learning, Photography, street, Uncategorized

Confidence Building Part 2. Start with a Project

While I continue to learn how to use the features of my Nikon D3200, I also try and get out and take/make as many photos as I can. Not to be picky, but I think it is important to differentiate between taking a photo and making a photo. Taking a photo is something akin to aiming at a target and pressing the shutter without much thought other than ensuring your target is in the frame. Making a photo involves more effort and attention to things (there’s that abuse again), like Composition, juxtaposition, shooting high/low, and other photographic techniques that might be the subject of other posts.

Ok, I  know I’ve  digressed a wee bit from the stated title of this post, but what the heck, it is MY blog right?

Once the decision is made to become a street photographer, and having put the money out for a reasonably priced camera, and after spending a lot of time researching and reading, and having begun to understand how to use some of the features of my camera (Wow, how many more ands can I put in this sentence), I needed to have a specific project to pull together all that I have learned so far AND hopefully improve my confidence as well.

I decided to start two activities: 1) go to the streets and start taking candid shots and see what happens, 2) I arranged with the staff of a local coffee shop (I’ve been frequently for 13 years), to take candid photos of the baristas.

I shall now describe each of these activities in more detail and share what I learned.

Neophyte (that’s me) on the Streets. The streets in this case is Granville Island in the city of Vancouver, BC. I actually live on Salt Spring Island which is an island between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia…….. Ok, are you back reading this post having done your Google walk? Great! Granville Island is a mecca for locals and tourists; perfect for street photography. Actually I’ve been there twice shooting, once with my iPhone4S and the 2nd time with the D3200. Armed with all the wisdom gained from reading and with a definite feeling of unease, I started shooting.

With the iPhone (I had the earphones attached), and without drawing attention to myself, I simply raised the phone, put the target in the frame and pressed the + button on the white cord…picture taken. After a few shots I became more comfortable and started to enjoy the experience. If anyone took notice I smiled and acted as if I was talking on the phone or texting. I came away with some very interesting photographs and a keen sense “I can do this”.

2nd trip with the D3200 was a different experience for sure. I am armed with a visible camera! But also I came with a quickly prepared and simple card (business card size). It has my name, a line that says “street photography” an email address, and a “thanks for the photo. Finally, the card invites the person to contact me for a copy of their picture. Guess what. 90% of people were flattered I took their picture! and those I gave the card to where very impressed that I’d offered to do that. The other 10% did not have anything to say and did not have annoyed or angry looks. I came away with many great shots! My confidence continued its upward trend.

Hmm..this post is getting a bit long. I shall end it here and do another for the actual  project in the cafe. Thanks for reading, and thank you again to those who are following and giving thumbs up.

Anytime you’ve got a question, send it out and I’ll do my best to answer it.


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