This photo was kind of a happy accident. Walking in the city center of Santa Marta, all full of colonial style houses, I had been playing around with some camera settings in manual mode. Now, if you are into street photography (or photo journalism), one of the basic principles to always bear in mind is always to keep your camera in some safe quick-shooting mode, in case something happens.
There is a saying in photojournalism (that some attribute to Allen Hopkins, some to Robert Capa, and some to Arthur Fellig) “f8 and be there”. This rule means that it is more important to be at the right moment and the right place than to worry about the technical details of the camera setup. Some take it as a hint to keep your camera ready to shot no matter what the conditions are.
Well, this photo is certainly not the best example of this rule. The street we walked by was dimly lit, and the settings of my camera completely scrambled when I put it to my eye and snapped the shot, resulting in a very weirdly underexposed shot. In my haste to reset the camera before the couple walked away, I didn’t pause to erase the faulty picture, and this was the result. There are so many things that are technically wrong with this pic that they are not even worth enumerating, but much to my surprise even with all the scrambled settings it still kind of makes for a strong image, so I decided to keep it as a remainder for the future.
After the visit to Monserrate and an amazing traditional Colombian lunch, it literally started pouring down, so we had to look for cover inside a coffee place, where I could enjoy a steamy cup of another of the Colombian national treasures. Once the rain stopped, we still had a few minutes of light that we used to walk around the nice neighborhood of La Candelaria, featuring nice houses of colonial styles. Wandering around, we ended up in Plaza de Bolívar, one of the main squares of Bogotá, where a free traditional South-Pacific Colombian music concert by Inés Granja y Santa Bárbara de Timbiquí. Probably because of the rain, the square was not very crowded and we could move around easily. We spotted this guy dancing all by himself like there was nobody else there and looking like he was having a great time, and I really wanted to capture the moment.
It was already dusk and I didn’t feel comfortable blinding the guy with my flash, so I cranked up the ISO to 1600 and kept the lens wide open to get a reasonably quick shutter speed (1/45s). My aim here was to get a focused enough photo so that the dancer’s facial expression would still be visible, but still capturing the dynamic of his dance. I think it did’t come out bad. Let me know what you think in the comments!
PS: In case you are curious about the music style around, you can see the band playing here (video from a different concert, music starts after the first minute):
This is the abandoned Wurlitzer building in downtown Detroit.
Having lost more than half of its population over the last decades, Detroit brings a whole new meaning to the “urban decay” concept.
As urban decay always fascinated me, I took the lucky chance during my random trip to Detroit and just wandered around the lonely streets like a ghost. As I was traveling alone, I didn’t feel confident enough to enter any of these abandoned places, so limited myself to take pictures from the outside. Maybe that will change in my next visit ;-)
The Wurlitzer building is located right downtown, and makes quite an impressive view. I love how someone took the time to decorate all the windows with little hearts :-D
This awesome graffiti is located in Dalston Lane, very close to the Dalston Junction overground station.
Picture was taken under good light conditions, allowing to use low ISO in order to minimize the noise. For this kind of photo, everything that appears in the frame is in the wall at the same distance of the camera, so the aperture value is mostly irrelevant as there is no room for playing with the depth of field, so I went for a wide 4.8 aperture to compensate for the low ISO and be able to get my shutter as quick as possible (1/250s) for extra sharpness.
I finally got to edit the pictures of my last trip to the US. For some work reasons, I needed to travel to Baltimore (Maryland), and since I had a free weekend right before the trip I decided to go on for some random variant of experimental travelling, just for the fun.
Rather than following one of the pre-assigned ET itineraries, I decided to put my fate on the hands of my favorite multi-destination air-fare finder website. So my rule was I would look for the cheapest possible London-Baltimore trip and then spend the weekend wherever my connection turned out to be. The lucky town happened to be Detroit, which conveniently enough I had never been to. I didn’t know much about Detroit besides its connection with Henry Ford and the car industry, so make the trip even funnier I decided I would not check a single travel guide, website, or anything about the city before I got there; the only thing I indulged myself arranging in advance was my hotel room. It would have been fun to go totally blindfolded but I am not 18 anymore and I knew I would appreciate having a place to go drop my luggage and take a shower after a 10 hours flight. So I got to my room, and after freshening up a bit decided to walk outside and wander around town. Today’s picture features the completely empty street I found right after coming out of my motel. Quite a contrast with yesterday’s pic, isn’t it?
More pics and stories to come in the next days, so stay tuned!