a collection of experiences, ideas and image samples related to street photography.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is an international event on Sunday, September 30, 2018.
This year I am excited to join fellow gentlemen & ladies who ride vintage-styled motorcycles and mopeds at the annual Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise funds and awareness for mens health and prostate cancer on behalf of the Movember Foundation.
’ve been riding motorcycles for almost four years now. As an introvert, I’m not one for the typical group rides, bike gatherings and such. Most motorcycle riders are attracted to the social benefits which I think is great, but usually the scene just doesn’t fit my personality. I strongly prefer to spend my free time on the road on my bike. Yet I must admit that the Gentleman’s Ride was always appealing to me. I thought dressing up in my most classy attire while cruising on a cafe racer would be the coolest thing. I now have a modern classic, a 2015 Triumph Bonneville, that meets the qualifications for the charity ride. Yet far more importantly, the Gentleman’s Ride is an opportunity to play an active role in raising awareness to combat serious health-related issues that plague many families.
With that, I am riding this year in honor of a great man, my wife’s uncle, James (Honey) Nevis, Jr.
I am extremely happy that after the first two days of my campaign launch , I am already half-way towards my fundraising goal for the Gentleman’s Ride ! I received some very generous donations from close friends and co-workers. There is still a long way to go but I am confident that my fundraising goal will be met. Please give what you can and show your support.
Please visit The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride for more information and to donate.
“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”
– Eve Arnold
Here are a few outtakes from a series of street photographs I captured in the city of Detroit during the month of February.
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.
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.
One of the many things that fascinates me about the art of photography is its connection to the past. Not just how we can freeze time; but more so the style and feel of using film cameras. I appreciate the craftsmanship and the noises... the quick snap of the shutter, the clink of the timer; I love it all! Film cameras are time machines.
Think about this fact; there are film photographs that are older than every human being alive on earth today. Most, we can assume, haven't even been preserved with the most precious care either. As for the equipment, analog cameras don't die. They may break, but they can be repaired. Film cameras don't depend on batteries (well, older manual cameras don't) or need to be upgraded for enormously, unnecessarily high megapixels and ISO. Film cameras don't even have to be expensive to produce superb images. As long as the lenses are clean and sharp, that is more than enough.
As for what I love most, its the ascetics of film developments…wow! They are beautiful. Even the flaws in film photographs have character and creates a mood that I don’t find in my digital images. I love the cracks, dust, odd colors and soft focus. I embrace what is on the negative. Even when I scan to digital, I find myself not editing out dust spots and such. Film photography for me is about honesty.
Here are a few 35mm photographs I recently rediscovered in my archives:
Naturally painting shade & shadows...
cameras: FujiFilm X-E1, X-Pro 1 and X-T10
lenses: Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 and Fujinon 18mm f/2/0
As the saying goes, 'the early bird catches the worm'. I believe this is especially true when it comes to street photography. Over the years I've become accustomed to not sleeping in (even on weekends) and to venture out to photograph at sunrise. The smells of fresh coffee from corner bakeries combined with the sight of smoke spewing from manhole covers stimulates my creativity. The city if full of excitement and I aim to capture as much as possible. I have a sense of accomplishment when I am one of the first street photographers out hunting for deep shadows.
The natural light before noon makes architecture and urban landscapes just that much more dramatic. I've tested a variety of camera settings; I found that my personal sweet spot fall between 200-400 ISO, a f/8 or smaller aperture and shutter speeds between 1/60 to 1/80. I've used a Fujinon 18mm f/1.8 lens on a number of occasions. However the Fujinon 18mm continued to suffer from soft focusing. This seems to be a common flaw mentioned by other owners of these lens. This has pushed me in the direction of using old prime lenses from the film photography era. The FujiFilm X series cameras work like a gem when paired with vintage lenses! I like them so much I now prefer analog lenses over digital any day of the week. I don't mind working a bit harder with manual lenses to get the results I want. Photography excursions during the early morning hours is an excellent opportunity to test the limits of lenses and to sharpen photography techniques.
I am a street photographer using film and digital formats. I enjoy listening to good music, traveling, quiet time & peace.