Moving through the crowd at a BLM rally I spotted this young lady and asked if I could take her photo, she turned and directly engaged the camera by looking down the barrel, I pressed the shutter, thanked her and walked away. Something I now regret.
These regrets could have been avoided for a couple of reasons
Didn’t spend enough time with her to have her pose properly but its still worked out
Didn’t ask her name or email address so a print or digital file could be sent to her.
Realized that this is one of those photos you keep going back to over time.
I also learnt I need to slow down photographing protests, this is not easy as most are pretty fluid, filled withe emotion and can turn violent in the blink of an eye, however there is also a fear of not capturing the event in its entirety.
Until next time, happy shooting.
Please note: due to limited space on WP, a full-size version is available at Flickr which can be seen by clicking on the photo. Flickr presents the photo better
Not every photo or photo opportunity works out, some times no matter what you do or how hard you try, it just doesn’t happen and that’s what happened to me. Late December, I spotted a group of race horses training on my local beach and an idea formed to photograph these beautiful horses. I conjured up images of horses galloping or swimming on the beach with moody clouds in the background, maybe even a little fog or early morning mist. To achieve that I needed everything to align including the Weather Gods to do their job at the same time the horses were training on the beach but alas it was not to be.
Yep, its a horse on a beach, with rocks in the background!
I don’t know why but several weeks went by with no luck of seeing any race horses however there was plenty of evidence that they had been there as they had left hoof prints in the sand. Taking this to mean that they must train either pretty early in the morning or only on specific days. For the next couple of weeks, I got earlier and earlier every day determined to spot these horses, finally spotting a lone race horse.
Excited like a 5 year old in a lolly shop to finally see the lone racehorse caused me to forgot the basics and I didn’t ask myself any questions. Over time these questions become second nature these questions are asked and answered pretty quickly before I hit the shutter which reduces the amount of mistakes that could be made in a high pressure situations when getting it right counts.
What’s in the background’? Rocks! – Move to improve!
Am I shooting into the bright morning sun?’ Yes, maybe photograph down the length of the beach with a telephoto lens would be a better option.
What’s at the edges of my frame?
Where is my focal point? Is it on the subject
Is it in focus? Do I need to put my glasses on for it to be focus? Sadly the answer is Yes, I need my glasses to see the LCD screen/view finder clearly.
As I said these questions form part of a mental checklist in an attempt to reduce the amount of mistakes but there are occasions that the answer you get may not be answer you want or neded. This then provides you the opportunity to determine then and there on the spot if you need to change anything to improve or accept the result.
I may have come away with something different and something that I was happy with if I had asked myself any of the above questions, but I didn’t ask any questions. Maybe I’m being a bit to hard on myself, I’m not sure however these horses train reguarly so there is ample opportunity to improve the overall result.
When I achieve something decent with this project, I’ll post an update until then I’m off to the lolly shop, anybody want anything?
Firstly, your safety is paramount. If any protest or protesters become violent towards you or others, including the police interacting with protesters, leave. Your safety is more important and must have a higher value than any photo you take and your safety always come first. No photo is worth you being injured or hurt.
Travelling, mainly for work, I had decided that the photos taken during my trip would be to show my family the famous sights of London with no intention of sharing, so I was surprised to stumble across a what looked like a protest, a peaceful protest, on a bridge, a famous bridge (Westminister Bridge) in London. What an opportunity!
Pushing through the crowds trying to get a feel of what the protest was about I found that there were plenty of photographic opportunities with good light and everyone seemed pretty happy, might be the whacky weed that was in the air, to have their photos taken.
Some people will struggle with my next comment, I selected Auto on my camera and started shooting. Why not? Camera companies spend millions of dollars developing incredibly small computers and sensors to work everything out so why not select auto.
Documentary and street photography are genres that I have always been attracted to, I find them to be challenging as you have little to no control of what is about to happen and how you capture those moments can be a challenge in itself. Ultimately you want people to feel connected to your images and to possibly inspire them in some small way.
Please remember, if you do decide to photograph a protest, remember your safety must come first over any photo opportunities.