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Street Photography

Street Photography at Night in China Town: Pushing the limits of Handheld Shooting

I hopped onto the sky train on Saturday evening to join some photographers on an early evening Street Photography session in Vancouver’s famous China Town.  As it was a low light situation I decided to lug my handy tripod with me.  For some reason I just can’t seem to get into using that thing.  I find it cumbersome to set up and by the time I am ready I have lost whatever I was going to photograph.  On this shoot I only used the tripod for two of the shots the rest of the shots I did handheld with a big 70-200mm lens on the camera. All shots are in Aperture priority mode. Settings for feature image above. f/5.7 1/320sec 75mm ISO 800 shot handheld. Continue reading “Street Photography at Night in China Town: Pushing the limits of Handheld Shooting”

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Street Photography: 70-200mm lens, The art of the “walking Portrait”

Street photography is not a new genre, however it became known in Vancouver more widely in the 1930’s.  This is when  depression era studio photographers were forced by economics to take to the streets and take candid photos of people to try and get them to contact the photographer later to buy the photo.  These enterprising photographers handed out tickets that could later be matched with the photographers copy of the ticket to retrieve the photo for the client. This is roughly when the term “walking portrait” came into common use. Continue reading “Street Photography: 70-200mm lens, The art of the “walking Portrait””

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5 Street Photography tips for Difficult Conditions

Street photography can be challenging even in good conditions.  As a West Coast based Canadian Photographer I deal with some of the darkest and wettest conditions encountered by anyone.  In addition, as I write this there is snow on the ground in Vancouver.  We haven’t had a winter as snowy as this for 30 years but that’s a whole other article. Continue reading “5 Street Photography tips for Difficult Conditions”

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Street Photography: An activist/web journalist gets caught in a riot

While looking through some old digital photo archives I stumbled upon some shots I took 5 years ago during Vancouver’s famous and arguably notorious Stanley Cup riot. I am old enough to remember the riot in 1994 so I was prepared with a digital camera, water and a first aid kit.

As the game ended it became clear to me that something was about to kick off. One of the main things that help a photographer in general is a sense that something is about to go down.  As a keen people watcher I noticed a small band of young thugs pushing their way through the crowd toward the central hub of activity in front of the big screen where we all watched in horror as the final seconds of the game ticked off.   What followed happened so quickly and spiralled as the hive mind took over.   Some how the crowd got into a manic frenzy of destruction and I managed to get off a few shots.

This shot taken early after the first group of young thugs went to work shows that to have a riot you first need a large central fire to build unity of the collective mind. We all stood yelling and getting worked up.  Suddenly “normal” people went crazy.

Staying calm and shoving my arms up for this blind auto focus shot paid off.

As things progressed I moved between the combined roll of photographer to crowd director to help the police get out as they were trapped in the middle without any riot gear.  They returned shortly and launched tear gas into the crowds.  The crowd fired back with water bottles and anything they could throw. It was chaos.

Many people got hurt by the canisters hitting them in the head or face.

All tooled up the police engaged in a stand off with a crowd that refused to give any ground.

I got down on my knees in front of the line to get this shot. pretty scary stuff.

Debris was everywhere people were now looting other parts of the city away from the main crowd

While the main crowd held the square small bands were engaged in car tipping.

These shots tell the story far better than words.  Sometimes in photography we tell an unpleasant story but the Photographer tries to stay true to the art and simply tell the story through photos while trying to remain neutral and apart from the scene.

Lesson learned  always have your camera and be ready to record life’s less than proud moments. 😉

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