Friday, June 29, 2007

Sting Like A Bee...

In a previous post I talked about the importance for a hipshooter to master the art of judging distance - to float like a butterfly - which was famously one key to Muhammad Ali's greatness in the ring. The other was his ability to - Sting Like A Bee!

The ability to deliver maximum impact- to sting - requires lightening reflexes and perfect timing.
Stand on a corner and as cars whiz by raise camera and take a SNAP of a speeding car just as the front tire aligns with a white line of a cross walk. Start with the camera lowered, then raise, pan (if necessary) and SNAP! Try to get the tire dead centered on the line. Do it again, do it again, do it again. It's not easy. But you'll be amazed at how this simple exercise invigorates your senses, tunes your reflexes, your timing.
Yeah baby, float like a butter fly - STING like a bee...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Snapper

The SNAPPER squats on one foot, squints into the noon day sun then raises a $14.95 disposable and takes the snap. The snap will show Junior and Grandma as two blurry silhouettes one with a fence post sprouting from head.

The Street Photographer does much the opposite. His camera not disposable but indispensable and probably worth thousands. His subjects not posed family members, but strangers going about their business. The SNAPPER will take twelve pictures that day - the Street Photographer one hundred twenty.

The SNAPPER will make twelve 4x6 prints from that day and they will become part of the SNAPPER family legacy, cherished and passed down to Junior then Junior-Junior then Junior-Junior-Junior and so on for generations to come.

The Street Photographer will delete one hundred eighteen pictures from that day and make one 16x20 print. The print will hang on his wall for a month then go in a stack somewhere then in a few years be shipped to China to be recycled into cat food labels.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bag Mod

I wanted a compact quick-draw bag for my street rig and found this snazzy insulated six-pack carrier for $7.00. It turns out that what works to keep beer cold, can also protect your camera. Most of these beer bags are cheapily made plastic jobs, but this one by "FreezeOut" has a nice quality canvas cover with contrasting stitching, double pull zippers, a little bungi cord (for what I don't know), an auxillary pouch, and the coolest feature - a trap door - for the quickest draw of any bag you'll find at any price.

The modifications:

Cardboard stiffeners attached with double stick tape to the bottom and two of the sides.

Rubber stick-on feet to protect the bottom.

"D" rings and a wide detachable swivel strap to replace the sewn on one.

Replace the "FreezeOut" logo with my own and I'm good to go.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Push Positive

The shutter button on my camera is flush with the body. Too many times in the rush to get the shot I've had my finger slightly off center and not able to fully press down and trip the shutter. A self stick rubber pad solved the problem.

The shutter button on the grip required a different treatment, since a hard raised button there could easily be tripped by accident. I used the bristly side of a piece of self stick velcor to give a tactile clue to my finger.

Didn't I warn you that this blog was going to be "mostly minutia about street photography"!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lost Mojo

In a slump. Can't seem to shake it. Feels like anxious ennui if that makes any sense. Debilitating. Painful.

But "slumps are for chumps" so think I'll have a beer and a grilled cheese sandwich while I watch a re-run of Monk... and then hit the streets.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


ZIP IT UP. I know of a cameraman that absent mindedly slung an unzipped bag over his shoulder and dumped a grand worth of glass on the sidewalk. NEVER leave a camera in an unzipped bag. LEASH LAW. Use a leash, and if you use a longish one like I do, then it's a good idea to run it between thumb and forefinger. This shortens the drop if it should slip out of your hand and lessens the odds it could bang into something like a door.
DOORS are DANGEROUS. Always stop and take a second to protect your camera when going through a doorway. Establish good habits.

bOngo sez: "Leash ON Zip UP Watch OUT".