One of my biggest inspirations when it comes to street photography is by far Jay Maisel. I could browse through his work for days with complete amazement. He just recently turned 80 years old and it shows, not in his physical ability, appearance or mannerisms, but in his wealth of knowledge and skill! He’s famously known now days for his beautiful photography of the streets of New York. He goes for a “photo walk” every single day and exercises his “photography muscle” as he so elegantly describes it. He’s also known for shooting pretty much everything at ISO 1600 giving him a very distinctive feel to his stunning photography.
I have learned so much from studying the work and watching many interviews with this extraordinary photographic master. So I decided to give a go at running about town at ISO 1600, and I must say the noise that you get at this ISO speed gives a very stylized effect which I like in some instances such as this photo, and have yet to acquire the taste of in others. It adds a bit of extra grit to the already gritty scenery downtown and can lead to some pleasing results. And I cant argue with the forgiving shutter speeds it lends in taking crisp shots in busy downtown. I think often as photogs we tend to get to worked up on image quality and trying to shoot at the lowest possible settings that we forget to just play, and experiment. Its great to see a true expert ignore the rules and CREATE his own masterpieces rather than worry about the settings.
I am truly happy I gave this a shot as it has pushed me outside my comfort zone of having to have as sharp or smooth of images as possible. It brings to the table the flexibility of creativity. Though I may not shoot like this all the time like Jay, it is definitely in my “camera bag” of tricks, and I look forward to pulling it out when the time calls… and maybe even when the time doesn’t call for.
Thanks Jay Maisel!
I love the quiet feel of this scene, its like a taste of relaxation amongst the bold busy ingredients of the rest of Downtown. Its actually quit contrasting to the busy street it is nestled into. This small restaurant sits on the corner of a building I’ve shot just about every time I’ve been downtown shooting. The building has a certain character to it that I have not done any justice with my photos, butt I will continue to fight with it until it opens up to me. However every time in shooting I’ve always focused on the detailed lining of the rounded roof and have constantly overlooked this beautiful scene beneath. I have touched on this subject in the past, yet still find it amazing that we can be so focused on something that we miss the beauty thats just a few feet in a different direction. And yes even I unfortunately fall into this pitfall at times, but its refreshing to catch myself in the act as it brings me back to reality.
Overall I just find comfort in this scene, with the warm tones and gentle structure. I probably should have bumped the ISO up a being in the shadows, but I still enjoy the resulting image. Even the soft edges from hand holding at this low of a shutter speed adds to the general comfort of the photo in my opinion. I do plan on getting back to enjoy the food and wines they have to offer, in hopes the building will warm up to me and allow me a nice shot of its other beauties.
Our crazy weather is back on to melting the snow once more, and its actually quit interesting that with everything covered in a white blanket the last week, the absence of snow has re-heightened my vision of interest around me. As if I had a brief vacation from the normal world and was returning to experience it once again. Adding highlights to the scenes around us the gentle lines of remaining snow reminds us not to forget what season we are in. These quick shifts in weather provide opening for gratitude and appreciation of what we encounter on a day to day basis, whether it be a beautiful winter wonder scene or the often overlooked “works of art” that lies in everyday places the contrasting elements add more dimension to our lives.
Among other things, Im a sucker for simplicity, geometric shapes and architecture and when they come together I get really really excited! I absolutely love everything in this scene! I love the two brief highlights of snow, the simple rectangles, triangles and the circle especially. On top of that the cropping of the scene leaves the sky in the same diagonally cut rectangle shape as the different cinder blocks that make up the top portion of the wall. The texture of the cement helps break it free from the overcast sky, and the inside roofing of the building just about looks like it doesn’t belong. In my mind I picture a parallel world through the hole and cant help but to want to peak through. And of course I love the blue within the ring of the circle, probably one of my all time fav shades of blue. Its such a simple scene yet it holds so much detail and has quit the story to tell. At least thats my thought 😉
Downtown was absolutely gorgeous today, however the wind was sharp as a knife! I mean it was COLD with a capital C..O..L..D. With gloves on, my fingers still froze over enough I couldn’t hit the shutter any more. My girlfriend and I made it around a single block before deciding to head back to the car. Luckily there was still plenty of unique surroundings in the single block to be captured through the lens.
What I love about this scene is that each window had its own radically different perspective on the building across the street. They each see the building in their own unique way and boldly express it to the rest of the world. This is much like the viewers that come through this blog on a daily basis (THATS YOU!!! :). Everyone experiences art and photography in their own unique way. I absolutely love reading the comments and thoughts (keep em coming!!) that are posted about each photo, because I love experiencing my creative expressions through the eye’s of my visitor. Thats the beauty of art, how one person experiences the piece is sometimes drastically different than the next person, and thats 100% ok. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to Art, just multiple experiences. Imagine how bland the world would be if we had no creative vision.. So like the windows above, boldly share your perception of the world!
There’s starting to be a reoccurring theme in my photos right now, and that is in Street/Urban photography. I promise variety is in store for future shoots, but I can’t deny I do love the beauty of shots taken in town. We often walk by these frames in real life and tune them out as some sort of white noise. I love bringing these things back into focus and taking time to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
I love the Heraldic like crest in between these two archways, which adds a subtle sense of interest and elegance. It beautifully contrasts the common geometric shapes that surround it. The empty flag stand to the left sparks my creative wonder of, if this were a building of royalty and elegance, which flag would hang there. hmm..