Thinking In Black & White

Crossing Guard Sometimes it’s easier thinking in black & white.

It’s a lot less trouble to get things right

At times it’s better being color blind

And much less taxing on my mind

You can’t see clearly late at night

When nothing seems very bright

It’s not about a subject all the time

It’s always about chasing the light

I took this shot in passing as I walked across the street in a moving crowd of people. No time to pause or think, just react to the scene and the light. Actually I took three shots in the space of a second and I couldn’t make up my mind which one I liked the best from a compositional view. All three images had their merits but this one was the sharpest of the bunch so it got the nod. It’s a handy skill to be able to take photos on the fly without really taking aim. The truth is that the percentage of success is pretty low. The odds can be improved by shooting at a higher ISO sensitivity, fast shutter speeds and using a wide angle lens. Practice may help as well. I spent most of the day using my Tokina 12-24 zoom lens to take photographs of buildings and people. The people shots are mostly at the 24 mm end and the building photos are mostly at the 12 mm end of the zoom range.  Sometimes I walked around looking for people to include in my photos and other times I found a scene I wanted to photograph and waited for people to come and go through the frame. It seems like most people will ignore you if you stay in one spot long enough. Sometime in the afternoon I remembered being back in gradeschool and learning to use a microscope. It seems the correct method is to have both eyes open even on a single element instrument. I figured out that I could take photos with both eyes open (I’m normally left eye dominant) and keep an eye on people who might be moving into frame from my right side. This allowed me to frame a scene and then predict when the action would happen. Of course having the ability to fire off five or six frames every second also helps your odds of getting an interesting shot. Sometimes everything comes together to form an interesting image (interesting to me at least). It’s not all about luck but having luck helps.