Earlier this week I was very excited to be able to take a webinar class on Street Photography, as I have wanted to delve into this area of photography for awhile. I had thought that SP was narrowly defined as candid shots of people going about their everyday business. I was surprised to find that Street Photography also includes things like buildings, construction sites and dock loading equipment. That made me even happier, since I have been regularly photographing those things in addition to the photos of flowers and wildlife. But I’ve been afraid of photographing people. The instructor told us to just get out there and start. So the next day I gathered up my courage, placed myself on a busy corner with my telephoto (wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet away from other people), and started aiming my camera toward real, live, actual people.
Like anything else, of course, I’m finding that it takes practice, especially since my telephoto isn’t quite powerful enough for some of my shots and then I need to crop, thus losing some of the resolution. And I’m having trouble getting the settings right to both blur the backgrounds, and capture the moving person, even though I know in my head the range of what those settings should be. Practice should help me improve. But I’m really pleased with the start that I’ve made. For that matter, I’m pleased that I’ve started at all, because as I’ve said, I’ve been a little afraid of photographing people. The class gave me the courage to begin.
I am fortunate to live in Oakland, California, a very diverse city with a population of close to a half million people. Last Sunday, June 7th, along with the peaceful protests by teens and adults, there was a protest scheduled for families with young children. As it was gathering across the street from my apartment, and families were practicing good social distancing, I grabbed my camera and did some photo journaling.
No people, traffic, or curbs filled with bumper to bumper parked cars. All necessary precautions to stop the spread of the COVID virus and save lives, but lonely. We will get through this, but it is hard.
I was, of course, taking my daily one mile walk with my dog when I came upon these wildflowers. They had managed to grow under the fence, up against the sidewalk, and still thrive. I found them to be an inspiration. How can I continue to grow in spite of, or perhaps because of, this difficult quarantine during the Coronavirus? Sheltering inside, except for this one hour a day, (and even for that respite, wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet way from other people), how can I use this time? What new skills can I learn, uninterrupted like this? What books could I read? What items in my apartment might I realize, with renewed clarity, that I no longer need and I could donate? What clutter could I clear out and then organize what remains, creating a more peaceful haven? What opportunities does this quarantine present that I am normally too busy, or too distracted, to notice?