Photography – Week 48

A number of attempts at street photography . . .



I liked the mix of colors and lines and the mix of people who noticed the camera and those who were oblivious. I am making more of an effort to frame the shot despite the fact that it tends to alert people a bit more than I’d like. There is something interesting in the moment people notice the camera and the eye contact but I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

lime green



I’m not sure about pictures like these. I like the hat in combination with the sun glasses but I’m not sure the actual photograph is any good. There’s some interesting echoes of shape and color. The light is a bit harsh but I liked the contrast.



I had two shots like this. The other had the lady in the wheelchair in focus. The light was nice. The background is distracting but I like her face enough to keep it.

the look


This was from across the street at 35mm which was  a bit far. I like the no hands casualness and the circles vs rectangles enough to keep it. This is one of the examples of a person noticing the camera and it improving the picture.



This was part of the crowd watching the two block police chase. The expression of the mother and the older son were what interested me.

Kindred Spirits only go so far


Good light and interesting combinations of texture and color. She was also watching the police chase finale.

like the news


More witnesses. There was something about the texture and color that felt old to me.

Hipster in the wind


Casual hipster with his hair blowing in the wind. I struggle with the focus speed on this particular lens (or maybe the body) which makes it more of a challenge for the speed required in street photography. I may have to play with another body to see if that changes anything. I kept the image anyway because it seemed representative and kind of amusing.



The end of the famous two block police chase- I thought initially that the tattooed guy was filming the police but I think instead he’s photographing his car. There were plenty of people filming the cops  . . . but they were farther away.

Comments on this post

  1. byzantiumbooks said on November 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Re: filming. Why do we still call it filming when there is no film involved? Why do students write papers when they are submitted electronically and will never be on paper? Why do we dial a telephone when there is no dial? Just wondering about language…

  2. CogDog said on November 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I had this discussion with a colleague who’s son works in Hollywood and they still call what is digital video “footage”. And I like when talking about This American Life, Ira Glass refers to what they record as “getting it on tape” I like the old language.

    But brilliant stuff, Tom. The angles too lend a lot to the street energy, tension. And freaking brave. I am really mostly timid about taking photos of strangers beyond sneaked shots.

    So I am curious about any before/after body language, gestures or just smiles you find effective in not freaking people out. I try to think if I look like a newspaper photographer, it’s okay? Do they every yell? Smile back? Are people really paranoid about being photographed or do we just expect them to be. Like that guy leering at Alchemy Coffee (you did not even mention the irony of that stern face and the pink/green polka dotted bag)

    What happens in the moments outside of that single frame?

    I’ve had only mixed luck, but bicycles are good subjects to try for that passing camera technique, where you use a setting less than freeze motion (shallower depth of field) and pan camera to track the motion. If you do it right, the moving subject is clear and everything else blurred.

    Keep on shooting, loving the weekly summaries, especially the ones with narrative.

    • Tom Woodward said on November 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I love etymology and I like thinking about how language works. I think if we follow our language a few steps back, the sources of vast numbers of words would make far less sense (clue originally being clew for ball of threat etc.). It’s only odd during the brief moments when there are people alive who touch both the source and the future of the word- kind of like that “it’s only tech if it was invented after you were born” quote.

      I don’t know if I’m a good model for any of this as I’m not quite subtle enough to avoid all notice and not brazen/fearless enough to be in people’s faces the way some people suggest.

      I tend to keep moving. If people look at me, I’ll make eye contact and nod. Sometimes I’ll smile and take a picture of something else to show they’re not the victim of stalking (or maybe it reinforces the idea that I’m an odd guy who also takes pictures of rust and should be avoided). This guy’s a bit link-bait-y but there’s some good stuff in his lists. I’ve had some odd looks but haven’t had any bad experiences (yet). I do some shooting from the hip which some people hate but which might help avoid extra drama. I really don’t want to upset/frighten anyone and behave accordingly. I also think that the environment shapes how people notice/respond. What you might be able to do in NYC might not work well in Strawberry AZ.

      I continue to work at it. The kind words help balance out the harsher critiques but both are useful in the end.

  3. byzantiumbooks said on November 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    A few weeks ago, while waiting for my wife using an ATM at a credit union, I wandered around the lot tking pix of plants, architecture, reflections, security cameras, nice innocent stuff. Out comes a bank manager, politely asking what I was up to. Apparently some folks were frightened by me, thinking I was photoing license plates and ATM transactions.

    Cameras are eveywhere, but when people notice you with one, reactions will be there.