Getting The Shot - Anticipation Pays Off

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Robert Watcher, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    My favorite shot from today - in fact the one that I posted on my Facebook Page . . .

    . . . is one of those shots that just fell together exactly as I hoped - - - and better.

    Sometimes we look at documentary images photographers take, and are satisfied with it being an appealing image - without really considering the process involved. So I thought that this image that I took today with the supporting image taken seconds earlier, may be of benefit to some in showing that there generally is a deliberate process involved in make a shot work - - - even when doing street or documentary shooting.

    With my style of street shooting, I am always on the move and am shooting what takes place in front of me. I shoot on the fly and seldom take any more that a moment to stop and frame a shot. As well my subject content and backgrounds are constantly changing - and so my odds of getting a really appealing shot, diminish quickly. I have a few hits and many misses where people don't end up doing what I anticipate they will do or move the way I think they will or something comes in between us just as I am pressing the shutter.

    So it was with this setting where what I initially noticed - as I was walking up to this streetcorner where there is a small outdoor restaurant - - - was the lady going up to the different tables trying to sell the people, bags of her fruits. I was quite a distance away - shooting at around a 200mm setting with my zoom. When I first noticed her, she was walking to camera right and after being rejected by the first table, started to move to tables camera left of them.

    Fortunately I took one shot of her walking back into the scene which would ultimately make the shot - - - but it was only after taking this shot, that I noticed the table with the 2 couples smoking and a gap between the couples. I quickly decided to attempt to take the shot of the fruit vendor woman as she passed this gap in the middle of the frame.

    Knowing that I had only seconds before what I was anticipating would happen, may take place - I swung my camera to that table and focused on the couples and the second that the woman came into position - - - I got my shot.

    It really wasn't until after I got home and was editing my images from the day - that I realized the payoff that I got with this shot. The symmetry couldn't have been better with the two couples at the table almost mirroring each other - even with the expressions on the man and woman looking on to the smokers, almost being the same. And of course the timing of my trigger finger nailed the woman fruit vendor's perfect center placement.

    A Snapshot - YES - - - but one that was planned and executed with deliberation all in the matter of maybe 10 seconds from when I first noticed my setting. You can well see that my first shot (which may normally have been the only one that I would have taken), is a snapshot of what is going on - - - whereas the adjustments and anticipation as I scanned what was going on while shooting, allowed for the appealing shot taken seconds later - that is worthy of being featured on my facebook page (the final black and white image):

    First shot I took:

    Final Facebook Feature Image:
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Good idea for a thread. It's nice to read how a shooter thinks and then see the resulting image.
    Maybe others could chime in and do likewise.
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm hoping to do some more street photography with my new 14/2.5. Thanks for starting this thread!