When capturing the street life of San Francisco, I like to practice something called “The 30 Shot.” Rather than hold the camera up to my eye, I let my arm hang down limply, holding my point-and-shoot about 30 inches above the ground. It works great for candid photography; people look at other people face to face, and don’t notice your hands. It also works great at taking pictures of scenes directly behind you, even when you have no idea what the camera has captured. Most of the time I have to discard the results; a 95% discard rate happens a lot.
Sometimes I get lucky. Mind-bogglingly lucky. But at the same time, unlucky.
But when you mind-bogglingly lucky, you also have a lot of work to do. I took this picture shooting directly behind me and got lucky in the sense that I captured the mood of the women, but I also pointed the camera directly at the late afternoon sun, which washes out a ton of detail. Here is the original picture:
That sunlight is just way too obnoxious. Believe it or not, the sky was actually blue! You can’t see any detail of the clothing, and most important, the sun was too bright around the right-hand woman’s face. Still working on this one (I want better detail in their faces), but I have a feeling that B&W will remain the best solution.
I hope everyone has a happy Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
Vonn Scott Bair