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Author Topic: Philadelphia Street Musicians  (Read 6666 times)
PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2009, 09:39:19 PM »
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Thanks for sharing RSL.

I kept being turned down when asking to shoot in certain abandoned buildings and factories in Philadelphia so i started shooting street in my own special way. I'm so glad I decided to do it. It has taught me to think faster, to look for light, to look for shadows and try to predict what's going to happen. I've also learned to look from behind, the side and far away.










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RSL
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2009, 01:36:32 PM »
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Michael, Keep it up. If you're like me you'll enjoy it more and more as time goes on.

One mistake I've seen people make when they're uncomfortable with street shooting, but secretly would like to do it: they start out by using long lenses, hoping they can shoot from a distance and not be noticed. That doesn't really work. You're just as likely to be noticed at a distance if you're carrying around a long lens as you are at closer quarters with a short one. In addition, when you try to do street with long lenses you end up with perspectives that are unnatural and give the game away.

Street, by the way, doesn't always have to include people. Your "Elevator" is a good example. It's first class street shooting.
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cmi
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 02:06:48 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.

I first wanted to ask how you approach you subjects, wondered then if my question would make sense (because at the end everybody has to find its own approach), and now as you tell it I find it is exactly the same way how I did my few good street shots. Just be confident. (Not that I want to compare myself with you, but just had to say this ) In any way, your images are just great, really inspiring for me!
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2009, 02:56:55 PM »
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Quote from: Christian Miersch
I first wanted to ask how you approach you subjects, wondered then if my question would make sense (because at the end everybody has to find its own approach), and now as you tell it I find it is exactly the same way how I did my few good street shots. Just be confident. (Not that I want to compare myself with you, but just had to say this ) In any way, your images are just great, really inspiring for me!

As for the street musicians I would have the camera in front of me, I would "tip" him first and then take a couple of photos. I've had conversations with them and when I see them again we usually wave or chit chat. I've met some great people since I started doing this, for instance photo #7 is YaYa from the Sun Ra Arkestra who was practicing on the street the night before his concert. As for my other street photography sometimes I would approach the subject and sometimes i would wait for them to approach me. My main lens is a Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 and at 17mm i usually shoot so close that most people think I'm shooting past them. I'm never overly aggressive and I try to blend in as much as possible, it's one of the reasons I like the Leica D-Lux 4, nobody sees it and no shutter noise.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 02:58:07 PM by PhillyPhotographer » Logged

cmi
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2009, 03:40:05 PM »
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Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
As for the street musicians I would have the camera in front of me, I would "tip" him first and then take a couple of photos. I've had conversations with them and when I see them again we usually wave or chit chat. I've met some great people since I started doing this, for instance photo #7 is YaYa from the Sun Ra Arkestra who was practicing on the street the night before his concert. As for my other street photography sometimes I would approach the subject and sometimes i would wait for them to approach me. My main lens is a Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 and at 17mm i usually shoot so close that most people think I'm shooting past them. I'm never overly aggressive and I try to blend in as much as possible, it's one of the reasons I like the Leica D-Lux 4, nobody sees it and no shutter noise.

I see. Thats obviously a bit more than just being confident. I must say I had so far only sometimes the courage to try it really seriously, but then it was fun! My "tactic" so far was trying to get eye contact and smile, and then just do the shoot. Works sometimes very good, I had good cases where I was accepted and could shoot anything, but it also happens that the people get uneasy about it. Maybe these are the cases where I just need to talk with people, but Im quite shy. Seems I have to get over it...

Cheers,

Christian
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2009, 04:51:29 PM »
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Quote from: Christian Miersch
I see. Thats obviously a bit more than just being confident. I must say I had so far only sometimes the courage to try it really seriously, but then it was fun! My "tactic" so far was trying to get eye contact and smile, and then just do the shoot. Works sometimes very good, I had good cases where I was accepted and could shoot anything, but it also happens that the people get uneasy about it. Maybe these are the cases where I just need to talk with people, but Im quite shy. Seems I have to get over it...

Cheers,

Christian

I was a bartender for 14 years so I got use to talking to strangers from every walk of life, it will get easier for you the more you do it. You have to remember it can take a lot of exposures to get one good shot and that can turn a lot of photographers off from even trying it.


PS if you're going to alert people to your intentions you have to make them feel like you're sharing their space instead of violating it.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 04:53:36 PM by PhillyPhotographer » Logged

cmi
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« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2009, 05:52:12 PM »
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Thanks for all your advice Michael. This thread has been (or better, IS) very useful for me regarding vision and approach. Will take some time to digest  I know I will re-read it later.

Best regards,

Christian
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2009, 09:19:32 PM »
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Another musician from today.


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JeffKohn
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2009, 12:28:43 AM »
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This is a very strong set of images, I agree you're off to a great start and these should have an excellent chance of getting published in Lenswork.

The only two that bug me in the first set are the third one (don't like the heavy vignette) and the 8th one, which looks like it had some diffusion glow added in post that I don't think is necessary. But the processing and monochrome conversions on the others are all very good.
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2009, 08:16:14 AM »
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Is this better ?




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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2009, 08:42:05 AM »
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I also reworked the photo that had very low clarity (glow) and used a high structure instead.


« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 08:46:52 AM by PhillyPhotographer » Logged

cmi
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2009, 09:01:28 AM »
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For #3 I dont see a visual difference at a first glance when comparing them in this web view. I see however what you have done when I layer them and do on/off switch. It looks as if you threated the different corners differently, leaving the upper right corner as in the original. The new version becomes more "uneven" for me. What I probably would have done, threat the upper right and the lower left corner the same as the lower right one, and leave the upper left like in the original. The lower right one is very good.

For #8, the new version is just perfect, fits now perfectly into the rest. The impression of a "dull" background (wich I didnt mentioned before but wich was apparent for me) is now gone.

(I think I will later also comment your newer images but not now, Im in a hurry.)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 09:03:20 AM by Christian Miersch » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2009, 09:02:37 AM »
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I think they are both improved, especially the flutist, which was the only one that bothered me before. The glow around his head and flute looked very fake before.

This is a very nice series. I hope Lenswork goes for it.

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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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RSL
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« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2009, 11:40:38 AM »
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Michael, It's all very fine work. Besides LensWork you might think about B&W the next time they have a portfolio contest.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2009, 02:59:33 PM »
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The new edit of the flute-player is much better IMHO, and it also fits better visually with the other images in the series now.

For the one with the heavy vignette, the bottom right corner is now more what I had in mind. But the bottom left and top right corners are still very dark. I'm not sure if that's something about the conditions you shot in or just a choice in editing, it just seems little heavy to me. But it's not a huge deal.

I also really like the last shot you posted, excellent detail and tonality.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 03:00:38 PM by JeffKohn » Logged

PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2009, 03:10:22 PM »
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Thank you guys, I removed all the vignetting that I added so what you see if how it actually was.




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cmi
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« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2009, 05:05:52 AM »
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Just a few quick words about the four last images, I absolutely like them, maybe even more than the first ones. All views are somehow very clear and articulated, and each one tells a story. I like the old walking man with the umbrella most, not sure why, its just very strong! Also the relaxed young black musician, a joy to view.

Christian
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 05:47:11 AM by Christian Miersch » Logged
button
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« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2009, 09:30:10 AM »
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That umbrella photo creates lots of motion- you've put together quite a shot here.  

The arrows and the angle of the umbrella create a line from top right to bottom left, while the parallel relationship of the umbrella to the arrows implies another line (perpendicular to the first line), moving from top left to bottom right.  

The central framing of the sign and the man is nicely balanced by the asymmetry of the fire hydrant and the snow pile in the bottom left corner, as well as "twelfth st" located mid right.  All of these factors keep the eye moving like a pinball!  

John

Edit reason: syntax
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 02:20:28 PM by button » Logged
PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2009, 03:47:31 PM »
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Quote from: button
That umbrella photo creates lots of motion- you've put together quite shot here.  

The arrows and the angle of the umbrella create a line from top right to bottom left, while the parallel relationship of the umbrella to the arrows implies another line (perpendicular to the first line), moving from top left to bottom right.  

The central framing of the sign and the man is nicely balanced by the asymmetry of the fire hydrant and the snow pile in the bottom left corner, as well as "twelfth st" located mid right.  All of these factors keep the eye moving like a pinball!  

John

Thank you very much.
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PhillyPhotographer
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« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2009, 03:50:40 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Michael, It's all very fine work. Besides LensWork you might think about B&W the next time they have a portfolio contest.

Thanks, I always seem to miss B&W's portfolio reviews. When the portfolio reaches 20 I'm going to submit it to Nazraeli for a "One Picture Book"



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