Photographers Are Control Freaks, New York City Street Photography

5 Sep

About a year ago I did some hip-shooting in down town Toronto. I’ve got two prints from that day hanging in our home. I like ’em.

The funny thing about hip shooting is that you don’t see the picture you’re taking, until after you take it. This is one of my favourite things about it. You head to a nice busy street – and you shoot from the hip – trying your hardest to envision what you’re taking a photo of, but relying a lot on chance. The excellent thing about this is that no matter how great you are at holding that camera and anticipating – you’re always going to come away with some kind of surprise – something that happened not because you knew what you were doing – but because it just happened to work out. You happened to snap the shot, and the person in the frame happened to be there. To me that’s a really beautiful thing.

See, I think deep down, a lot of photographers (including myself) are control freaks. Okay, that’s a bit extreme – But I’m trying to make a point here. We want to learn how to rein in the light, compose the shot perfectly, and to share our own idea of what something should look like. I spend a lot of my time focusing on doing that, and when it works out, I feel like a champ. When it doesn’t work to my liking, I often get irritated and down on myself. But what’s really exciting – truly liberating, is when you can head into a busy street and just leave a lot up to chance. Forget your expectations and see what happens.

In those unpredictable circumstances – when you get the shot you love – it’s not because it’s YOURS that you love it. It’s for the sake of the image itself. Art becomes bigger than you – and you become an observer, a person who is happy to be a part of something out of your control. Something out of your control and by golly, it’s beautiful!

… Of course, we can all get our control-fix later on in post production…

These images were taken in NYC – mainly China Town.

China Town Lady

Long Ride Home



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5 Responses to “Photographers Are Control Freaks, New York City Street Photography”

  1. Bry Morrow September 5, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Nice work! I especially like the girls on the subway.

  2. Allison Milne Photography September 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    i reallllly dig these!!

  3. Clarice September 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Epic shots you’ve got here, Cole !

  4. Cole Bennett September 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Thanks guys!

  5. sweet shooting dude, that wide angle lens really comes in handy for this stuff!
    i need to do some more of this stuff again!

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