Nothing is more disarming than a smile. The smile is my weapon of choice when I get caught taking someone’s picture on the streets. The majority of the time you get a smile back and sometimes a friendly conversation ensues. If you get caught in the act before you click the shutter, some participants might give you a pose to go along with their smile. I very seldom get a negative reaction. When people don’t perceive you as a threat, they tend to not care that you may have taken their photo. That’s why it is important to blend in with your potential subjects. Don’t be the creepy looking guy across the street with the long telephoto lens.
My next 5 blog posts make up Part 2 of my Nashville Street adventures shooting Kodak TRI-X 400. I decided to break up the roll of 36 exposures into categories with the first of the five posts featuring smiles. It’s great seeing people out having a good time. It’s hard not to have a good time when you are in the festive atmosphere of downtown Nashville. If you read my Part 1 series, you know that I shot this roll on the same day. You can read the two previous post here and here.
One of the methods of street photography is to find an interesting scene and wait for the human element to emerge. That is exactly what I did on this first image. I’ve seen some interesting shots where someone is walking in front of a large billboard or sign with an interesting character on display. I wanted to do something similar with the girl on the American Apparel sign. I actually took two shots with the sign. I will show the first shot in another post. In the first shot, I actually captured the entire sign, but I had to make an adjustment to capture what was developing for the second shot. I saw a group of women making their way down the sidewalk. They were talking and laughing and having a good time. As they approached the sign, I composed my shot to just capture the smiling girl on the sign while capturing the group of women smiling and laughing as they passed.
It was Hockey All-Star weekend in Nashville. Hockey fans were all over the place. It appeared that everything that was happening was Hockey related, including this sidewalk FOX Sports interview.
Lights, Camera, Action!
You can blame this next shot on operator error. As I waked through town, the lighting situation is always changing. This means I have to be aware of what settings are dialed into my camera at all times. My technique is to take an incident reading whenever I walk into a significant light change and put those settings into my camera. At first, I thought a slow shutter speed caused the blur as a result of not adjusting my settings for the darker scene, but upon further scrutiny, I believe I just missed the focus on this one. Nonetheless, it stilled made for a decent picture showing a young women enjoying her music as she makes her way down the street.
In the Zone
The group below were part of a wedding party. You can barely see the wedding vale of the bride just on the other side of the smiling girl.
I could be mistaken, but I believe this family is watching a street performer who is setting down playing a guitar. I have a shot of this gentlemen which I will share in a later post.
The couple below were all cuddled up walking down the sidewalk. I tried to capture the two in their embrace, but they resumed a normal stroll by the time they got in range.
I talked about pictures like the next three in the first paragraph. Sometimes your victims become willing participants.
Mutant Ninja Turtle
Sign of the Times
Thanks for reading! My next blog will be a short post with pictures of street performers.
Images Best Viewed in Lightbox Below!