Thoughts on Photography – Planned vs Unplanned

Thoughts on Photography

Photography in its broadest definition has become important to everyone! It is such a dominant part of our culture and our lives. Creating and consuming images is constant. So how do we differentiate between the different kinds of photography? Are they all equal? Do we even understand the effect that images have on us? Visual literacy is a tricky subject. Especially when there’s barely enough time to understand it all.

I work as a tour guide. On a regular basis I come into contact with tourists taking selfies with major attractions in New York City. It would be difficult to not witness this everywhere in the city. I wonder what the actual value is of these photos? (I will refrain from being judgmental here even if it is annoying.) They are intended as souvenirs. The idea that you can choose to remember something by an image or an object. The strange thing is that souvenirs actually have a way of killing memories. They take on new meaning. We no longer have to remember it.

 

Harlem in Colors

Perhaps the actual act of taking the photo is more important than the photo itself. That and the fleeting moment that it has a life on social media. We designate a moment which we have predetermined to be worthy of remembering.

Planned vs unplanned photos. My favorite photos that I’ve taken are not planned. They couldn’t have been planned. They are decided only at the moment that they are shot. Sometimes I like them. Others I don’t. It’s always starting from scratch. Starting over with a clean slate. When it comes to street photography you can’t decide beforehand what you’ll shoot. It’s life in motion. By it’s very nature it is unplanned.

From Issue 8 of the Shoot New York City Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

Street Photography Tip – Slow Photography

Street Photography Tip – Composition is the number one aspect that separates a snapshot from a memorable photo. Digital photography is very forgiving and so much can be repaired in post-processing. Except for composition! It’s one method of upping your odds.

Halloween 3

There is much emphasis in street photography as being an activity where you have to chase the shot! But that’s only one way to do it. If you’ve been on aphoto tour or workshop with me you’ve likely witnessed me stopping everyone to look at a red wall or repetitive patterns or shadows. . . Look for that thing that really attracts your eye. Then wait for people to enter the frame! In New York City or other cities with a good population you won’t have to wait for long for someone to enter your frame. Like it or not!

Anyway, I call it slow photography. That may seem contradictory for some when it comes to street photography or even being in the middle of the buzz of millions of people. Try it. You might like it.

Republished from Issue 2 of the Shoot New York City Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

Seen around town 9

Seen around town – Harlem

Afternoon in Harlem

Men in Hats Series 10

Men in Hats Series

Kentucky Derby in Harlem

Men in Hats Series 9

Men in Hats Series

310 Lenox Avenue

The Harlem Series – Part Six

Harlem Street Photography Workshop on 5 November 2017. Limited spaces. Register online.

sunday-stroll-in-harlem

The Harlem Series – Part Five

Harlem Street Photography Workshop on 5 November 2017. Limited spaces. Register online.

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