Street Scenes

I have alternated between loving and not understanding “street photography.” I love the spontaneity of it, especially when done extremely well. But a lot of what I’ve looked at over the years just bores me to tears.

So, once in a while, I just give it a try … and fail miserably.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 35 mm f/1.4 L USM, ISO 200, 1/125, f/5.6

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 35 mm f/1.4 L USM, ISO 200, 1/125, f/5.6

I have no idea what this photo is about. It says nothing, aside from I may have been tripping over a manhole cover or something … tilted horizon? Focus at infinity? No edge control? What the heck?


  1. Mark, there was a book published in the early ’90s called “Shots from the Hip” by a photographer who went by the alias of Johnny Siletto. It was a very interesting approach to street photography. The premise was that he took a point-and-shoot camera with him (a film point-and-shoot) and NEVER looked through the viewfinder. He shot from the hip, literally, from the ground, over his head, etc. He shot thousands and thousands of photos before he had enough for a book.

    But what he came up with was pretty amazing. Part of the joy for the photographer, himself, were the surprises he discovered when he edited his film. And viewers were surprised, as well. Incredibly interesting, unexpected crops. Unusual angles. And plenty of moments that may have never been captured by shooting in the traditional way. (We all have experienced what happens when a camera is raised to our eyes — subjects freeze or become self-conscious. Or they start mugging or performing for the camera.)

    Pretty interesting and original — at least at that time. The pics are amusing as anything else. A different way of seeing. And, as photographers, that’s what we should all aspire to, in one way or another.

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