As I mentioned, the structure of the class is: shoot on Saturday afternoons, select five un-cropped and un-retouched pictures, and critique on Wednesday evenings. We spent this past Saturday afternoon downtown, near City Hall and the World Trade Center, focusing on portraits and people.
It was a haltingly sunny, usually cloudy afternoon, but I had a great time shooting and I felt much more engaged in the process than I did in our first shooting session when we focused instead on the milieu and details of an elevated subway station in Brooklyn. It’s clear to me now that I’m enormously more interested in people as subjects than anything else; the implicit narrative inherent in just about any photograph of a person is endlessly fascinating to me.
Below: I’m a people person. Selects from my second week of class photography, taken in downtown Manhattan. More shots in my Flickr photo set.
Saturday’s Child… and Other People
We started out by taking pictures of one another, then moved by foot to various tourist spots around lower Manhattan. Near the latter part of the session, we passed an alleyway where, as it turns out, a film crew was filming a music video for the up and coming British band The Subways. It was a small set, and they let us move about freely. Part of the video’s concept, apparently, called for young women to buzz around the alley on roller skates wearing short shorts and little else. Talk about implicit narrative. The instructor, Joseph O. Holmes, posted a terrific tableau of the scene on his photo blog yesterday.
I was using a 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens the whole afternoon; I’m a hugely fond of the effect of compressed space that such a lens has on the shots it produces. But this particular lens was bought on the cheap, which is to say it rang up at the B & H Photo cash register at just a few hundred dollars, and not in the higher price range that a similar, more professional lens might have cost me. For good reason, too: it’s extremely prone to shaking, and the majority of the shots that I took with the lens zoomed out came out blurry. It’s a shame, because there were some very nice shots in there that I wish had come out better; it looks like I’m going to have to fork out the eight or nine hundred dollars for a telephoto zoom lens with vibration reduction technology built into it. Sigh. When do these artistic pursuits start getting cheaper?