Embrace the grain

Streeting has been a journey for me. It’s one thing to compose a street photograph correctly, and to be decisive in the shutter capture. It’s another to draw out the right impact of the photograph with adequate processing and editorial of the contact sheet. Some days, i go through a whole memory card that looks good in the camera’s LCD only to be disappointed upon processing. A number of issues can arise — the photo lacks critical focus on the subject, the dynamic range is unusable and cannot be recovered, etc. There is one other that i’ve been struggling with: despite the fact that the street elements are there, i’m unable to get the “feel” of the purpose. Technically adequate without being excellent, but emotionally empty, soul-less. That’s a huge problem i’ve had in a great majority of the photos.

Sometimes, it feels like i’m getting closer. Most days it feels like i’m getting further away. One step forward, two steps back type of progress. Being positive, it doesn’t mean that i’m getting worse, it just means that i’m discovering more and more what doesn’t work.

Today, as i went about for my daily dose of street therapy (why does that sound so wrong? haha), i shot with something in mind, similar to something i’ve been experimenting with lately — let’s see how many things i can get wrong by design and pick the “best” out of all the wrong. If nothing else, such an approach might defeat the trend of trying hard but getting nowhere; now i was trying to do badly and see where that would lead. Flipping the coin, so to speak, to see what was on the other side.

Let’s get the metering wrong. Let’s blow out the dynamic range by shooting into the setting sun. Let’s zone focus beyond the subject. Let’s completely toast the processing. Then, let’s see what happens, let’s embrace the grain. This is what i got.

Comments are very welcome.

Click through the images for the larger versions.


Bagman with flair, i meant flare


Living dangerously