Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Street Photography!

Well, as unusual as it is for me to actually follow through with a thought/plan...I actually got out a couple of weeks ago to practice some more Street Photography!  In truth, I had been sent a cell phone pic of the Tacoma Docks area, and I really liked it.  It was a great photo and had been taken in the morning, around sunrise.  This provided some very nice lighting and I commented how nice I thought the photo was.

I set out a week or so later to see if I could capture a similar scene at dusk, as I had wanted to compile a few locations from which to shoot a nice "Night Skyline" of Tacoma.  (You may remember the "Searching For A Skyline" post some time ago)

At any rate, I went out to the "11th Street Bridge", which looks to the south and takes in the Tacoma Docks, as well as the relatively new Cable Bridge and the Tacoma Dome in the background.  It is a nice view that includes a little bit of water that is so much a part of Tacoma.

I waked out onto the bridge a bit early and set up my tripod and took a few cell phone pics of my own!  I have wanted to try out my recently acquired "Cell Phone Tripod Adapter" anyway!...haha, I's cheesy but whatever!  Below is an actual cell phone camera pic I shot that evening using my ultra cool adapter!

When I left the house, I had grabbed my camera bag (an old army green, canvas shoulder bag) which contains my kit lens and a strobe with a couple of remote triggers just in case...or so I thought.  As I am setting up, I reach into my bag and discover there is no kit lens!?  Are you #^!@$!#%^  kidding me?!  I only use two lenses with my DSLR...the kit lens, which allows for a wide angle to mild telephoto (Zoom) and a fixed focal length, 40mm pancake lens. (Short telephoto)  Today, I would be stuck with the 40mm lens and its "restrictive" view...hmmm.  Oh well, no wide angle for me!

As I am waiting for the sun to go down, I realize how different the lighting is from the photo my friend had taken on his cell phone.  I realize that with the sun setting in the west, my "scene" was in the shade cast by the taller buildings downtown and not in the more flattering warm light normally cast at this transition between day and night.  The sunrise from the east obviously cast a more flattering light on this hindsight.  I was a bit disappointed and took a few, very "flat" looking shots. 

I decided to simply wait until it was a bit darker, so I could shoot a few true "dusk" photos.  While I had been waiting, I had noticed a young "skateboarder" moving across and down the grade of the bridge I was shooting from.  I tried to snap off a few pics, but they too were "flat", given the boring lighting.

As it became a bit darker, the street lights came on.  The lights began to cast slight shadows on the surroundings at this point.  I took a few more shots with the nearby buildings lit a bit, and the sky darkening.  At about this time, I see the skateboarder and what turned out to be his Mom (I thought they were a couple) walking towards me from the east.  I really liked the lighting at this point and a skateboarder on a bridge...lit by a street light?  Sounded like a great "Street Photo"!

I took about 6 shots of the young man atop his skateboard.  One or two had the lighting and "look" that I wanted.   It was that "urban" look that looks great in black and white.   I was happy that I was able to capture one person out on the streets that evening, as I wasn't expecting to have this kind of opportunity.  The photo posted here is the shot I liked best. 

Skateboarder in Downtown Tacoma

It was just after this that I was able to capture my "Tacoma Docks" photo, in lighting that would provide for that "Dusk'ish" look that I wanted.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but you have to take what you can get and make the best of it.  It is typical Tacoma...a few pretty sights with an older building or two and a vacant parking lot.  Contrasts...both figuratively and literally!  All in all, a pleasant shot.

After snapping a few more photos, I loaded the tripod and camera back into the car and headed home.  I had used a fixed focal length lens instead of my more desirable lens and had pulled off a couple of respectable photos anyway!  Not a bad two hours or so...and I surprised myself again with a couple of local "Street" photos.

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