a collection of experiences, ideas and image samples related to street photography.
Charles Saadiq, Michigan 2018
0/1 sec, f/16, ISO 250
- Captured with a vintage Minolta 28mm f/2.8 lens on a FujiFilm X-T10
camera: FujiFilm X-T10
lens: a vintage Minolta 28mm f/2.8
As I am entering my middle-age years, I am becoming more connected to nature. This feeling brings me a greater sense of peace with unresolved isssues in my past now knowing that all things are temporary. Life is a continuous cycle and I want to practice a more gentle approach to dealing with personal hardships. ‘Practice’ is the key word because the act of negative thoughts is difficult habit to break. Yet my interactions with animals and plants are heeling. This new level of peace is beginning to reflect in my photography.
1/105 sec, f/8, ISO 200 at a focal length of 23mm
camera: FujiFilm x100
Despite the threat of a snow storm, I spent a quiet Sunday appreciating the architecture in downtown Detroit. I wanted to capture the city from unique angles so I purposely tried to avoid more recognizable sites like the Renaissance Center. My goal was to give more attention to designs and textures from multiple perspectives that are a bit less noticeable from the average view of the skyline.
Observing design, architecture and light.
"disillusion..." 1/640 sec at f/1.8 with an ISO of 250
Over the last two months, I've been doing some freelance photography with the theme of reflections. I was inspired by my personal belief that art is NOT 'extracurricular'. Art is an essential component of what makes us human beings. It is the fruit of mathematics, science, and linguistics that form & shape our existence on this planet. Designs, textures, tones...they are everywhere yet we are conditions to take for granted the little things that make life beautiful. With the aid of photography, I try to take time to simply observe my environment, breathe and enjoy. These images are a small sample of a variety of city landscapes that I make a note not to ignore on a daily basis.
" (Art) is the fruit of mathematics, science and linguistics that form & shape our existence on this planet. "
Exposure: 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 at a focal length of 50mm
The structural design of bicycles are fascinating to me. In my freelance photography, I am drawn to how light reflects off of the chrome, rain drops dangling below the tubes and how people chain them to bike racks. Composing bikes in unconventional ways create amazing street photographs and abstract work.
proof print of transportation in a non-motion mode
Weathering the Storm of a Creative Block
1/200 sec, f/5.6 , ISO 640
camera: Canon EOS 40D
lenses: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II and Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5
Its a Cruel, (Cruel)...Cruel Summer
A few months ago, I found myself in a creative rut. I wasn't motivated nor had the urge to photograph anything for the majority of the summer months. Experiencing a creative block can be a stressful period for obvious reasons. For me however, it was a game of patience. I decided to not force myself to find inspiration; it would find me eventually and it did. But during this period, I just didn't have the need to photograph. I tried sketching and creating music but my mood was off and I had nothing to say artistically. It happens...
The Rising Sun
Fast forward to this Fall; it is a rare occation when I don't have a camera in my hand. I now spend a lot of time reading and researching the art of photography. I am shooting almost everyday. I have about 25 rolls of undeveloped film (both 35mm and medium format) that are ready to be processed (one day, this is another time consuming project entirely). I also have been using Google +, Tumblr and other social media outlets as references for personal project ideas. Last week I planned to do some sub-framing and shadow chasing over the weekend but Mother Nature had other plans - several days of chilly, wet weather! So I adjusted to what the urban canvas provided and used the last couple of days to do street photography in the rain in Chicago and Detroit.
Creating a dramatic cinematic style
"point of view..." - 1/250 sec, f/1.8, iso of 400 captured with a 50mm lens
camera: Canon EOS 40D
lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Inspiration: Film Noir
I love to watch black and white movies on TCM (Turner Classic Movies)! I appreciate how lighting played a key role in creating a sense of mystery and drama. I've worked in a photography studio quite a few times in the past and I must admit that it is not my strong point. I am not comfortable in a 'controlled setting'. My creative process is to freelance and to not have an actual plan. This is why I gravitate more towards street photography. I personally have more freedom to explore and color outside of the lines a bit.
I like to shoot with a low ISO setting (usually 200 or 250) for a dark tonality. I aim for bright whites and extreme blacks. I'm finding that my photographs seem to 'come to life' a bit more when I minimize my exposure levels in camera and give a slight punch to the contrast. Besides that, I simply freelance and allow interesting subjects to freely appear in the frame.
I use my camera to paint with light. Silhouettes, shade and shadows are most fascinating to me. The emphasis on darkness help create a classic film noir style. I love when I am able to create a photograph that is timeless. Street photography is (or should be) an artistic journey. Every time I go out and shoot is totally different from the last. Part of my photographic experience is to accept what comes naturally, then capture it. I will shoot in the cold, rain, snow and at night. Storytelling is honest so I embrace impactions and flaws; the 'happy accidents' are part of the narrative.
"ying and yang" - created with manual settings of 1/25 sec, f/6.3 with an ISO of 400
camera: Canon EOS 40D
lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
One of the many things that I enjoy about photography is the feeling of freedom. Life creates a pallet full of endless ideas and opportunities to explore. Regardless of the environment, social/political climate or personal hardships, I can find a level of comfort simply by having a creative outlet. Street photography specifically is my way of connecting with others. I like to observe and study human nature. Our body language, hand gestures and facial expressions are beautiful, yet often taken for granted. Capturing people's natural reaction to their own existence helps me appreciate and respect all life forms. We are all connect; I try not to overly complicate this simple fact.
#humanity #life #art #Zen #innerpeace
"Street photography is my way of connecting with others."
"The dust and the grainy look on film developments are like the crackling sound of vinyl records. The mood is warm and soothing to the soul. I embrace imperfections!" - #filmisnotdead
The Zen of Analog Photography
Art provides a path for me to be free, create and to find internal peace. Art is therapeutic. I believe anything worth having usually does not come easy. A process is necessary. For instance, becoming a musician takes time. Learning to play an instrument is a creative process. I want those same experiences with my photography. I don't want 'instant satisfaction'. With photography, I am capturing a moment in time. Time needs time, so I feel what I record visually shouldn't have immediate results from a digital camera. I personally prefer to approach the art of photography with a more traditional method with analog equipment. I feel a strong sentimental connection to my film developments. Therefore, I am now seriously considering shooting film photography 100% simply because I am dedicated to the process of manually creating visual art.
"I feel a strong sentimental connection to my film developments" - #ishootfilm
With a limited amount of frames on a roll of film, I've adjusted to the idea that every shot must count. This idea is also true in life. Film photography is about investing in the moment. I am learning to spend less time worrying about things I can't control. I replace negative thoughts with enjoying simple things that I used to take for granted. However, the results aren't always free from flaws. The lesson is each attempt is better then the last. I am finding comfort in being in the moment; to stop, observe, think and create.
"Film photography is about investing in the moment."
Throughout all of the digital cameras I've purchased, sold, traded and bid for over the years, none of them have any sentimental value to me. Even my most favorite of them all, a FujiFilm X Pro 1...I loved using that camera. Yet when I sold it, I felt nothing. I knew the day that I brought it that I wasn't going to keep it forever, not even more than 2 or 3 years.
On the other hand, my old film cameras have stood the test of time. My Canon F1 and Yashica D are both older than me! These vintage cameras are well crafted, beautiful works of art. Despite their age they are extremely reliable. I don't hesitate to travel with them nor worry about a malfunction or dead batteries.
Film cameras are my cure for GAS! I am less burdened with having an over abundance of tech features on a digital camera that I rarely or never use. I want to control my environment with simple manual settings. I don't want a computer chip to determine my personal vision. My analog cameras help me to be in the moment and enjoy shooting again. I no longer need to shop for any unnecessary digital accessories anymore; just more film for me to shoot. The only non-essential photography-related thing that I now lust for is to add a Leica M2 to my vintage camera collection!
"I am not putting digital photography down or trying to disrespect those who thoroughly enjoy it...its just that the computerized process doesn't give me a sense of artistic pleasure. I personally prefer the simplicity of analog cameras. I want to control my creative vision and not depend on a computer chip to do the work for me."
During this past spring, I anticipated spending the summer months enjoying the sunshine, sporadic motorcycle rides and weekend getaways. I was especially looking forward to shooting more film photography, specifically with my medium format camera. However, the realities of life had other plans. Unexpected roadblocks and obstacles not only rerouted my summer excursions but totally derailed my level of creativity. Now that August is upon us, I missed out on some prime opportunities to expand my portfolio. Yet, I don't feel particular bad about it simply because I really had nothing to say artistically. The few times I did photography over the summer, I wasn't fully engaged in the process. I was shooting with film cameras 100% of the time yet I am not overly anxious to see the results right now either (I don't plan to do any film developing until the fall).
I feel that my creative drought is temporary and will eventually pass. I much prefer to be patient and allow inspiration to find me rather than force myself to shoot just to be shooting. I want my photography to have depth, purpose and meaning. Film photography has taught me to make every frame count. Capturing a micro-second of time should not be taken for granted. This is a simple belief in quality to quantity.
With that, I like to think that my creative process is in the brewing stages. Bold, flavorful coffee is a craft. It takes time, patience and passion. I can surely wait...
I am a street photographer using film and digital formats. I enjoy listening to good music, traveling, quiet time & peace.