It has been about more than a month since I last used the Olympus DSLR E-5 shooting on the street, putting it aside, I chose to use my older E-520 and E-PL1 alternatively instead. In the course of the past few weeks I have also experimented with a few rather unusual methods, including the use of flash on my street shooting, as well as going a little extreme on my slow shutter speed shooting. I have also used the kit lens, shooting mostly at 14mm wide end, something that I rarely did previously. After spending much time and effort going around doing things that I do not usually do, finally, today, I decided to move back to my comfort zone, and just be myself, shooting with my favourite lens 50mm F2 macro, and executing my usual style (no flash, no extra crazy stunts, just direct, simple approach) of getting close for close up street portraits. Oh wait, that was not really street photography strictly speaking if they were portraits of strangers looking into my camera, but seriously, who cares?
All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 macro
Drama on the Street
A shop owner was hitting a beggar (not sure if the broken arm was real) with a wooden stick. I shot this from across the road, but they noticed me and I was like "oh crap I better move fast" and so I hurried away. In situations like this, you do need a longer focal length.
On the sidewalk
"were you taking my photograph?"
Stuck to my mum
That red container
That man on the bike
Will it fit?
I noticed my usual approach to street photography (or whatever I am shooting on the street) was much simpler, and direct, in comparison to what most people would do. I have less considerations and pre-planning running through my mind, all I did was going out there, let the subjects come to me and I just shoot whatever that catches my attention. If I felt that it was safe enough, I would walk in closer for a tighter composition. If it was the opposite, I would shoot from a distance. Sometimes I would use one lens, sometimes I would change lens to get the perspective that I felt would suit that certain framing better. No, I do not have fixed rules or any guidelines to follow really, I just went right in front and attacked my street subjects.
In today's session, I realized how much I have missed the E-5 and the marvelous 50mm F2 lens. The joy of having that extra working distance from the subject was something refreshing.
There are times we try out new things and discover new techniques, or different approach to shooting. There are times we stay within our comfort zone and do what we know best, and what we love doing all over again. At the end of the day, as long as I come home with a set of photographs, I am happy, and I felt that my mission for the day has been accomplished.