Wait and shoot

Contraflow

Contraflow | Portland | 2017

As I wrote in a previous post, there are two ways to approach Street Photography. You can actively “hunt” for an interesting image to happen, for example following an appealing subject until it enters the right background scene. Or you come across a background that catches your eyes first. Then it is a matter of you waiting for the right subject to enter the scene to get the photo you are after. I call this the “gathering” approach.

This was the case when I saw this colorful mural in Portland. I loved its shape and dynamic, and its colors that really came to life during the blue hour of this late Saturday afternoon. I really wanted to capture it in a street photo, but taking a photo of a mural by itself is a bit lifeless without a foreground that adds interest.

I was with my PEN-F and the 12mm F/2 prime lens, which limited myself to this composition, as I had to stand between to parked cars half on the street to have mural and sidewalk filling my viewfinder. A frontal position would not have been possible as due to the lens being very wide angled, I couldn’t stand behind the car parked in front as the roof would have blocked the lower part of the mural.

Then it was a matter of waiting in the freezing cold wind for passing people, and there weren’t to many around. The first that passed came in groups, blocking the mural, then people passed on my side of the sidewalk, with only their top half visible in the frame, also blocking the mural. I needed someone to pass close to the wall, so I could capture the whole person in front of the big face behind him.

With this guy I finally got lucky (after about 15 minutes and a few unsuccessful shots), as he passed close to the wall, and I managed to capture him in full stride, always something I look for when pressing the shutter. Perseverance paid off once more.

Have a great Tuesday!

Marcus

Related Posts:

My little Portland Christmas miracle

Around the World in 12 Days – Rose City Waterfront

Street Photography Quick Tip (10)

Instant Inspiration (14) – Car Reflections

24 comments

  1. Patience. Not easy when it’s as cold as you describe. That purchased coat helped but a hat and cloves may be an additional purchase if you not done so already. There is a combination glove/mitten that allowed you to lift off the cover for the fingers but not the thumb. I find it useful for taking photographs in the cold. I got them at a Target store. I used them in the Eastern Sierra where it was getting cold and they worked well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with your techniques. You either have to wait or go to it. You also have to be dedicated wait for it. I also think you enhance the scene by including people rather than just photographing the mural on it’s own.

    Liked by 2 people

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