The everyday life offers many interesting scenes to photograph. Most of the time you have to be observant to what is going on and indeed some experience and a special state of concentration is required to notice what is happening worth to be photographed, being well placed and to click the right time. But sometimes you stumble upon something so much obvious that you are just happy to be here, at the right moment.
That happened to me lately when walking downtown Boston. I saw a painter doing some refurbishment of an external panel using a beautiful red oil. And when I saw this I was just under one of those ‘No turn on red” traffic sign. Great! but more than being obvious the situation allowed time to photograph, no need to rush (I came a bit too late though because the guy had almost finished his work and would pack his stuffs soon after). Enough time to try different points of view, to capture different attitudes etc.. I finally came up with 8 pics. (I am no compulsive shooter, even using digital)
Reproduced below are the 3 best ones out of the serie of 8 – to my opinion. All with very different composition.
#1/ Pic 4/8, shortly after I stumble upon the scene. I used the “No turn on red” sign to create a nice juxtaposition. I had just to wait for the red traffic light and the painter to be in an interesting position and click. But I had problems with passing cars that ruined 3 other previous pics. It’s cluttered but finally a good street shot to my taste, with the billboard seen between the posts and the other people standing. After this one I decided to get closer…
#2/ Pic 5/8, right in front of the wall now. There was a girl sat that contrasts well with the busy painter. And also the billboard on left that was absolutely great here. (note the “Black” and “White” writings on the bilboard, another juxtaposition) . I did not have much possibilities to do other similar shot as much as I wish. I did two others with similar composition but the guy was finishing is job showing a less interesting attitude and also some people came passing by.
#3/ Pic 8/8 The guy now packs up his things… And I finally did this last shot for a more “aesthetic”, less chaotic composition, using the post as a virtual frame border for the freshly paint red panel.
One last thing… I use a 17-50 zoom but do most (9 out of 10) of my street shots at 17mm (equiv 26mm) or so. Sometimes I think having a 20mm prime would fit well my needs, would be more handy indeed. But for the first shot here I set the focal length up to 36mm (equiv 54mm) – and then back to 17mm for the closer shots. It is for such situation that having a zoom lens really helps for the flexibility it provides (as opposed to a prime).
Addendum: I came across to that place 2 days after. There was no more painter of course. I did 3 other shots with just people passing by, not the kind of shot I find thrilling… Nothing special happening, no gorgeous red hair woman wearing black and white… just cool graphical set-up.