Street Photography

Cultural Gathering In Contrast

People enjoying the peace at Lincoln Center, New York.  My intention of this piece was to utilize the brightness of the illuminated water and the night to establish a high contrast black and white photo.  I wanted to capture the feeling which would allow the viewer to feel as if they could be one of the people there or one of the people approaching the fountain.

Taken at the Hoboken Terminal, these post was shot with a Canon 5D mark II and a Canon  24mm TS-E 3.5L lens.  I used the lens to create a shallow depth of field along the length of the decaying post.  I used "Manual Zoom" to take the close up.  In case you didn't know what "Manual Zoom" is, it's when you physically move your body closer to your subject as a means of zooming in.  In this case I was crotched on the "Zoomed Out" photo and simply stood up and used the Live View feature of my camera along with my arms stretched out fully to obtain the "Zoomed In" point of view.

Boy Cardinal Reflection

A boy wonders off into space thinking perhaps of his performance in the upcoming or completed baseball game.  He sits on his worn stoop, without caring to notice the dozens of people walking across this path.

I took this photo while walking in Alphabet City in Manhattan.  I initially noticed the boy from about a half block away.  I set my camera to monochrome mode, intentionally wanting to shoot in black and white that day.  I was shooting an old Canon FD 50mm 3.5f Macro lens.  I squatted a bit and peaking under the railing, I found what I was looking for.  That face.  If there ever a 1000 words to describe it.  Some photographers may say the bar is distracting. It's there to frame the photo.  The tip of his head, not covered by the bar helps complete the photo.  It's a technical trick used in fashion shoots.  If a part of a person is covered a bit... lets say a forearm, then allow the upper part and hand show in the shot.  This will prevent the part of the body from appearing cut off.

Obviously I did not choose to keep this photo in it's intended black and white state.  I felt the colors lend a great deal to the overall story of the image.

© 2012 Daniel Russo   •
Canon AE-1 - Canon FD 50mm Macro F3.5

Light Focuses

Years ago, when I was young and easily impressionable... I opened my father's draw and found an Olympus camera.  I remember holding it in my hands... winding the camera... pretending I was taking photos.  And who knows... perhaps I was.  I had no clue what made it "click".  I was young enough not to know what film was, or how it worked.

There was a weight to that camera.  And that feel of leather and metal.  And ohhh those mysterious buttons.  I played with them all, I assure you.  And from time to time, I would sneak into that drawer and take out that camera; and just hold it in my hands... The mysterious object that took photos...

It's been a long time since I was that young... but I never forgot that camera.  So when I hold a camera in my hands now I can still revert, back to that child...  I can still wonder sometimes, how that magic little object works.  The difference is I know what the buttons are. 

For years I've heard photographers say, "... I catch the light..." And for many years, I thought, "I catch the moment."  Which is true.  For most it's light.  But I believe for some its the moment.  In this particular example... I'll leave what I did as a mystery.  I hope you enjoy it.

@2012 - Daniel Russo

Shooting black and white

When you first come to my site you may find a super large photo of a woman with facepaint on.  The face paint makes her face look pretty evil.  She was anything but.  Now you may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with shooting in black and white?"  Good question.  The answer... Nothing.  Shooting black and white is just a part of my taking photos.  I first discovered the wonders back in college.  I shot a LOT of black and white film back then.  But I didn't really see how much it effected my shooting digitally until about a year or two ago.  Over the past couple of years I have grown to really favor black and white photography.  Even when desiring color as my final outcome.  

I'd frame up my shot.  Switch the camera setting to monochrome.  Check out the tones of the image.  Then I'd switch back to one of my color settings.  I honestly don't think I'd ever have to worry about color afterwards.  For me it worked out.  I'd say give it a try and slowly see how that works out for you.  In my experience, I loved it.

Now when you look at my site, you may think that I shoot a lot in black and white.  Well I do.  But not as much as you would think.  Quite often I'd come across a photo which I intended to be in color.  I shot it in color and and processed it in color.  However for some reason or another I made the final decision to create a black and white version of the photo.  OR!!!  You may be looking at a photo I took while shooting film.  I generally prefer black and white film, as there is a certain quality in the final outcome of the photo which digital photography can't match.  I do not post nearly as much black and white film photography as I do digital.  Why?  I share a lot on the blog and in the site.  Some things I like to keep just for myself.  Those photos are printed, mounted and hung.

Photo by Daniel Russo @2012
Canon 5D Mark 2 - Carl Zeiss 50mm F1.4 Planar T* ZE