I was in Vancouver and I had just been to the Vancouver Art Gallery and seen an exhibit of Harry Callahan, a dynamic and fascinating street photographer who worked mainly in the ’30-’60’s and I was feeling inspired by what I had seen. I was at a cycling race and of course I was taking pictures of the race when what was happening across the street from me drew my focus more clearly and I realized I had something far more interesting. The background was formed by this wonderful convenience store/hotel whose lights both inside and outside the building form a nice counterpoint to the human interaction out front. There were two couples on either side of the frame, the lady who was drinking and the Jumanji looking guy in the centre of it all. I noticed a little girl walking by and I waited until she was in a gap in the people and took the picture. I lucked out in that the two couples where engaged with each other in a really dynamic way and the lady took a drink just at that moment, and of course, the star of the photo is the guy in the pith helmet and the cane. Without him the photo would have had less of a story to tell and sometimes you just get lucky.
Dramatic cobblestone street in the older part of Portland. Canon EOS XSi EF 17-85mm at 17mm f/4.5 1/2000 ISO 800
I first noticed the fluttering piece of silk as I stepped out of my apartment and on to the sidewalk. It was caught in the grate around a tree and was rippling a little in the light morning breeze. I looked up the street and down the other side, there was a woman in the distance. I glanced down again at what I now saw was a luxurious turquoise silk scarf with a fringe on the ends. I bent down for the scarf to untangle it from the grate and ran towards the woman. She had turned the corner ahead of me and as I rounded the corner I found myself on a completely empty street. I stopped short, confused; in my run I had gotten quite close to her before she turned the corner but now she was just… gone.
I was walking around downtown Portland, which has beautiful old architecture and wonderful streets. I was crossing the street above and I was struck by the beauty I saw. The cobbles had the shine of the morning dew and the glistening rails pulled my eye off along the shallow curve deep into the frame. I wanted to emphasize the cobbles so I laid down on the street and got the camera on the ground, the wide angle emphasized the size and shape of the stones. The image cried out for a black and white treatment and with Nik Silver Efex I brought up the texture of the bricks and the silver sheen on the tracks.