Have you ever noticed how kids on the edges of a group picture try to squeeze themselves in the frame ?
I should have told them I had my 35mm lens on … ;)
Cochin – Leica M9 with 35mm Lux Asph at F4.0, 1/250, ISO160
As you might know, another rampage in the US led to the death of 6 people attending a ceremony in a Sikh temple. Why were they the target ? It is unclear yet but apparently one more hate crime.
This event reminded me how peaceful, tolerant and welcoming was our stay in the capital of the Sikh world, Amritsar and its Golden temple. It must be a day of grief there today, our thoughts are with them. (click on picture for high res)
A reader asked me a few days ago whether techniques such as cloning or cropping are ok in street photography ? Good question and sincerely, I have no clear opinion on this subject.
Cloning should probably be a no go, especially when adding or removing important elements of a picture. Yet at the same time, I do sometimes use the cloning tool to remove dust and grease stains that are generated by my sensor. Not really my fault (and cannot clean it every day), so I guess it is ok to remove something generated by your camera and not the flow of life.
As for cropping, I think it is acceptable if one feels the final result represents well his own vision of a scene. I rarely crop and the few times I do it is to correct a bent horizon line. I have tried extensive cropping but always feel uncomfortable with it since I feel the picture no longer represent what I saw in the viewfinder. Still, it is the end result that matters not the mean so If the picture ends up great cropped, congrats to his author.
Anyways, I guess we all have different approaches to it and no rules are carved in stone in street photography. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts on this in the comment sections.
As for today's shot, taken in Cochin, let's say this is the only time you'll ever see that from me … (click on picture for high res)
During the next to last day of our 80 weeks trip around the world, I suddenly found myself shooting at F16 and a speed of 1/8th for the first time. For someone that basically shoots only at large apertures and high speed, what could then have happened?
Influence. I fell to influence. Indeed, I had just discovered a wonderful picture by Raghu Rai at the Mumbai train station. I found it reproduced so well the atmosphere of this extraordinary place that I could not help trying a similar effect when I got in the building. Bad or good ? I don't know and I suppose that it unconsciously happens to many of us as we reproduce framings and scenes we have seen before, somewhere. In the end, our perception of the world is the sum of past experiences so a lot of what we photograph today is influenced by pictures we have seen in the past. I guess that as long as one does not try to mimik consciously what has been done before, this is fine.
This being said, the slow speeds and motion blur is not my thing and after a couple of attempts (picture 1 and 2), I quickly switched back to what I consider my own style : high vantage point and blur (picture 3 and 4). Though these last two pictures are not anywhere near Raghu's wonderful take on the station, they do represent my own vision of the world. I'll stick to them, no more F16 !
If you would like to discover Raghu Rai's picture of Mumbai Central station, follow this link (second row, last picture). And if you never heard about him, take some time to discover his wonderful work, it is definitelhy worth it.
(click on pictures for high res)
All pictures taken with Leica M9 with 35mm Lux Asph
Only a few steps of the ultimate symbol of love, some stay stuck behind barbed wires. (click on picture for high res)
As started a couple of weeks ago, I'll keep on posting a few technical comments on the pictures. Today's illustrates the risk of playing too much with shallow depth of field. Indeed, the wall is slightly of focus, so is the Taj Mahal. In this case, the blur does not really bring anything to the picture, therefore a smaller aperture would probably have been better. Shallow depth of field must be used wisely as blur is not always the best way to go.
Leica M9 with 35mm Lux Asph at F2.0, 1/3000, ISO160
I guess this picture will bring back some memories to those of you that were born before the paper milk bricks. Once upon a time, kids walked do the dairy to pick-up fresh milk. Note that in India, these kind of jars are often used to store the daily meal of students.
Technically, this street portrait shows how I prefer to place subjects in front of a uniform background (the pavement). It allows to create clear separation between the person and its background, which is further enhanced by the blur in this instance. (click on picture for high res)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/60, ISO640