Let me begin by saying that I’m not a hunter. But I am surrounded by hunters because I live in Minnesota. I’ve heard countless stories about deer hunting from co-workers and friends, but the most interesting story was from a seasoned hunter who told me that now he only hunts for a trophy buck because he’s hunted everything else and he’s only interested in getting the big one. He goes on to describe what the big one may look like broad shoulders, big neck and apparently the size of the rack doesn’t matter. When he goes hunting he may let herds of less attractive deer walk by during the course of a weekend without lifting his gun. This may sound like an elitist attitude, but it made me think about using this strategy in street photography. It’s pretty easy to draw the metaphor of street photography to hunting. Both require the use of your various senses to track down your prey and pull a trigger. You have virtually no control over your environment and are at the mercy of the weather. And both activities involve specialized equipment to be successful.
I just returned from a four week trip to China where I shot street photos in seven different cities. In each of these cities I noticed I was seeing the same shots over and over again with only slight variations. I started thinking about the trophy buck strategy of hunting where I would only raise my camera for the great shots and walk away from the ordinary shots. Like a lot of street photographers, I come from the school of digital spray-and-pray. I would shoot a LOT of photos and then separate the good from the bad during processing. Some days I would see a 10% hit ratio, while other days would yield only one keeper. I learned that searching for the trophy buck on the streets requires both patience and risk. Getting in close for an intimate image that captures facial emotion is a risky maneuver, but if done well it usually pays off. Toward the end of my recent trip I decided to implement the trophy buck strategy by using an internal filter for scenes I considered too small or ordinary. These shots I would walk away from. And there were a lot of them.
Ask business owners in today’s world if they could live without their phone and chances are they’d either laugh or say how ridiculous your question is. No phone? Are you crazy? Yes a phone houses e-mails and schedules but it also carries the hardware of unbelievable camera power. Nowadays you don’t even need to carry around a clunkly DSLR in order to take professional-looking photographs. All you need is your camera phone and a few free apps. If you’re new to taking shots for your business, here are a few tips to get you started. Use bright colours. An office drowning in grey has colour somewhere. Find it. Maybe it’s a photo frame or a colourful planter. Maybe it’s your co-worker’s cardigan or scarf. Bright colours make people feel energetic. It awakens sleepy eyes so be sure to utilize life’s rainbow to your benefit. Here is a cute kitchen timer that needs an extra pop. The yellow backdrop is courtesy of some spare material lying around my house. If you’re a newbie to photography, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having lots of items and action in a photo.
Established in 2007, their Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing’s Caochangdi district quickly set a benchmark for the display and curation of photography in China. Ahead of the Awards in April, where they will present a special exhibition of their work alongside this year’s winning and shortlisted pieces, RongRong & inri spoke with BLOUIN ARTINFO about some of their most recent endeavors, including a new Three Shadows center and a new photography festival in the southern Chinese city of Xiamen. The photographic lens has the ability to curate a tableau. Tone captured by an ominous shadow, or an entire life story in unwavering eye contact with a single shudder click. A character and the surrounding scene can be completely manipulated by a photographer to present an alter ego of sorts. It’s a style of photography that permeates the work of Meryl Miesler, whose series from the 60s and 70s is on show in the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York.