowers and birds   )

Easy now, Mike. You may have forgotten, but I've posted birds before. Lightroom tells me I have 521 birds and 87 flowers at the moment on my photo drive. I really don't much like shooting flowers because just about any seed catalog can outdo me. But in Florida during the winters I shoot birds often -- but only when I'm not where there are people or interesting artifacts. Here are two of my favorites.

[attachment=15542:Egret_in_the_Sun.jpg]     [attachment=15543:Great_Bl...scending.jpg]

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cmi
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 12:35:32 PM »
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I like these images! They all capture the mood of the artists, they all work. The contrasty b/w processing enhances it. I also like how you play with the tilt. If I where to criticize something, it would be that the vignette appears a bit overdone to me in #3, and, this diagonal "ghost line" to the head of the artist in #8 irritates me. Im wondering if it is an artifact or if it belongs to the image. But these are purely technical aspects.

I also find that #8 is different in its look and mood from all other images because of this glowing light, because of this almost holy appeareance this gives. I have not made up my mind if it doesnt quite fit in or if it is an interesting counterpoint. Probably both.

All in all, very good work!


Christian
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 12:39:58 PM by Christian Miersch » Logged
PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 12:50:08 PM »
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Quote from: Christian Miersch
I like these images! They all capture the mood of the artists, they all work. The contrasty b/w processing enhances it. I also like how you play with the tilt. If I where to criticize something, it would be that the vignette appears a bit overdone to me in #3, and, this diagonal "ghost line" to the head of the artist in #8 irritates me. Im wondering if it is an artifact or if it belongs to the image. But these are purely technical aspects.

I also find that #8 is different in its look and mood from all other images because of this glowing light, because of this almost holy appeareance this gives. I have not made up my mind if it doesnt quite fit in or if it is an interesting counterpoint. Probably both.

All in all, very good work!


Christian

You know what's funny, I didn't see that line before, It's on the wall behind him and I will most likely remove it. I didn't add as much vignetting as you would think on #3, the light hitting him was the setting sun coming thru the entrance of a tunnel at my city hall, I just spot metered for the light.
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popnfresh
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2009, 01:01:01 PM »
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Terrific work, as always. Thanks for sharing.
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cmi
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2009, 02:01:23 PM »
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Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
You know what's funny, I didn't see that line before, It's on the wall behind him and I will most likely remove it. I didn't add as much vignetting as you would think on #3, the light hitting him was the setting sun coming thru the entrance of a tunnel at my city hall, I just spot metered for the light.

I think the line is only a slight distraction. Not immeatedly obvious. And after looking again at the "vignette" in #3 I see what you say, the upper left corner shows it. It doesnt change the fact it is a bit too dark for me, but on the other hand one could say, thats just how it appeared.

Cheers,

Christian
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tonysmith
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 03:55:55 PM »
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Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
The photos were shot with a Nikon D300 and a Leica D-Lux 4

Beautiful work. Would you tell which ones were taken with the Leica?

Tony
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 04:08:05 PM »
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Quote from: tonysmith
Beautiful work. Would you tell which ones were taken with the Leica?

Tony


#5 and 8
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kikashi
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2009, 05:28:27 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Easy now, Mike. You may have forgotten, but I've posted birds before. Lightroom tells me I have 521 birds and 87 flowers at the moment on my photo drive. I really don't much like shooting flowers because just about any seed catalog can outdo me. But in Florida during the winters I shoot birds often -- but only when I'm not where there are people or interesting artifacts. Here are two of my favorites.

[attachment=15542:Egret_in_the_Sun.jpg]     [attachment=15543:Great_Bl...scending.jpg]
Not to hijack the thread, but I love the second one, Russ.

Jeremy
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John R
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2009, 06:44:07 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
John, You need to read more carefully. I didn't say that. I said people are more interesting than flowers or birds. Obviously, it's a matter of opinion. If you like the antics of flowers or birds better than those of people, so be it. That's one of the things that makes people so much more interesting than flowers or birds. People are all very different from each other.
I have only one further point. I am sure you have noticed this is chiefly a Landscape forum.

On the question of people photography, apart from portraits, events and family gatherings, I find it to be a difficult undertaking. Most of my people images are in a wider context, like in a landscape. There was a whole discussion of this issue - street photography- on the 'The online photographer', and most agreed that it was not easy for many reasons and it took a certain kind of person to shoot on the street. Not the least reason is that a lot of people simply don't want their pictures taken. Sometimes I feel I can take such images, but most times I just back off and respect the space of the people unless given a nod of some kind. I think that is why most of us take images other than street photography.

Just some observations.

JMR
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2009, 08:13:00 PM »
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Quote from: John R
I have only one further point. I am sure you have noticed this is chiefly a Landscape forum.

On the question of people photography, apart from portraits, events and family gatherings, I find it to be a difficult undertaking. Most of my people images are in a wider context, like in a landscape. There was a whole discussion of this issue - street photography- on the 'The online photographer', and most agreed that it was not easy for many reasons and it took a certain kind of person to shoot on the street. Not the least reason is that a lot of people simply don't want their pictures taken. Sometimes I feel I can take such images, but most times I just back off and respect the space of the people unless given a nod of some kind. I think that is why most of us take images other than street photography.

Just some observations.

JMR

Besides my urban landscape and structure photography I started shooting "street" seven months ago in Philadelphia and NYC. I haven't had one person tell me to not take their picture or acted like they're were uncomfortable. If you approach someone and you yourself seem nervous you will make your subject wonder what your intentions are and most likely trigger an angry response. The best way to go about it is to be fast and confident, most will not even realize that they had their picture taken. Another piece of advice is hide your camera until you're ready to take a shot, people see a camera and they act unnatural and most will try to move because they think they are in the way.
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RSL
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2009, 08:57:42 PM »
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Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
Besides my urban landscape and structure photography I started shooting "street" seven months ago in Philadelphia and NYC. I haven't had one person tell me to not take their picture or acted like they're were uncomfortable. If you approach someone and you yourself seem nervous you will make your subject wonder what your intentions are and most likely trigger an angry response. The best way to go about it is to be fast and confident, most will not even realize that they had their picture taken. Another piece of advice is hide your camera until you're ready to take a shot, people see a camera and they act unnatural and most will try to move because they think they are in the way.

Michael, I've been doing street photography since about 1953 and I'd say that everything you just pointed out is right on the money. I'd add one point: your attitude is the most important thing. You simply must have a positive and friendly attitude toward all the people around you -- not just the ones you want to photograph. I'm not too sure about the idea of hiding the camera. When I was shooting with Leicas I used to carry the camera in my hand, attached to a wrist strap, and even now, if I'm shooting with my R-D1 I carry it in my hand. But I also often do street photography with my D3 and a 50mm prime lens, and carry it on a strap over my shoulder. Carrying it that way I can raise it with one hand and shoot. It doesn't seem to bother people or attract much attention -- unless I run into an equipment-fanatic type photographer.

On the other hand, as I said in an earlier post on a different thread, the people I photograph rarely realize they've been photographed, even when I'm shooting face-on. Here's a classic example. These two were in a flea market dressed and behaving in a way that made me want to get a photograph of them together. I followed them around for a while but couldn't get in position to get a shot, so I went and sat down on a bench. Mirabile dictu, in a minute, they came and sat down on a bench a few feet away facing me. I made, I think, four exposures. They never knew they'd been shot (so to speak). You can see how close I was when you realize I was shooting with a full-frame D3 and a 50mm prime lens. Even with the small 50mm the D3 is a big hunk of iron, but I don't think they ever even saw the camera, which was reposing in my lap when it wasn't at my eye.

[attachment=15548:Flea_Market.jpg]

I really love the expressions I caught in this one.
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RSL
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2009, 09:11:26 PM »
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Quote from: John R
I have only one further point. I am sure you have noticed this is chiefly a Landscape forum.

On the question of people photography, apart from portraits, events and family gatherings, I find it to be a difficult undertaking. Most of my people images are in a wider context, like in a landscape. There was a whole discussion of this issue - street photography- on the 'The online photographer', and most agreed that it was not easy for many reasons and it took a certain kind of person to shoot on the street. Not the least reason is that a lot of people simply don't want their pictures taken. Sometimes I feel I can take such images, but most times I just back off and respect the space of the people unless given a nod of some kind. I think that is why most of us take images other than street photography.

Just some observations.

JMR

John, Yes, I can see that, though I'd probably call it a bird and flower forum as much as a landscape forum. I think the main reason it turns out that way is that most people find street photography a difficult and scary undertaking. I don't think it takes a certain kind of person to do it, but it is difficult, and it takes a lot of practice before you can do it comfortably. One of the main problems is that you don't get time to set up a shot the way you can when you're doing landscape. You absolutely must respond intuitively and immediately to what you see before you. I don't agree, nor does Michael, that most people don't want their pictures taken, but that's what a lot of photographers want to believe, because it gives them an excuse not to do what they're uncomfortable doing. I enjoy shooting structures and artifacts, especially old ones, and I occasionally shoot a landscape, though I don't do it often since I gave up my 4 x 5 view camera, but as far as I'm concerned, people are where the real photographic satisfaction resides.

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John R
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2009, 09:27:54 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
John, Yes, I can see that, though I'd probably call it a bird and flower forum as much as a landscape forum. I think the main reason it turns out that way is that most people find street photography a difficult and scary undertaking. I don't think it takes a certain kind of person to do it, but it is difficult, and it takes a lot of practice before you can do it comfortably. One of the main problems is that you don't get time to set up a shot the way you can when you're doing landscape. You absolutely must respond intuitively and immediately to what you see before you. I don't agree, nor does Michael, that most people don't want their pictures taken, but that's what a lot of photographers want to believe, because it gives them an excuse not to do what they're uncomfortable doing. I enjoy shooting structures and artifacts, especially old ones, and I occasionally shoot a landscape, though I don't do it often since I gave up my 4 x 5 view camera, but as far as I'm concerned, people are where the real photographic satisfaction resides.
You and Michael should check out the thread at TOP. My recollection is that most people were not only not comfortable shooting people on the street, though some were, but they too did not like having their photos taken, especially in any aggressive way. About twenty years ago my experience was that few people complained, except maybe to ask the purpose of the photo. Now many say things like "are you shooting me?" Though I sometimes shoot these kinds of images in passing, if I happen to be somewhere, I do not seek them out or have any desire to do so. I think some of your experiences are different than mine and I guess I will leave it at that.

JMR
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 09:35:46 PM by John R » Logged
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