So today instead of the typical photo walk with my camera back strapped to my back, I set out on a new challenge to take to the streets with only one lens, my 50mm prime. I typically like to switch between my 18-55 and 55-250 to have a bit of flexibility but wanted to push myself into a more structured thought process while photographing todays scenes. I must say it was an invigorating challenge and definitely pushed me to be more conscious of my subjects. I exercised zooming with my feet and ended up with more creative compositions because of it. Its the body tingling sensation of actually being able to feel growth as you push yourself into new territories.
I know many photogs have exercised this lens on the streets in the past, but the truth is I have been overly comfortable with my zoom lenses, allowing me to lazily take the shot I want from a distance. Working with a prime caused me to choose my subjects and composition more carefully which resulted in a new level of photographs. I did exercise my new found enthusiasm for ISO 1600, however it was more so because of the dark overcast we had today. In moving in and out of the shadows and shade today 1600 really lent to some extra flexibility allowing me to focus more on getting the most out of the 50mm.
I spent most of my time on the college campus downtown and found a good campout spot at the top of the student and faculty parking garage. I heard Photographer Jay Maisel quote another photographer in saying “Find the stage and the players will come”. Thats exactly what I did. As soon as I seen this extraordinary scene below me I knew I had to patiently wait for the perfect player to arrive. My original intentions were to get a car leaving the parking garage, which I did get a few fantastic captures of that, but as it turns out the best “player” was this student who walked across my stage with utmost confidence and grace! I’ve also heard Jay Maisel say if you aren’t terrified that your going to miss your shot, then the shot isn’t worth taking. That was definitely the case here. I had been waiting for the perfect shot for just over 45 minutes at this location and now that it had arrived I didn’t want to miss it. Miraculously I only fired off one shot and in my opinion nailed it. I was so excited I could have ended the shoot there, however I continued on and actually found some other hidden areas of downtown that few have seen and may be the subject of future Daily Exposures.
I see in the comments people mentioning how many people and look at other photographers and say you are so lucky to get those shots, as if they just magically appear in our viewfinder. Well Ill tell you I’ve had to fight for many of my shots and I wouldn’t classify it as luck. I’ve missed more shots then I’ve made and its just persistence that leads to great shots! This is the same in any endeavor we may embark on, persistency is key, it may not happen right away but as long as we stay focused on a single goal we will get pleasing results.
Also be sure to check out todays Guest Blog Post by a good friend and mentor of mine Kris Mathis. You can see it over here. Leave a comment and show Kris the same kind of massive support you guys show me 🙂