Sunday, March 11, 2012
Life's little surprises
Why do I like this picture? The staring bulbous eyes, the straight face coming through the clown's make-up, the sharp lines made by the pole and, finally, the little drawing on the pole that looks a bit like him.
Along with the shots you hope to get while out on the street shooting, there are always the surprises that await you around every corner. That is the great thing about street photography. It helps to keep your eyes open and looking around (and not always pinned to the little display on the camera!). I'll repeat a few rules here for up-and-coming street photographers:
1. Keep your camera on. Carry an extra battery pack.
2. Keep your lens cap off. A lens hood will protect your camera nearly as well as the cap.
3. Notice what's going on around you so that you can anticipate the action and be prepared for it.
4. Keep your camera's ISO speed high if you want to capture the action (and not just the blur).
At a small Carnival parade in Forsbach outside of Cologne, I got this shot because I noticed the Red Cross jackets gathered just off the main route. For me, this sums up the parade atmosphere perfectly. The drummer has a bad cut on his hand and will have to be sewn up. The first-aid worker is calling in the information but still holding onto the bag of candy which she has caught during the parade.
Near the Rhine this couple was sitting and talking about something apparently fairly serious. The expression on the man's face is priceless. The various patterns make for an interesting photo.
A shot for background fans: I waited for a couple of costumed people to walk in front of the House of Cologne's Artisanry. The annual parade is an important part of the city's trade status.
Here I was shooting for the spots of color within this frame. "Toi, toi" means "good luck" to Germans in certain situations. Here it means "porta-potty".