Thursday, February 11, 2010

Street Photography: The Olympic Venue

It was a delight to be asked to volunteer my time for the Metro/Blenz New Squad team. It brought back memories of shooting for the North Shore Weekender in the '80s.
MetroBlenz goal is not to cover the Olympic events, rather to cover the social psychology surrounding it. The squad is a made up of a group of people from all walks of life and backgrounds that want to share their experiences using various forms of digital media. My challenge as a photographer was to capture the social life visually.
If you ever want to be a photojournalist, this type of volunteering is phenomenal experience. As opposed to sooting commercially (being contracted to capture a specific image), this is "no risk", "no pressure" shooting. If you like something you see, you post it or submit it to a local media centre. All you need to be is relaxed, keep you eyes open, and have the courage to interview if people are in your image. Here are some examples of what I did on my first day on "unofficial" assignment.

Walking to my first meeting with the news team, I noticed that Vancouver traffic was unusually quite? So, when the little traffic that was there was gone, I went into the middle of the street and shot this picture. The goal was to dramatize the lack of traffic - lots of tarmac, include the city, and including the surrounding buildings to provide context. Here is the picture with the story.

Later in my walk I noticed a busker on Granville. I took his picture so he was dominant, included the his guitar case with coins in it, and made sure there were people walking by. I took lots of pictures and chose the one where the man was looking into the guitar case - drawing your attention there - and the the woman was smiling at the busker - drawing your attention back to him. I did interview him and got permission from him prior to taking his picture. I also got some background on him as a busker and performer. You have to do this if you want to be a photojournalist. Here is the picture with the story.

Here are the other images I took yesterday:

So, if you want to be a photojournalist, get out in your community and start shooting pictures. Start you own blog. Take your best images, adding a "cut line" (what is said at the bottom of the picture to give the picture interest) and submit it to a local paper or community website. Not only will will you grow as a photographer, you will get lots of exercise. Good luck.

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