Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Week 4: B&W Video Arcade Outing

While the ladies in the family were having a Baby Shower for Amanda in Austin, the soon-to-be father Sergio took the guys to a local video arcade, complete with old time real pinball machines. Something the younger ones had never seen.

In a very colorful locale with flashing lights, bright colorful neon, blinding LEDs all around, then the  walls and ceiling are painted a flat black and your only camera is shooting B&W... 
you focus on capturing people, contrast and sharpness. 

The following shots were taken to find the limits on the B&W camera in a high contrast situation with very bright lights and very deep dark shadows. 


The boys watching the fast moving silver ball roll and bounce round under the glass top. 
Their first real Pinball experience...
they loved it.

This realtime experience is more intense than an electronic game. They did not realize they could use body language to influence where the ball rolled. I remember the frequent "TILT' penalty I would get for overactive body language.

Back home we played the "Pinball Wizard" song for them, then disagreed
 over who made that song famous first, Elton John or The Who?

Before googling the answer, who do you think made it famous?

Of course, there were other rides and games too.
Now grandson wants to buy a "crotch-rocket" motorcycle.

The intensity and focus in trying to beat a game that is programed against you...

This final photo captures the look of amazement the first time you score an air hockey point against your Pop...

The family outing was a hit for all.


On the photography aspect,  the camera was more than capable of handling this challenging light situation if I used the right settings.  

For the photographer is was a learning experience. 

Ride safe and far my friends, 
Keep clicking.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Week 3: Black & White Mall Photography

Back to the Mall, again in the late afternoon.
The sun is lower in the sky with that intense bright light casting long dark shadows.

Time to play with shadow, light and people.

As people emerged from shadows into the bright sun, they would squint till their eyes adjusted. 

This grandmother pushing the stroller is an okay snapshot, but not an attractive photo. It does display the dynamic range from white to black and the many tones in-between.

Tried shooting across the walkway as people walked into the sun. 
Again okay, but not what I was looking for.

Went home empty handed, frustrated.


Return on a Saturday afternoon, more people, more action. 
Capture the following shots that I feel much better about.

Maybe he is a war hero or was it an industrial accident? 
Polo has a cool style, right amount of bling, dressed for a 98 degree day. People were hugging the cooler shadows. This is an open air mall, where only the store interiors are air conditioned. 

I am not asking people's permission to take their photo.  
Many are not aware I am even taking photos, though some are. They are all busy with their own lives, rushing to reach the next air conditioned store, ignoring the crazy guy in the sun with a camera.

Am learning to set the right exposure and distance before lifting the camera to snap the photos. Street photography is seeing, even foreseeing an event before it happens. One has the camera ready, shoot fast before the moment passes.

This Saturday there was a lot of shopping being done. Is the economy as bad as what the news reports?
This is a Premium Outlet Mall with many local shoppers but they also come here from outside the US. 
One hears many different languages being spoken.

I went inside to escape the heat, not to eat. 
Who goes to a kitchen with hot ovens to escape the heat?

In the food court, Ryan serves a customer their slice of pizza. 

The sun was blistering hot... 
The bright sun with the deep dark shadows was a challenge in finding the right camera settings.
One guesses the best they can, grab the shot before the people move on. On days like this, no one is leisurely lounging around. They are all moving quickly from one spot to another looking for cool.

More shopping bags, waiting to be carted home. 
Inanimate objects are the only shots I can slow down, take some time with. 
Making sure the exposure is correct before taking the shot. 

After walking around for an hour, decided to just sit in one spot and watch.
This young man was bored following his mother around, 
so he decided to start holding the door open for customers.

There is a challenge is finding the right camera setting for capturing both light and dark complected peopled without over exposing or under exposing the skin while working under a bright sun. In a studio setting one can adjust the lighting to compensate, but street photography is an uncontrolled environment. 

The busy B&W pattern in her blouse contrasted nicely with the sparse display window. 

Have heard that in desert climes one stays cooler when completely covered, no exposed skin.  
Temperature was 98 today, few clouds, bright sun.

This lady looks suffocatingly hot to me, but then I have never tried covering all. 

Maybe white robes would be cooler?

Is case you are wondering, in all the street photos of people I have taken, no one has questioned me, told me to stop or gotten mad at me. One can usually tell if a person does not want their photo taken by their expression. If I get a negative vibe, I just move on to the next subject that catches my eye.

In the photo above, you might wonder why she would allow me to take her photo. In this situation, when I see someone I want to photograph walking my way, I raise the camera as if focusing on the building in front of me. Then I wait for the subject to walk into the frame before snapping the shot. Sometimes the person sees me and detours around. If that happens, the opportunity is gone. I never try to chase them. 

Some who see me, will stop so as to not be in front of whatever I am taking a photo of.
But most others keep to their original trajectory,  ignoring me. That's what I want.

Am gaining confidence with the camera, finding the proper settings for snap street photography.

Am heading to New Mexico then Colorado for the national sidecar rally.  

More sidecar photos to come. Maybe even in color...

Stay safe, ride far my friends,