At the beginning of the year I posted a few pictures of the northern lights. They were out of focus and grainy and not at all resembling anything I was actually trying to capture with my camera. Yet it was a breakthrough for me. It was a step in the right direction.
Now several months later and I’m not only going in the right direction, I’ve made it over a hurdle, somewhat gracefully.
I’m still searching for my voice when it comes to my photography. Taking pictures of my kids has become second nature and nice pictures in my backyard at that golden hour has become monotonous.
Black and white street photography really appeals to me. In general, I’ve always been drawn to black and white. It captures an incredibly raw moment. You aren’t boggled with filters and saturated colors. I tend to pay attention to the feelings and emotions of a person rather than anything else in the picture when color is eliminated. With that being said, black and white I can manage. Street photography? Not so much.
My brother in law (who takes amazing pictures) and I, have monthly “camera chats”. We talk about any camera questions I might have, what we’ve been shooting lately and a lot of times it’s just the both of us talking about what we want out of our pictures. One thing he’s mentioned on several occasions is striving to take a photo that tells a story. You can take a picture of a girl sitting down, hair pulled back, smile on her face, she says cheese and it can be a beautiful photo. And then you can take her picture when she’s bent down. She’s tying her shoe and trying so very hard to get it right this time. She has her tongue sticking out as she’s concentrating and trying to remember which way to loop it. Her face is calm and determined and now your still moment has a story behind it. That is what I’m after. And it’s really hard. Street photography is an art in itself and I’m really struggling with it. It requires practice and patience and being able to think quick on your feet to get the shot your after. All of that, with a little bit of luck, and good timing.
Last weekend there was an air show. A perfect place to get some practice in. We left around noon and by the time we got to the exit for it, it was SLAMMED. I mean traffic backed up on the highway and in all directions heading to the show. We made an attempt and with antsy, hungry kids in the car we decided we would skip the show and head somewhere for lunch. The grand finale with all the big jets started at 4 and after lunch we happened to find a park right next to the base where the show took place. The kids got to run around and play and we all sat back to watch the jets soar across the sky. It was here that I got this shot.
With a first glimpse, it doesn’t seem like anything special. But when you start to examine it, you see each person is part of an unfolding story. I had been sitting there long enough to see it all come together. The woman has her son on her lap. They were first on the swings. He didn’t want to swing by himself so she sat down and pulled him up on her lap and they started swinging together, laughing. The boy in the corner is mad and watching the other boys playing, refusing to join in. He had originally been with the boy in front, throwing the ball, and they had their own game going with the basketball. A couple more boys showed up and crashed the game, and he got left behind when his friend left him and began to play the new game with the other boys. He made his way to the side and sulked while the fun continued on without him.
Just like with my out of focus, grainy shots before, it’s not a perfect photo. But it’s a picture I’m extremely proud of and one I personally really love. It started out as something small. A shot of a couple boys throwing a basketball. The end result was a story of love. The love of your friend. The love for your children. The love of being young, and the love of doing things that make you feel good.
And that’s all taking pictures is really about for me. Doing something that makes me feel good and creating forever moments.