Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Get in closer"

I was in San Francisco and Napa for ten days in October.  The first three days were at a photography workshop.

Some of the take-aways were to include people more often (don't wait until they walk out of the frame) . . . include details that provide a sense of the place you are visiting, and . . . "get in closer."  Here are four of the pictures I took during the workshop, trying to incorporate these goals into my pictures.

I need a lot more practice . . .

Chinatown music store, with a customer trying out an erhu -- a Chinese fiddle with two strings.  He was a skilled performer, a willing photography subject and the music was ethereal. 


Young man walking past a Chinatown mural.


Farmer's market.


Sorry, no "sense of place" here, but I thought she was a pretty cool kid.  When I asked her "Look that way" and then "Now look over there," she adjusted as if she had been modeling her whole life.

34 comments:

Karl said...

Hi Jack, I don't think you need more practice, these photos are perfect!

Kate said...

As a blogger, we learn a great deal from one another and it's always so wonderful when we share. I have noted specific techniques from certain bloggers that seem to be their "signature." Isn't it fun?!

Since my favorite techniques are people and close-up my favorites are the bottom two photos.

brattcat said...

You are a very good student!

Mo said...

Was a worthwhile workshop judging from the results.

cieldequimper said...

I don't know, sometimes I prefer photos without people in them (quite apart from the fact that I have this French/European privacy law thingy). I have to admit these are very good though, my favourites are the second one and the little girl.

Leif Hagen said...

Fun to take a photography workshop! That's what I need!

Luis Gomez said...

These work very well Jack.

Regina K said...

How fun to find a photography workshop in San Francisco. You always find such willing participants. I like the little girl. Excellent model.

Rachel said...

I like them all, but the last one really tugs at my heart. There is such a sweetness and innocence to it. It speaks of hopes and dreams, of living in the moment AND looking toward the future. I'm glad that it doesn't have a "sense of place" because the theme is too universal for that.

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» wishes he had known you were in the area - we could have had a blogger's coffee klatch and probably have gotten Carolyn from Oakland Daily Photo to join in...

Louis la Vache said...

BTW, very cool shot with the little girl...

Sharon said...

These are great shots Jack, all of them! I think my favorite is the girl in the window. I also like the Farmer's Market shot. When I was working up there I used to visit the market all the time and since I left, it was moved to the Ferry Building where I think it still is now. Such a great market. I have always tried to avoid getting people in my shots but, lately I've gotten better at including them and in almost every case they make the photo more interesting.

Lowell said...

I think you did very well! I like all of these a lot. Just remember, photography rules, like other rules, are sometimes best when they're broken!

Birdman said...

That's a strong first image. Mission accomplished!

Lorelle said...

Very exciting that you got to participate in a workshop. Thanks for sharing some of your new skills.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Perhaps you are showing me that I have wasted lots of time on vacations waiting for the perfect moment to get photos without anyone in them.

I think it depends on the type of person. Each of your photos today has people who belong there. They are in harmony with and enhance the scene. That is different than a crowd of tourists with cameras in checkered Bermuda shorts standing in front of one of the world's remarkable monuments.

Cezar and Léia said...

These pictures are wonderful, you are doing it very well!
You are so talented!
hugs and congratulations,
Léia

VP said...

Interesting set of unusual photos...

Sylvia K said...

You obviously graduated with honors, Jack, these are terrific, but you've always taken great people shots! I have to admit I've always focused on nature with the fewer people the better, but you just may have given me reason to broaden my scope!! Hope you've had a great weekend!

Sylvia

Randy said...

These are fantastic shots Jack. I think the last shot is a great example of "Sense of place." We have some great workshops here but are out of my price range. There's one in the Spring that I do want to do though. It's in Northern New Mexico shooting wild horses.

JM said...

I'm not sure you need a lot more practice, these are some great shots, Jack! I love the angle and the oriental mood of the top one.

Pet said...

For what I say, it appears to me that you are a pretty good student!
And good advises too. Thank you.

RedPat said...

Love them all Jack! Funny but just lately it has been dawning on me that pics that people have strolled through seem more alive than when I wait for them to be gone.
About the painted walls - I think the walls have been tagged so many times the the owners go for a mural to stop that from happening. It is so hard to remove graffiti!

Gina said...

These are wonderful! I love S.F. Chinatown. Also fell in love with Japantown on our last visit. The Kabuki Hotel is highly recommended.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

You've learned your lessons well, Jack.
I seem to remember hearing that the first three rules of photography are "Get closer, get closer, get closer" and that was a quote from Robert Capa.

sheila lynch said...

I think "closer, closer" works sometimes. I think you should follow what your eyes and heart like! Great photos!

Ali - Scituate Daily Photo said...

These are great, Jack! I love the little girl at the bottom - no, no sense of place, but certainly a sense of her...

Tash said...

You ARE a quick study. Congrats on the set of great examples for us. Since everyone is choosing favorites, mine is the 2nd one.

Dianne said...

That info makes sense Jack - I'm usually waiting for some-one to move out of the frame before I click that shot. Love your top capture in the music store - that guy just fits in the picture beautifully.

Valerie said...

Thanks so much for sharing what you've learnt Jack. I recognise that I tend to concentrate way too much on "flat" scenic shots without people, but am happy to admit and appreciate they do bring scenes to life. (I'll try to mend my ways!) Yes, the lovely window shot gets my vote too.

SRQ said...

No photography classes in Hartford??? Good thing you found one in SF! : ) Sounds like you walked away with some good info. When I have time, I'd like to take another class. Bravo for you (and I hope HDP management is taking note.)

jennyfreckles said...

It's good to get some stimulation from a workshop sometimes, makes us move out of our comfort zones. But I already thought you had some great people shots.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Hope the weather was good for you during your trip. Let's arrange a meet up the next time you're out west.

Steffe said...

Fun isn't it, documenting people around you.