First, I would like to inform you that I am taking 7 days off starting tomorrow. I recently found several of my college classmates living in LA, so we will have a small reunion. We haven’t seen or talked to each other for more than 40 years. (How fast we’ve aged!) I intend to keep reading your blogs when I am in LA, but I am not sure I will be able to comment or post.
Since Learning Photographing… Thoughts/Questions was posted, I have learned a lot. Thanks to all wonderful bloggers: Some have encouraged me, some provided the feedback I needed, and many showed me how good photos should look like. Every little bit of help is appreciated. The result is that I feel quite comfortable calling myself a photographer now 😉
Lynne (sixdegreesphotography) recommended Otto’s (In Flow) “Finding Your Photographic Voice” e-workshop. I thought it was a good idea. But at the same time, I worried not be able to find my voice during workshop (how embarrassing would that be? ;-). So, I decided to do some homework before the workshop. My goal was to “almost” find my voice before the beginning of the workshop.
To my surprise, after seeing everyone’s photo for many days, I began understanding who I really am as a photographer, and what I know what I want to do.
Street photography excites me because every moment you catch is different. Also, I like connecting to people. In a quiet way, that is.
I tried street photographing a couple of times in the past two weeks and compared my photo with those I admired. I found out several things:
(1) Many street photographers that I admire often have bold, strong image (I love that), but I, on the other hand, usually catch the soft side of things (or people). I think this is OK. I can continue doing what I am doing, while enjoy other photographers’ photos.
(2) I seldom see color photos; most are B&W. Every photo I took, I would convert it to B&W and compare it with the original color one. I have to admit that 90% of the time, I do like B&W better. My guess is that without getting distracted by colors, I am able to focus on what I want to focus, like people’s face expression… etc. But there must be times, colors can add more to a street photo. I am still trying to figure this one out.
(3) I see how good contrast could really enhance the photo. But how much contrast is a good amount? I haven’t figured out that yet. I usually stop increasing contrast when I think I like the photo. But I wonder if the photo can be further improved if more contrast has been applied.
(4) What to do with all those street photographs I am taking? I posted this question on Jeremy’s blog (Perception), and have received good answers from both Jeremy and Paul (Instants Out of Time). E-book, photo book, display on some website… there are many options. I have this concern because only posting it on my blog doesn’t seem satisfying me. I like to show those magic moments to general public, so they can enjoy them too – I like to contribute to people, you may say. I also like to give the photo to the person herself/himself, but that is not always possible. Thanks to Jeremy and Paul. As far as I’m concern, this is solved.
In general, I find myself becoming more observing: I notice more things when I walk on the street; sometime I can tell what kind of post processing have been applied to a certain photo; and sometime I can identify HDR photos.
I need to pay more attention to the background when I take photos, instead of totally focusing on people’s expression. Of course, I should learn more about my camera and take better photos.
I hope I didn’t bore you to death. Wish you a happy 4th of July and have a wonderful week. I will leave you with some street photos I took. I appreciate it if you care to let me know how to improve them. One thing I particularly interested to find out is: Should contrast be increased or reduced?