While we’ve been dealing with snow, way too much, we have been having a few of those Spring days that make living in DC oh so worth it. They have been too few and far between, but we have had them. And Streetamatic got one of those great sights of DC in Springtime. Why did these women bring lawn chairs out to Gravelly Point? Are they aviation enthusiasts? Given the fact that it’s DC, they might work for the FAA and enjoy plane watching in their free time (tell me that’s not possible in this town!). Certainly, the plane landing gives location and uniqueness to the photo; without it, this sight could be anywhere. All around, a great shot!
We have a fascinating a scene from Mount Pleasant today, captured by Gerda. There is a fascinating complexity to the shot, with the foreground texture of the door, the faint reflection in the glass, and the main scene of the laundromat. As well, looking onto the people in the shot, you start wondering what is happening. Are the two female laundromat patrons looking at the photographer or at something out on the street? And Gerda was able to frame this shot with two people going about simple, every day actions (the man folding laundry and the woman checking her cell). Gerda wisely has this shot in black and white, which removes the potential distraction of color, allowing us to focus only on composition. An excellent shot, to be sure.
I know it’s difficult, but look beyond the puppy. If you do, you’ll see that Robb has composed a wonderful shot. With a narrow depth of field, he has concentrated the viewer’s attention on the man and the dog, while giving a beautifully smooth backdrop to the scene. And while it would be natural to center focus on the person, instead he’s put the man’s hands at the center, which helps to shift the attention to the interaction between person and animal. The use of black and white film is also an excellent choice, as it helps make the photo about composition and not potentially distracting colors. All around a great shot…and look at the cute puppy!
It’s hard to get a good street photo that includes fireworks. After all, most people don’t want to get too close to something that’s exploding or spouting fire. But Gerda pulled off such a shot nicely. Check out what looks like a couple of families having an impromptu fireworks display on the streets of Adams Morgan. The father and daughter fascinated by the large sparkler in the street; the boy off to the side with his personal sparkler just being lit; and all of the spectators simply enjoying the show. This shot looks like something from a 1950s movie; hard to believe it was taken last week. It’s nice to know that this is still a sight that can be seen on the 4th.
Random street sights can be random. Take Eric’s shot above. Who knows why this woman decided that she had to be that close to her friend. Was she tired from a day of walking; was she overcome by amorous feelings; or did she just want to piss off a friend? We can all look at this shot, and shots like it, and come away with a story as unique as this sight. And that’s why photographers keep taking street photos; it gets us a little further along in explaining the what and why of what people do.
A fun people shot. Nikoo’s shot may have a high tourists ratio, but she was able to get them doing their tourist thing. There are the two people on the escalator, taking their photos; the one sitting down, looking at the Metro map; even the abandoned stroller with a massive cup in the corner (the other person sitting down, can’t tell for sure if she’s a tourists, though there’s a good chance she is). The lines of the escalators, chairs, and even the carpet mat helps to portion up the shot. On top of that, what makes this shot work is that it is a fascinating street photo, capturing people doing everyday tasks in an interesting way. The shot is well worth a couple of looks.
A nice street-scape, where the very people walking along are part of the scenery. This shot, done by Joe, is something that we all see everyday. It just takes someone to take the picture for us to stop and notice the beauty. Take that moment now and look: the light is soft and low in the sky, casting long, expressive shadows. The people and cars are arrayed in a random pattern which fills the shot just right. And the picture is wide enough that you can see the lines of the brick sidewalk; a sidewalk made of multiple different colored bricks. Most definitely a photo worth seeing.
When people see the behemoths of cameras that I carry around, their normal reaction is something along the lines of “I bet you get great pictures with those!” Before I really got into photography, I would have probably said the same thing. Now, a few years and tens of thousands of pictures later, I know it’s not the camera that makes a good picture, it’s the photographer behind the camera that is key. The camera is just a tool, and a person can take a great picture with a comparatively inferior tool, if they have the skill.
Ryan demonstrates this point with his phenomenal street shot of a federal employee on the Metro. Using a camera, which millions of people have and use everyday (an iPhone), he’s able to take a great candid in a hectic and photo adverse environment. That’s skill!
By the way, you’ve probably noticed I’m a new author. Though I’ve been trolling the site for years as a reader, the powers that be thought I would make a good contributor. Thus, here I am! My beat will be mostly photography, so keep the shots coming into the group. I will tell you now, I’m a sucker for good wildlife and long exposure photography. So, keep reading, and, just so that you know, all well placed Star Wars and 80s movie references are welcome in the comments.