Words of Wisdom

Photograph of a couple standing in front of an art installation providing life advice
Life Advice |  1/25 sec – f/4 – ISO 200 – 23 mm

I was kind of missing in action the past week, I have to admit, and this due to multiple reasons. First of all plenty of work for the job that pays the bills. Plus, I was severely impacted by a heavy case of jet lag during my first days in Portland. And this past weekend I was out and about in the city, preferring to roam the streets of Rose City with my camera doing some photography, rather than sitting in front of the MacBook and do blogging. Although I must admit I carried my little laptop with me in my backpack. I had some romanticized aspirations of doing some writing while resting in one of Portland’s many craft coffee shops. But with only two free days available, I ended up running around and shooting the whole time, despite frequent downpours that hit the Pacific Northwest over the weekend.

When it rains do some indoor street photography

During one of the many more intense rain periods I escaped into the (totally awesome) Portland Art Museum. True to my often published theory that when its soggy outside, shoot Street Photography in a museum. And I got a couple good ones, shooting variations  using this light installation as a background.

Photography of a walking man ignoring meanings of life
Ignorance |  1/60 sec – f/4 – ISO 500 – 12 mm

Variations on a light installation

This light installation in one of the entrance halls did really catch my eye. Because I knew it would provide the perfect backdrop for some monochrome silhouette shootings.

But first I had some fun watching those two girls trying to get their picture taken in front of this wall full of lighted life advice. They did ask a passing visitor if he would be so kind to take their photograph. Did you ever ask someone to take a picture of you with your phone or camera, and after saying “thanks” and walking away discovered that he/she cut you totally in half or thoroughly ignored the background that you wanted to have in the photo? Well, those girls wouldn’t have it. After checking the picture on their phone they handed the phone about five times back to the man to retake the shot.

When one of the girls was already strongly signaling into my direction (the happily shooting street photographer with the professional looking camera), they guy finally got it straight and was honorably discharged from his duties.

Two Girls having their photograph taken
Help Needed | 1/25 sec – f/4 – ISO 200 – 21 mm

Then it was a matter of me just waiting for people entering my “stage” so I could snap away. I was using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4, so not really a stealthy camera. But somehow the visitors taking in the light installation with the words of wisdom didn’t mind.

Photograph of a Silhouette of a girl in front of lighted buzz words
Dream Big |  1/60 sec – f/4 – ISO 200 – 54 mm
Photography of the silhouette of a boy's face in front of the lighted word Forgiveness
Forgiveness |  1/60 sec – f/4 – ISO 200 – 75 mm

I was really “working the scene” for the good part of ten minutes. In the end, this man, hearing the clicks behind him, turned and gave me a strange look. Opening up, I kindly smiled at him and asked for forgiveness to have disturbed him. He didn’t mind. Sometimes we Street Photographers have to be a bit obnoxious. It comes with our dream of creating art every day.

Have a great start into the week!


Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip 7 – Work the Scene

Instant Inspiration (22) – Variations on a Billboard

Instant Inspiration (21) – Shoot what attracts your eye

Portland Monochrome Nocturnal Streets

21 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom

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  1. Sorry to hear about the jet lag….it worries me becasue I’ll be doing the opposite in 6 weeks – flying to Amsterdam. Well, either it hits you and you deal with it, or it doesn’t. And the weather – I heard about all the rain which was snow up here, and you sure had the right idea. Museums are great places to photograph! Your black and whites are a fun series, and the story about the girls is SO amusing. Here’s to working the scene – wherever and whenever. 🙂

    1. Don’t worry, don’t overthink it. I never fight it, so if I’m awake in the middle of the night I do something useful like working on my photos or I blog 😉 ! Wish you an awesome trip to Europe! Looking forward to your photographic take on it! And thanks for taking the time to comment, so much appreciated! Marcus

      1. Thanks, will do, last day in the US before flying home early tomorrow morning. Hope the Windy City will treat me good tomorrow while connecting through the midwest 😉

  2. As always, great photos Marcus. I read with interest about you writing blog posts in cafes. When I’m back from a trip, I pop into one of my local coffee shops with my iPad and notebook and it’s surprising what progress I make having people around me!

    1. Thanks, Marion, as always much appreciated! Glad we share the love for writing in coffee shops. I don’t get to it nearly as much as I want to. And this past weekend I totally ditched it to go shooting instead. Comes summer, the days will be longer again 😉

  3. Great job on these photos! I love them. I have been having some physical problems and haven’t been able to keep up on it all but I am looking forward to the day when I can.

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