Tag: Street Photography

Voyaging: A Photo Excursion in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Voyaging: A Photo Excursion in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA is a lively, historic and beautiful town that’ll make you not want to leave. If yinz haven’t been there yet, you must go as soon as possible. When I was getting into photography, one of the earliest bodies of work I saw was 

Why Cleveland, Ohio is Perfect for Street Photography

When it comes to street photography, there are heaps of places that come to mind. New York City, Chicago, Paris and many others have been the settings for legendary street photographers such Daniel Arnold, Vivian Meier and Henri Cartier-Bresson. After all, they are incredible cities 

How to Do Winter Street Photography

The ability to capture a genuine, authentic moment in time is what immediately drew me into photography. There’s a magic to photographing a scene and knowing you did it without posing or manipulating a scene.

Once I discovered that street photography encapsulated this type of photography, I was hooked. Wandering outside in public spaces, anticipating compositions and clicking the shutter button is what fulfilled me. To this day, this is my favorite and most fulfilling type of photography.

Marquette, Michigan

The characteristics that make street photography great—genuine moments, authenticity, life—are what guided me toward the path of earning a degree in photojournalism.

If you enjoy street photography, and/or don’t know a lot about it, hopefully this post will shine some light on the topic.

There are probably seemingly infinite definitions for ‘street photography’. To me, ‘street photography’ means creating photographic work, of whatever subject you choose, that isn’t posed.

Winter can be a particularly challenging time for street photography. Worry not, though, fellow street photographer, for winter is one of the best times for street photography.

Marquette, Michigan

You may be thinking,”Why?”

The reason is that it can be beautiful. When snow falls it does a wonderful job of making colors pop. Another reason that winter is great for street photography is that the winter light outside, at least in the Midwest, is usually cloudy.

Cloudy weather is wonderful for creating soft, subdued light. This quality of light is perfect for images that aren’t too full of contrast or harsh shadows.

Of course, there are challenges to photographing outside during the winter. Some of these challenges are the fact that batteries can drain quickly and your hands can get cold if you don’t have warm gloves. The solution to these problems is to have a spare battery and keep it somewhere warm, like a pocket. As far as cold fingers go, I prefer to wear flip-top gloves. With these types of gloves, you can operate your camera while making sure your hands and fingers don’t get too chilly.

Marquette, Michigan

The most important tip about how to do street photography in winter is to simply do it. Go outside and photograph whatever you’d like. When you edit your photos, study what you’ve done and make notes about what you like and what you’d change.

This analysis of your pictures will help you the next time you venture out to make pictures and will result in you making better photographs.

In photography, the simple act of doing it will make you better.

Recently, my partner and I took a trip to beautiful Marquette, Michigan. There hasn’t been much snow where we live, so the extra snow we encountered by traveling north of home was a welcome sight.

The temperatures when we were there were predicted to be really cold. That prediction was correct.

Seeing how much beautiful snow was falling, though, more than made up for any worries about cold. The phrase by Ansel Adams that,”bad weather makes good photographs” is entirely true.

We stayed downtown at the historic Landmark Inn and it was perfect. One benefit of staying at this location was that it was centrally located. We were already downtown so it was easy to walk around to interesting places.

In fact, the view from our hotel window was so wonderful that I was able to capture some images from our room. A good scene is a good scene, no matter where you are.

Marquette, Michigan

My camera setup was my Canon 6D and a 50mm lens. This is another important tip: It’s important, or at least, really helpful, to use a camera you’re familiar with. I’ve owned the original Canon 6D for more than ten years. The benefit to this is that I’ve become really adept at using the camera. It’s second nature at this point to operate the camera effectively. The result of having spent so much time with this camera is that I can react quickly if a quick photo needs to be made.

The 50mm lens is one of my favorite lenses. The view through this type of lens is as natural as can be, to me, and photographing with it is natural.

Marquette, Michigan

One great tip for improving your photography is that you should use one camera and lens for a while and notice how comfortable you become with it. The ability to not have to think about your equipment and to know how your lens will frame an image will result in you being able to think and react to photographs incredibly quickly.

Hopefully some of the simple tips in this post help you. The important thing to do is to simply go outside in the snow and become accustomed to the weather and your equipment. Stay comfortable by wearing warm clothes. The more you photograph in the winter, the more used to it you’ll become.

The most important tip is to have fun and enjoy the wonderful scenes that winter has to offer.

Why It’s Time to be Careful When Flying with Film

Photographing with film is my absolute favorite method of capturing images. If it wasn’t for the cost and sometimes inconvenience, I’d photograph with film all the time. Alas, there are costs and inconveniences that result from photographing with film. It would seem that inconveniences have 

Why You Don’t Always Have to Photograph During the Golden Hour

It is written in many tutorials that in order to photograph successfully, one must photograph during the Hour of Gold. Fear not, fellow photographers, for a beautiful photograph may be captured any time you’re out with your camera, even if that time isn’t the golden 

Why the Canon AE-1 Makes a Great Film Camera

Choosing the right film camera can be incredibly overwhelming. There are seemingly endless options out there for you to use. But, worry not. If you’re looking for a simple camera that can be found for a reasonable price, the Canon AE-1 gets the job done, and done well.

Film photography has been experiencing a resurgence since its bleaker days. Cameras that used to cost very little have become more and more expensive.

When film had become unpopular with the rise of digital cameras, I grabbed some discount deals on a number of excellent film cameras—Leica M6, Mamiya 7 and a Canon F-1. Yes, there was a time when these cameras were more than half of the price they are now.

Traverse City, Michigan
Camera: Canon AE-1

It didn’t take long for the word to spread that I was an avid film photographer. Before long, thankfully, family and friends would send me old film cameras. It was extremely humbling and I’m forever thankful.

One camera that was given to me by gracious friends—it previously belonged to their father—was a Canon AE-1. I’d heard that the camera was a solid workhorse, and it is. The only reason I didn’t purchase one earlier was because I’d already had a Canon F-1 in my stable, and an older Canon TX.

As usual, I won’t get into too many technical descriptions in this post; those can be found here.

What I will talk about is how usable and fun the Canon AE-1 is.

Traverse City, Michigan
Camera: Canon AE-1

Old cameras can be fussy. So, it took a bit for this camera to be fun.

When I first pressed the shutter of the camera, an audible wheezing sound was emitted instead of the ka-thwack of a properly working shutter mirror.

Almost every one of my film cameras are sent off for a CLA (clean, lube, adjust) service. That way, I know I won’t be guessing if everything is working, and I’ll know when it’s been serviced. It’s just easier, and I’m sure I waste heaps less film by putting my rolls through faulty cameras.

A quick Google search lead me to camera repair technician extraordinaire, Joe Careta. He sent it back to me quickly after doing his magic to the camera. The camera looked, felt and sounded like it was new.

Freshly-serviced Canon AE-1 in hand, I couldn’t wait to hit the field with it. My lens of choice was the Canon 50mm FD f/1.4 S.S.C. This is a lens that produces stunning results, outside of what, and how, the photographer chooses to photograph.

In the Field with the Canon AE-1

Loaded with some Kodak Portra ISO 400 35mm film, I carried the camera with me until every one of the 36 exposures on the roll were exposed.

Let me tell you, this camera is fantastic and a pleasure to use.

The Canon AE-1 doesn’t hold you, or itself, back. It isn’t too heavy or too light; the shutter sound isn’t too quiet or too loud; and the viewfinder isn’t too dark or too bright—as if there is such a thing as a viewfinder that’s too bright.

And, one of the most important considerations, it’s priced extremely reasonably. A quick search on eBay resulted in me finding some nice examples of the camera for between $100-$200. Actually, for the price, this is probably one of the best values around.

Traverse City, Michigan
Camera: Canon AE-1

The one aspect of this camera I didn’t test was the light meter. I’ve become accustomed to using my handheld light meter, so I didn’t test the camera’s built-in one. The needle was bobbing up and down, though, responsively with exposure suggestions.

There’s a lot to be said for a camera that is easy to use. One of my favorite photographic experiences is when a camera setup doesn’t get in the way of a photograph. The AE-1 allows the user to quickly control the shutter speed and aperture, which allows complete creative control to the user.

With the AE-1, as soon as I wanted to take a picture, I lifted the camera to my eye and snapped the shutter button. The shutter sound was pleasant and the size of the camera was perfect.

Since the Canon AE-1 is older, it has that vintage component to it that also enhances the photographic experience.

Camera: Canon AE-1

If you’re looking for your first film camera, or you’d like to have a general purpose camera that will work and won’t break the bank if something happens to it, or would simply like to have an enjoyable film-shooting experience, I can’t recommend the Canon AE-1 enough.

How Film Photography Can Make You A Better Portrait Photographer

Portrait photography is one of my favorite genres within the craft. To meet someone and make a portrait of that person, or people, is special. While working for different newspapers, it was portraits that made up so many daily assignments. The goal was to photograph 

Ways to be Creative During the Summer

The creative journey is different for everyone. It can be a slow ascent, then a whiplash-fast descent and everything in-between, and then it can change again. And that’s okay, because it’s all part of that journey. Do not fret fellow creatives. There are ways to 

Photographing in a Snowstorm for Five Minutes

It was December 24, 2022. Our plan, by way of yearly tradition, was to travel north and visit family for the holidays. Nature’s plan, though, was to make the Michigan roads as undriveable as possible through a weather assault of wind, snow, cold and ice. It was the Christmas Eve blizzard.

I’m from Michigan, so snowstorms are always in the forecast no matter what month of the year it is. Drive through enough winters, like I have, and you too will begin to posses a set of skills centered around calm, supreme attentiveness and road lane visualization when there, seemingly, are no lanes.

When we heard the travel warning for this particular time, and the warnings have been known to overestimate things, we discussed it and decided to give the trip an effort.

Even on family trips, actually, especially on family trips, I bring a dedicated piece of camera gear for documentation purposes. With my 35mm rangefinder in tow, I’d be ready to photograph anything.

Grand Traverse County

As we exited our neighborhood and made our way north, it was apparent that the storm was indeed trying its best to cause dangerous travel conditions. Blinding snow was whipping it’s way at a high velocity from the west and ice had already established itself on the pavement.

“Is this smart?,” my partner Meg said. The answer was,”No.”

We decided to turn around at the next drive, which happened to be a service drive to a fruit orchard farm.

Not one to squander a photographic opportunity, I grabbed my camera and exited the vehicle to make some pictures. The full force of winter was seen, heard and felt as I made some steps to photograph some winter scenes.

One of my favorite reasons to photograph during winter is that when there are colors, the stark whiteness of winter really makes them pop.

There was a teal shed of some sort that I photographed first. Then, when I turned around, there was a school bus in the yard of a house across the road.

My total time photographing was about five minutes.

Grand Traverse County

The point of this post is this: Life has changes and circumstances that seem to be in a constant state of flux. By having a camera, and that includes cell phone cameras, and being receptive to photograph opportunities, you’ll find that you’ll have more chances to be creative and to simply create.

Grand Traverse County

As days become busier and busier and time becomes ever more valuable, I’m finding it more important than ever to carve out time and make chances to photograph and be creative.

The best way to do this, for me, has been to simply have a picture-taking device and to be open to photographing.

If you’re finding that you’re not taking as many pictures as you’d like, try to bring your camera with you everywhere. Be open to new photographic possibilities and maybe take a different route to and from work. You may discover new photographic opportunities and you may find that you’re inspired to create art.

Voyaging: A 2023 Springtime Photo Trip to Saginaw, Michigan

Tell someone you’re going away for a weekend to Saginaw, Michigan to take photos, and you may receive puzzling expressions—I certainly did. The responses of wonderment I received were mostly from the people I encountered in Saginaw, too. Saginaw is often on lists, but they’re