The Sole Proprietor attended a
"Street Photography" class in Ojai, California in Ventura county north
of Los Angeles. He's not sure what he expected, but he did learn some
things about photography (lots more work ahead, Sole Proprietor) and
met some nice people.
John Free was the instructor,
a Los Angeles area professional photographer, who also teaches photography
at U.C. Extension. He is an avowed "street photographer" in the tradition
of Henri Cartier-Bresson, and he has taught himself how to get up close
and photograph people using a 35mm camera with a 50mm lens. You've got to
get right up into their face to make that kind of photograph. Total strangers.
Take your shot just right so they are either not upset or don't have a rock
to throw or can't run fast enough to catch a man (or woman) with a camera.
There were five people in the class. Two younger school age women who
had driven up from Los Angeles to take the class, a local couple from
Ojai and the Sole Proprietor. We all got lots of attention.
And what did the Sole Proprietor learn? On the afternoon of the second day,
the class was shooting an "Old Time Fiddlers" confab and as the day wore on,
the Sole Proprietor ran out of subjects. John pointed to an open door at the
back of the auditorium where the light was coming in and a couple was
dancing alone, silhouetted against the wall.
"Think of Cartier-Bresson! Expose for the door light
and have the figures blend into a black background or expose for the
interior with the bright light to the right or expose for the..."
Make the shot, in other words Mr. Proprietor, don't wait for the
shot to come to you.
You may notice that the photograph of the
young boy is underexposed because of the bright background. Real photographers
don't do that. Yeah, yeah....(continued next page)