In a conversation with my business partner a few weeks back, we discussed some of the photography rules we learned when we were teenagers and just starting out. Rules we consciously choose to break now."Never shoot into direct sunlight." Well I'm sorry to say that rule is broken at least once daily, almost on every shoot or when a camera is out. As soon as I knew how the camera functioned and I knew what compositions would look like shooting into direct light, I began doing so.
On Tuesday evening, walking with a friend on the Charles River just before the Longfellow Bridge, on the Boston side, I had my phone out ready to make a few photos. Where was my real camera? Tucked away in my shoulder bag, slung across my back, batteries were dead. It happens sometimes when you're away and your spares are with the rest of your equipment and your one back up on you is dead. *Note to self, hire new assistant.* Being a part of my career, street photography is ingrained in my fabric, like the 300 thread count sheets on my bed. It is a part of photography I would label, hobby. When not working for a client or traveling to work on a project, I make photographs in certain settings, landscapes, streets in relate-able places. Street photography is as much a lifestyle as it is a form of art. It is a way of connecting with people and place, a way of entering the world with a camera and communicating what you see and how you see it.
As a photographer I am always exploring and seeing how the world looks through a lens. I spend time looking for light and how it introduces itself into a multitude of settings. I love capturing both light and people in a composition that warrants a response similar to, "how did you see that, I was standing right there." Observing the world around us is such a simplistic idea once we learn to see past what is really in front, or in my case, to my side and then back.
As we were walking I was admiring the setting sun, as it began to lower over the Charles river. The golden hour of light was already in full swing. With a dead camera, per se, I took to my last resort, my phone. I was glad I introduced my phone to that moment, as it allowed me to capture this image. A young woman sitting on the edge of the wall over looking the sunset. She had her phone out and in between the photos she was making, she'd accidentally power herself. With her back towards me, she didn't realize that she was making a great portrait and image of herself by her posture and choice of location to rest on. Unobtrusivly, from the back I made a few photos. I stopped to admire the quality of light, and in doing so I was able to frame this woman into a great composition and make a photo that I was content with. I was happy, delighted in fact, I almost decided to tell her that as she was making a photo, she really sold the landscape and sunset. I decided not to say anything and accept how I felt the image would create a lasting impression.