She’s not homeless


My buddy Nisarg is back from India. Just got in a couple days back. He’s a terrific photographer and was recently published in the Guardian in the UK. He’s only in his late 20s and I highly suspect he’ll end up making his living off the camera. Anyway, so I met him downtown today to shoot a protest. It was an assignment for him by the agency with which he’s affiliated in the UK. The protest was against Monsanto and GMO foods. It was a good day. As we headed down Yonge St. to the protest, I noticed this lady sitting there with a cup for change. As we approached her I snuck a shot. But then a few yards past I felt bad for sneaking a shot and returned to give her some money and ask for a proper photo. She told me straight up she wasn’t homeless. I said I was glad to hear it but that I was only a street photographer looking for interesting people to shoot. I think this shot will make it in my next book, if I ever get off my arse and put it together. As for the protest, it was great. We marched around with them for the afternoon shooting hundreds of shots. I got a few keepers I’ll post in the coming days. Hope you like this one.

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4 Responses to She’s not homeless

  1. NotDownOrOut says:

    When you say “sneaking a shot” what do you mean by that? Do you feel you need to pay people you photograph on the street? Or did you feel bad because you think you should give money to people who ask for it on the street? I just found your blog today. I have no training but have started carrying a camera because I have noticed that everywhere I go I see planes low to the ground overhead. (I live within 10 miles of a major airport so that’s not unexpected, but for most of my life I ignored the planes and now they seem always to be in my consciousness.) Your explanation of the shot in the last six or seven photos has been helpful already. I carry a digital camera with a screen. It makes it tough for me to analyze my image before I shoot because my eyes don’t let me focus as well as if I stuck my eye to the back of the camera and studied the image. Do you have any thoughts about LCD screens? Thanks for the wonderful blog!

    • Hi Cheryl. Thanks for popping by my blog.
      When I mentioned sneaking a shot I meant that as I walked up to where she was I snapped a photo of her as she looked away. It was an okay shot but not a keeper. After passing I decided I wanted a better shot so I turned back. I knew she was looking for change (I don’t like to use the term “begging”) so I figured we could accommodate each other. She gets some loose change and I get a photo. I don’t feel obligated to spare change but I feel that if I’ve got something they need and they’ve got something I want, why not trade. I do, however, photograph people without giving them anything, but usually not street people.

      For anyone starting out I usually offer the following advice: Always been on the lookout for a good shot and try to get out and shoot often. The more you shoot the better your chances of catching something interesting. When you check out my photography, keep in mind I’m posting about 5 percent of what I shoot. I might take a couple of hundred shots in a day but only find a half dozen to a dozen worth showing off on my blog. Another tip is to watch for the play of light and shadow. That can really take a good photo and make it great. Also watch for reflections, like in store windows and such. As for using the LCD display vs an optical or electronic viewfinder, I think both have merit. With the display and the electronic viewfinder, you get to see how your photo will look before you take the picture. With the optical display you have to rely on your knowledge more, since you won’t know how it’s going to turn out until you review the result on the camera’s display. Another benefit of a viewfinder is it helps to stabilize the camera, since you hold it to your face and your forehead acts sort of like a support. With the LCD display you have to hold the camera out in front of you which makes it a tad more difficult to keep it steady. Oh, and lastly, keep in mind that more gear or better gear does not make better photographs. Ansel Adams once said that the most important gear a photographer has is located 12 inches behind the viewfinder (in other words, it’s your brain). I have a friend who’s shooting with a Nikon D3100, a kit lens and a $100 50mm F1.8 prime lens. He’s working with an agency out of the UK and one of his photos has already been used by The Guardian newspaper. The total cost of his gear is a mere few hundred dollars. Goes to show you that pricey equipment cannot replace talent.

      Hope you find that helpful. Thanks again for visiting my blog.

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