Posts Tagged ‘street portraits’

Daily Photo: Skinny Dog Stare

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

skinnydogstare

I am PWD. That’s Posting While Drunk, in case you can’t read my sake acronym. So far this week, I’ve done icky graffiti, adorable baby, and now a dog shot, which fits my basic flow of cute infant, cute mutt, something edgy. (So basically, I’ve killed 2 girls with 1 cup by posting an unsettling animal today.) This also fits my definition of a guerilla street portrait, because LOOK AT THOSE EYES. He’s all bitch, plz, get that thing outta my face. Clearly, I am a puparrazo, stalking the four-legged fur-bearers. And no, I have no idea whether I spelled that correctly. PWD, people!

Daily Photo: Mesmerize Me

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

dilated_close

I found this gentleman outside the Indian grocery on Valencia, and he was gracious about posing for a single shot. While I knew he had a great weathered face, I didn’t realize how hypnotic his eyes were until I opened the image onscreen; I feel so lucky he shared his amazing gaze with me.*

In other news, I am eager to attack the vital question of the day, which concerns the skating outfits worn by last night’s men’s short program competitors (or should I say sparkle-Elvis-iceponies?), but must table that discussion until last night’s variously-flavored vodka gimlets** stop crushing my temple like a tyrant’s bootheel.

PS: If you haven’t seen Johnny Weir’s short program yet, hie thee to YouTube; god love the diva-peacocks, we need their crazy, bitchy light. I also loved the Japanese guy who skated to Jimi Hendrix, mainly because he was so fast I thought he’d melt himself into the ice. I’d find the links for you, but I have hills to climb, pictures to take, and vodka to walk off.

*This is one you should see full size; just click on the picture, then select “all sizes.”

**Bitey chinese five-spice, clean lime, and something else in the middle that went down oh-so-easy, all courtesy of my friend and enabler, The Divine Ms. W, who’s a highly gifted mixologist. Thank you, and damn you, Leanne.

Daily Photo: Stealing Souls

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

backpack&bowlerhat

This is one of the street portraits I took walking through the Castro on Sunday. It was my first trip out into the crowds for some people shots, and I learned that there’s a lot to consider when taking a stranger’s picture. First, you have to decide what you’re after. To capture interesting faces? To catch people unawares, with their regular faces on? To provoke just enough of a confrontation that the image has energy? To meet new people and build trust as you take several semi-posed shots? To uncover the essence of a person in two dimensions, even though you’ve never met them, and the image will be the only evidence of your encounter?

Then there are the technical considerations: Is your camera set up to stop motion and give you the kind of depth of field you want? Can you set the focus points on the fly, so the subject’s eyes are sharp? Have you selected the appropriate ISO and white balance and eleventy trillion other things? Can your fingers do all this without fumbling around?

And finally, there are all the compositional elements that really make the picture sing. What’s happening behind the person; is it distracting or does it add to the story the picture tells? Is there energy, rhythm, balance? Does the image move you, intrigue you, delight you?

And even if you have all this down, the other big consideration in street portraiture is luck. It’s all about timing, fluid motion, and keeping your eye out for the face, the form, that fleeting instant when you should click the shutter.

PS: Press the picture to embiggen. You can click through the links above to see more shots from Sunday, or just go here. There’s more to come, as I get new pix processed. And lord, that’s a whole other story; what happens after you steal the soul.



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Words and the occasional image by me. Link back here or give me credit, please. Email me at: the subtle rudder at mac dot com

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