Finding a Groove

Waiting for Godot - Fifth & Congress, Austin

Bad weather inside and outside the house, of both the meteorological and the overworked perfectionist teen psychological variety, kept me from going downtown the first weekend of February but I was more successful this last Saturday. The results, while not yet completely satisfying, are beginning to coalesce into a recognizable style.

My brain is proving to be more plastic than I had expected: it is getting less daunting to keep my camera held up to my eye as people approach. And David Hurn’s advice that “the subject must be not only practical but continuously accessible”* is proving itself. Being able to make images in or around the same location on a regular basis is causing a shift in my photographic concerns away from the natural landscape and increasingly towards human content; not documentary, not specific individuals, but human form located in the midst of modernist and post-modern surrealism.

In turn, my priorities for the kind of camera system I would like to build are changing too. For several weeks I have been shooting with a single, fixed length, prime lens: the Panasonic 20mm f2.8. I am finding that the current lack of high quality telephoto zooms for Micro Four Thirds, Sony Nex and Fuji XPro-1 is of diminishing significance in my ruminations. After 30 plus years of emphasis on landscape, this apparently genuine and deep seated shift in mind set comes as something of a surprise.

No artist is ever completely pleased with their work, at least not when honest and in private, but I have a very long way to go before I would lay any claim to being a fully fledged street photographer. The image above is not all I want it to be. Next time I will try harder to avoid having the cars in the background, next time I will wait for stronger coincidences of line. The good news is that next time may be as soon as this coming weekend.

* Hurn, David, and Bill Jay. On Being a Photographer: A Practical Guide. Anacortes, WA: LensWork Pub., 2008. Print.