Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gold Ratio

I have not kept good records on the ratio of good to bad shots I take, but it's probably around a hundred to one. One hundred shots deemed not worth keeping, to one that is. The vast majority of the rejects are reasonably well exposed and focused, thanks in no small part to modern day electronics. Most of my rejects are shots that are too similar to stuff I've done in the past or shots that are just not that interesting.

If I'm to improve I need to stretch my shooting ratio to two hundred or three hundred to one.

I need to take more risks, experiment more, stop taking the "same" shots. And I need to be more vicious in my editing, not accept anything that isn't top notch.

That means oddly enough that I need to fail more in order to succeed. The goal being not to avoid making mistakes, but to avoid making the same mistakes. It's not how many times you get knocked down that count, but how many times you get back up.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Half- Mast Bow grip

The mechanics of the "HMB" grip are straight forward:+Shoulders square to the target.

+Back of camera flat against chest
+Top of the camera level with the first shirt button.
+Camera held with a "handshake" grasp, thumb on the trigger.
Unlike a grab shot from chest height, the HMB grip provides a stable, repeatable, position to aim the camera. With a 24mm (35equiv) lens and subject eight feet or more away, the view from the camera will be very nearly the same as that from eye level.

Again, these "goofey grips" only work with proper psych-ops applied. For example.

Camera at your side and you pretend to be interested in something off axis to the target.

Raise the camera to the HMB position with your right hand while reaching with your left hand into your camera bag or left pocket and fish around as if searching for a filter, or whatever. This looks pretty natural to the subject and gives them time to see that the camera is NOT aimed at them, and that you are pre-occupied anyway.

Then at the proper moment square shoulders to the subject, (but to the subject it appears that you are just twisting a little to get a better look in your bag) then without looking up take the SNAP and then immediately lower the camera - as if having decided you didn't need that "filter" after all. Total time camera aimed at the subject: One Second.
Psych-ops can change with any given situation, but the mechanics of the Half-Mast bow grip should always be the same. That is the only way to learn to see what the camera sees when it's away from your eye.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Best Sell is a Cell

The cell phone is a street shooter's best friend. "Talking" on the cell phone is the perfect way to blend, to appear to be doing something other than taking pictures.

Also, people tend to give you a little more "privacy" space and not look at you when your on the phone. The cell gives you an excuse to hang around, and your "conversation" can muffle shutter clank.
Cell phone is to street shooter what duck blind is to hunter.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

GlowGlobe Warning

This year I bought a fifty inch plasma television,
and a blue-ray DVD player,
and as I examined the various hairs, beads of sweat, pimples, melted make-up and other fauna on Tony Soprano's face, I realized that as television becomes high definition it is no longer COOL
but HOT. Hot in the sense of "cool and hot" that Marshall McLuhan spoke about.
This is the Globe Warming. A few degrees rise in the vast waste ocean of the great unwatched, eye caps melt, a change in "see" level, and the end of the ice-cool age. Existential extinction?

"For in operating on society with a new technology, it is not the incised area that is most affected. The area of impact and incision is numb. It is the entire system that is changed."
- from Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

ch-ch-ch changes

" Lamp Post" by bongo

A Photograph can change how we view the world, and the world can change how we view a photograph.

more PjSp

Pajama Street Photography - Twice the frustration - half the satisfaction, but you don't have to leave the house or put on clothes.