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!