2014 St. Patrick’s weekend in Savannah and my thoughts on street photography

You can’t get any more irish than this.

Presenting yourself

Some people like the idea of taking candid/street photographs, but are often timid about it. Better yet, they feel guilty because they think they’re violating someone!

The nature of street and event photography is, you practically have no control on the environment and the lighting. Take your chances and snap away. You look at your subjects and think about them a whole lot more than they would care about you. It’s not as if you’re following someone or being very vicious going about it. Just a random person snapping photographs on the street, big deal. (Unless, they are like this bitch)

You can look for a good composition and wait for a subject, or vice versa. You could get sneaky and snoopy (please don’t), or just walk about and checking every angle possible to get the best comp (you will still get looks).

Probably my favourite shot in the whole series.

But hey, then it hit me: When I see someone dressed for the occasion, I can just ask them to pose for a bloody photo. These guys are usually (more than) half drunk, and they are often flattered to have a guy with a fancy camera going about in the crowd, asking to take a photo of them.

Honestly, just ask. At times like this, these guys really don’t give a f*ck. Case of point.

As far as equipment goes, what gets you the shots, gets you the shots. However, I have a little rule for myself: the more people there are, the bigger your camera can be.

People get creeped out when they see a giant, vertical-ready DSLR with a huge-ass lens, or better yet, a Hassy, if they are one of the handful in a block.

When there are a lot of people about, it is natural to assume that you are part of the crowd or doing a job. Hence, bigger cameras are more acceptable.

A moderately sized DSLR with a (relatively) tiny prime got me very far because I would have looked like a tourist that is serious with photography, at most. I also found that dressing reasonably well – especially when one is not the most attractive person such as myself- keeps me away from the creep radar.

I am pretty sure she and her parents would have freaked out if I were in a T-shirt and shorts, carrying a giant body and a ‘perv lens’.

Getting the shots

Take lots of shots.

I have gotten total tally of sixty shots that I think are appropriate to upload on this blog. Would you like to know how many times my camera recorded an image during this weekend? More than three thousand.

It’s a serious shot to self-esteem; but for someone with good discipline, it was worth it.

I don’t always get a pleasing composition, and considerable number of shots would be blurry or out of focus. However, I give a little faith to my eyes. This is where traditional art training helps in photography: seeing a lot of good compositions, doing exercises and learning what works and what does not improves our eyes’ intuition and the photographic impulse that makes us raise our cameras.

Once I load my pictures to the computer, I start nit-picking. I trim down until I come to a point where raising the standards any further will leave me with no shots.

“Artists don’t study” is a load of bollocks. When a photographer is not engaging in his craft, he is reading. Training their eyes for compositional cues, and learning socio-cultural dynamics for visual ideas and references is just as important as shooting discipline and technical prowess.

You could say that my best shots are pretty mediocre. But then again, I take the effort to learn the stuff.

Enough talking. I’m getting too negative.
Here’s the gallery of cute pictures from the weekend.


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