Sorting It Out
More than a few times I read posts written by expert photographers who, when visiting New York, find themselves in a bit of a conundrum - how to take photos of New York that . . . . haven't been done before, or rather, get into the nitty gritty of New York street life without taking the typical NYC tourist shots? Wow, set the bar so high! What shots does that leave us, the poor (un-pro) sods, who live here? You mean we can't go to Times Square (not that we really want to but sometimes you can't avoid it . . .) and all those other places on the tourist check list? And on and on it goes . . . Poor tourists, always getting it in the neck but sometimes, just sometimes, they do it to themselves! I often wish the pros would let go of that hang-up and simply hit the streets clicking. They take great shots of anything and everything anyway in a style that is all their own, the style and skills which make them pros in the first place! As for this shot taken recently in Times Square, yes, it is out of focus. Either that or my eyesight is far worse than I thought but I recently came into possession of a new lens (careful what you wish for . . . .) and I am having to completely re-focus! And you, lucky dear reader, have been dragged along as I make my way up the steep learning curve. I would love to do a photography course, getting right back to the nitty gritty but that's not going to happen anytime soon. $$$ !!! But then I think, I have the internet, a treasure trove of information and I have a blog. My blog - where I can puddle along and really, do anything with it that I want to and what I want to do is to keep learning. To take better photographs! I am not selling anything here (good luck with that!). I have no client's expectations to meet (again, good luck . . . !). I have no restrictions! The pros can sleep safe at night! Hoping to see more clearly soon!
Patti, you’ve got the eye of a pro. Your pictures capture life in NYC and convey them via your blog. As far as a photo course look into a community college the courses are inexpensive and usually not of long duration. I’m taking an on-line writing course though a photo course might require attendance. Have an interesting day.
Thank you Tom for your kind words and support! I already feel as though I am doing an online course, and having fun by the way! Good luck with your writing!
Oh yeah, go to http://jesterkingblog.wordpress.com/about/ Trust me it’ll be fun.
Under the high bar is not a bad place to be…to run freely back and forth and all around as you please at your own pace. No worries about cracking your forehead. And when you make the leap, you’ll have built up a really nice, soft cushion to fall back on. Have fun with that lens!
Well, when you put it that way, what’s not to like! Thank you Pierr!
You do a MUCH better job than the so called pros that I have seen.
Thank you Derrick! Where would we be without our insecurities!!! I’m trying to let go of them, honestly! 🙂
Patti, I love your photographs! I love you eye! I keep studying today’s “gift.” So much is happening. Good. Golly. The drama! Look at all the gestures and expressions you were able to capture. Bravo! Thanks also for another trip to New York! T.
Thank you so much Theadora! I suspect they had all had a long day . . . .
Looking forward to more of your fabulous views of Paris!
I love your picture!
Thank you Stephanie! I hope the subjects enjoyed their time in the city!
Keep on snapping you’re doing something right! I’ve never been to NY but I feel like I get a real flavour of it from your pictures – not over-worked, or over-processed, just from the heart.
I totally agree!!
Nothing shabby about your photos Patti – you are there in the thick of it capturing real ‘life’ events as they unfold around you… and more amazingly people are quite happy for you to do it – the only way is up… 🙂
if you have to ask yourself that as a professional… just start walking and click away!
It is VERY clear…three distinct dialogues- none of those couples seem to be having much fun. I feel their pain :). LOVE this one (I am so repetitive when it comes to your photography!!)
“New York” by Mercello and Angela Bertinetti (Copyright 1984, Bison Book Corp.), is a book that I’ve had for many years. It’s a photograpy book, not a tutorial by any means but it inspired me tremendously and gave me profound insight on how to shoot The Big Apple when I got my chance for the first time in 2002.
Truth; I did rely on it too heavily, as the nuances and details of the city had changed considerably by the time I got to shoot there but the book still bucked me up on how to make the shooting experience my own. I returned home with 8 or so rolls of the best explorative documentary photography that I have ever taken.
In clude studying the work of people well experienced in shooting NYC in your learning curve; I highly recommend it.
How true Patti. I believe certain people have an eye for composition . You are one of them. And, spontaneity is so important. If I got bogged down in details, changing lenses, etc., it would be the end of me. You miss the shot and lose the freshness. Keep clicking chickie! Margie
This is a great shot! And what part of NYC can you go to that doesn’t have a segment of tourists? Just go with your gut…that seems to be serving you very well in your photography as far as I’ve seen. Put those insecurities in a trunk and lock them up. And by the way, I signed up for your blog so that I could see how you do street photography and learn from your photos.
I like your blog, because it’s MORE than only photography, Patti! It’s literature, politics, design – a personal style, it’s multi-level art!
and thanks for your continuing inspiring comments on other blogs: so I made a little tribute to you today at
I’m influenced (I hope so) by your concept!
Just walk, take your camera with you all the times and see what’s on your way. For your new ‘slightly out of focus new lens’ you could try calibration. Or close your diafragma one stop more. Or both. Or don’t bother. Picture is nice and never chanche a winning team.
Oh, about selling.. People do want my pictures. I want their money. Suddenly the pictures are not so wanted anymore… Strange.
This would have been a perfect entry for Cee’s challenge – Candid Shots. I’ll shamelessly put my entry for you to look at. hahaha
Personally, I love the photo. It showcases people doing everyday things. I guess my eyes are having the same issues as yours because it looks in focus to me. ~~~~` : – )
It’s clear enough to me Patti, that you LOVE what you do. It shows. I love what you do too:)
If you didn’t say otherwise, I would have thought you were a professional. But then, that just means you get paid. What you are, no matter what, is an artist.
I love this photo. It’s like a three-act play in one photo. The similar appearance of all three groupings make it look like a story unfolding from right to left. That fact that you captured one moment in time that tells so many stories shows how gifted and talented you are.
Patti, looking forward to tagging along on your learning curve, but you are a fantastic photographer to start with, so it will be a great journey.
Photography, just like any other artistic discipline, has nothing to do with being a professional or an amateur: it is all about passion.
I admire your passionate work.
Doesn’t it seem that as soon as someone calls themselves a photographer in an “official” way, they begin to lose any sense of perspective? There are some genuinely helpful, humble photographers out there, for sure, but there are so many pros who seem to need to raise themselves up at the expense of others. An old story, I know, but let’s try not to be casualties!
Patti, I love your photographs however they come – you are so good at capturing life and holding onto it. It’s a rare skill.
I’ll will only ever accept things that are out of focus. The reality of focus is that it is always accompanied by life sapping ennui. Keep the lens going Patti. I love your philosophical titbits as much as your art.
You are “sorting it out” Patti…….just keep going and all will become clear. Great photos!
Oh, Patti, I know this feeling so well. What can I say? Go on! Take your time. Photography is passion, photography is love. You have an eye for telling stories. Everything else will follow.
crystal clear focus is not the be all and end all of a good street shot – story, atmosphere and feeling is just as important and your shot conveys them all …
I love your blog and you are very very very talented. Your “eye” has heart; Your “eye” has the soul of the city!
Patti, you are truly a serendipitous photographer! What a brilliant photo! Three couples in a busy world scene…..sorting it out! You do amaze me!
Patti, if you published a book of your photographs and commentary, I’d buy it — and leave it out for all to page through and enjoy. My wife and I just got back from a trip to Japan, and I thought of you every time I tried to capture a scene on the streets of Osaka or Hiroshima. What you do is much harder than it looks, and you’ve mastered it much more than you realize.
The difference between an amateur and a professional photographer used to be measured in rolls of film 😉 Nowadays some professional photographers keep complaining that digital has made everyone a photographer. They mean it as a way of denegrating in order to justify their standing to the editors they work to. Of course the real (very best) pro’s, like the artists of the past, take amateurs under their wing and seek to encourage them. Either that or they choose to teach through soceities like the RPS. But the key message is that lots of us independent photographers are out-shining the professionals because we are there on the ground on any given day and we take our shots because they say what we want – not what an editor wants. Keep up the good work Patti 🙂
Gerard Oosterman has nailed it I think. This image expresses so well why it is good to pass through Times Square as quickly as poss! A wonderful interplay, caught in a second. Nice work and Fast! Express no doubts. Philippa
Honestly, I thought that a slight blurish glare was the desired effect. I am not bull$itting you Patti, but this one is one of my favourites among your photos. Let me try to explain why – (an ignorant me without any training in photography 😀 – btw I did not think you had a need to enter a photography course :S) – you have taken a mass photo, but you have respected the rule of thirds, you have three couples in which one is not a couple – even better, each of the groups in different positions engaged in different types of communication, the man on the left (the looker) is looking at something with interest. Most of them are carrying bags of groceries or something – movement, lights, atmosphere…. The black and one choice is undisputable. The picture is living, breathing and not boring – not that your other pics are either, but this one has a type of structure that makes it cleaner and less crowded than some other street shots I saw on your page. All in all – a great work! I rarely dare give such a detailed opinion of people’s photos. Come to think of it – I have only done it once or twice before and it was on your blog. Now, I’d better go to read what pros had to say about it.
Your Great Leaps Forward are far more successful than Mao or any gang, Patti.
You think and think and think — and then just do it.
For whatever it is worth Patti, I prefer your street photography to all the technically superior professional photographers I follow. I think your images tell stories and convey emotions like no other. Just keep at it, really 🙂
Thank you so much Madhu! I must be sounding like a scratched record on this topic by now so am putting it to bed. I hope!
Been out of blogsphere for a while – been travelling up North again! So looking forward to catching up with your blog. Photo is amazing and I didn’t notice that it was not in focus – but then my eyes are so bad now as I hit my mid 40’s that I am a lousy focus judge, but very appreciative fan. Love being on the streets with you!
I’ve had fun taking pictures of other people taking pictures in Times Square – that’s all I could come up with when I thought ‘what hasn’t been done before?’ And it worked (just search for ‘Times Square’ on my blog). Hope that’s an inspiration for finding something that you can make your own. Love your photos!
It’s all in the eye, amateur or pro! Then, of course, you get the critics but that’s a whole other kettle of fish…
Across the Bored has nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award at http://acrossthebored.com/2013/11/26/two-cents-tuesday-challenge-writing-week-2/. If you choose to accept, feel free to pass it along to other deserving bloggers! If not, know that your blog is well appreciated and a source of inspiration for us.
Thank you so much Ideflex for your most kind and generous thoughts!