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Friday, 7 February 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge: Street Photography

Linking to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge

Even as I type, I'm considering not participating in the Personal Photo Challenge this month.  But here I am, armed with the proviso that this post is more about process than product.  I carried my camera around and actually snapped a few shots on the street.  It wasn't as hard or as scary as I had expected and I might even try again when I can change a few ingredients in the mix.  By that I mean that I'd like to leave Little Miss at home and go downtown by myself.  Street shooting, it turns out, is all about being subtle and reacting quickly to what you see.  Both are challenging with toddler it tow.

But I tried and I'm proud of myself for that.  As I walked the neighbourhood, I wore my camera around my neck and started watching people.  Very interesting.  I saw lots that I'd have loved to capture -- like a cluster of five teens walking down the sidewalk all with heads down, texting -- but couldn't move quickly enough to get a the shot.  Even what I did shoot lacks quite a bit in terms of composition and timing.  This lady and her dog, for instance, were in the sun, where they would have shown better, three steps ago.

I thought this was interesting.  Two strangers, back to back, waiting for the bus and isolating themselves from the world.  But they're had to see -- too much shadow and too many things in the way.

This last one is my favorite.  It was a cold, windy day and anyone out on the street was clearly going somewhere with purpose and speed.  I wonder what drove this man to layer up his coats, pull up his hoodie and hit the street.  Does he not own a pair of gloves?

All that to say that I think I've gained more in terms of thought process and learning to look than these photos may suggest.  Thanks for pushing me this month, Donna.


  1. You've had a challenging time and rose to the top for even attempting to take photos. People watching is interesting, isn't it? There's always a story there.
    I know someone who would keep your Little Miss if you want to go downtown to shoot photos or do anything else.

  2. You were brave to go out and start photographing people. I would have had a problem with the lady and dog coming toward me. Perhaps the bundled up fellow is to macho to wear gloves!

  3. "More about process that product" - brilliant observation! Yes, these challenges can push us to try some things that are new to us. But they open up our eyes! We end up being more observant at a result. And there are so many things to consider, such as lighting, composition, angles, backgrounds, etc. I don't know how you managed it with a young one in tow because I have enough of a hard time making sure of my footing so that I don't trip, LOL.

    You did a wonderful job on these, and I especially like how you are objectively evaluating the merits of each one after the fact. And that last one fascinates me as well because the absence of gloves is a story unto itself. Did he lose them? Does he not like them?

    I'm so glad that you pushed yourself and learned some things this month! That's the whole point of these assignments! We practice and learn new skills, and those translate into taking better and better images over time. Thank you so much for joining in!

  4. These are great street scenes Cristal - gosh you did well with your 'little one' in tow!
    What a coup with your first shot - THAT was brave! I would have waited until she had passed me - I'm not at all brave!
    The bus stop image is what our world is about today - people on cell phones - oblivious to others around them.
    A great picture story of people going about their business on a cold day in your town!

  5. You did a really nice job!! I like the bus stop shot. What is she thinking? Where is she going?

  6. I'm going to work on being braver with my camera this year. It really is pushing me out of my comfort zone. But you get the photo of the woman and her dog and that's a very good start!

  7. Good challenge Cristal. You are braver than me. {I chose crowded streets.} I like them all but the bus stop is my favourite for the light, the angles of the street and the shelter and the red sweater and lamppost. Well done.

  8. So much in life is about the process and not the product. Anything new is always a learning thing. What you've done here strikes me as being the very essence of a street scene. The lady and her dog may not have shown up any better in the light, I'm thinking and how brave you were as she must have known you were taking her photo. It is interesting that people connect more with their gadgets and computers than with the people available, as proved in Blogdom daily. ☺Thank you for your visit and sweet comment, Cristal. Much appreciated!

  9. Much more of a challenge than my shots which were taken at a street fair. To be out taking pictures on a less crowded location is really putting yourself out there. Well done. I like the dog walker a lot but my favorite is at the bus stop. A lot going on in that picture.

  10. Well, I like the All! Super shots and on such a cold day!!! You're braver than I am!!

  11. This was a tough challenge but you did great. I think the street scenes you chose were just what was needed! I'm late visiting but I've had fun visiting your blog and seeing your cooking posts, too! Everyone loves those! Hugs!