I took the Fujifilm X100T out from the MPEX Rental Department yesterday, and I wanted to get in some street photography practice while it wasn’t bitter cold outside. The sun was actually peeking through the clouds now and then, and I got some good light… if only for a couple of minutes. I decided to shoot around OSU campus, since I had only an hour to shoot before I had to be back.
Looking for individuals and interesting characters on a college campus can be a challenge, but it doesn’t mean that the shots aren’t there. Once you look past the sea of sweatpants and backpacks, you notice more and more. It comes down to how deeply you look and how clearly you see. It sounds esoteric, I know, but the better you get at seeing, the more shots that appear. There are always far more shots that I miss or don’t even see, than shots that I could ever take/make. I have a long way to go to any sort of mastery, but every time I go out and shoot on the street, I test my skills, readiness, point of view, and my overall creativity.
I tend to float between hard concentration and a blank-mind state when shooting on the street. I will look for humor, light, lines, angles, reflections, signs, looks, wierdos, groups of clones… whatever I can find to shoot.It is equal parts patience, and tenacity, and you have to know when to be in which state. I look at the act of street photography as an eyeball-calisthenics routine (@eyeballcalisthenics is Gregory Heisler’s Instagram handle, btw. I stole that phrase from him). Like a sketchbook of ideas, compositions, and light. If I get lucky there might even be some keepers when I get to the computer. Either way, you are better the next time you go out to shoot.
I was shooting in aperture priority mode with auto-ISO set to the range of 200-1600. This means that the camera will determine the exposure by automatically choosing an ISO and shutter speed that work with my chosen aperture and the light available in the scene. The Fuji X-100T also gives you some choice on minimum shutter speed, also. I set the minimum to the fastest available, which was 1/125th. That is still too slow for most street photography, and you can see a little motion blur in some of the shots in the gallery. Although, I still think that this is a great technique for street shooting, as it lets you concentrate on timing and subject. Not every shot has to be tack sharp, but you know, we all want sharp pictures. Manual mode is still where I am most comfortable for street, but auto-ISO is something that I will continue to experiment with.
See you tomorrow!