Monday, December 17, 2007

Candids and Street Photography

I must admit it, I still take a candid every now and then but they are increasingly scarce in my Flickr Photostream. I think there's a certain invasion of privacy involved in it and a detestable "paparazzi" feel to it. In the words of Michael Grecco (author of Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait): "... I do not use the shoot-people-from-a-distance-with-a-long-lens approach. This does not work and is strictly for amateurs who are afraid to engage their subjects". A lot of people would beg to differ with Michael's view but in my opinion he's right on many levels. Photographing a stranger does not convey any emotions other than the interpretation of the person behind the lens. While some of those spontaneous captures might be amusing and compelling at times, they do not tell a story. Having said that, sometimes the image calls for the right mood and the right person at the right time:

Taken on Saturday, December 15th, 2007 after leaving the Bedford Academy. It was just a few hours before the city of Toronto got hit by a snow storm, which dumped 25 cms of snow on the ground. It was a cold night and maybe the prospect of spending all day Sunday at home prompted this lone soul to roam the streets in search of a pub that would provide some comfort. Again, that's my interpretation, maybe this guy didn't want to go out in the first place but he got talked into it by his friends and he was just thinking: "damn it, I should have stayed at home".

Looking Through The Cold

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Toronto and Ontario Landscape Images Available for sale as Rights-Managed and Royalty-Free stock images

You can view the whole gallery here

I've always been fascinated by landscape photography but always found a good excuse not to take those sort of captures myself: "Oh, I live in the city, there aren't many places where I can take interesting landscape shots, blah, blah"

I recently decided to stop looking for excuses and start looking for good locations within the city to setup something somewhat similar to what I had seen in magazines. The few things that I've learned so far and which I think are pretty much standard for this type of photography are as follows:

1. Scout your location first. I live in Toronto, Canada and it can get pretty cold in the winter so if you are crazy enough like me and decide to go outdoors shooting on a cold day, you better have some sort of concept in your head of the shot you are looking for, otherwise the temperatures won't allow you too much time to walk around while trying to figure out what you want to shoot.

2. Get up early or wait for a sunset. Dramatic skies are more evident and have better colour at this time of the day.

Here are a couple of samples all of them taken early in the morning: