Street Photography… An Escape from the Norm

It wasn’t until recently I got more and more into photography. More specifically, street photography. I was always interested in buying a DSLR camera, but I would always put it off and just forget about it. After all, I’m a video guy. Movies and stories are my thing. I wasn’t drawn into photography much. I just wanted to go out and make short movies and eventually a feature length.

Maybe one day…

Then, one day, I was man enough to just go for it and buy the damn DSLR. I mean, it was this great big epiphany. After a good amount of research on which camera would be best for me and my budget, I decided to go with the Canon T6i, which is by far a great camera to not only start off with, but to use professionally as well.

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Lo and behold! Just like that, and I’m now a photographer. An amateur photographer to be exact, and I’m damn proud of it. It was perhaps one of the greatest investments that I made. And yes, I even ended up purchasing a Panasonic prosumer camcorder for all my video work a few years back, and I don’t even consider that to be one of the greatest investments I made. See, a DSLR is, well, different.

Having a photo camera opened up a whole new world for me. The mundane didn’t seem so mundane anymore. Once the camera is gripped in your hand, you get a strange, but pleasant, feeling come over you. You feel like you want to capture everything and anything you can. Of course, there’s a positive and a negative about this. After all, you’re aiming to get a great shot with at least some thought to it.

The world seems different. You begin to notice the way a person walks. The gestures he makes. You begin to think more photographically. You bring the camera up to your eye and look through the viewfinder. You try to picture things in your mind. Think about how that particular subject looks by him or herself. What if another subject were in the frame? Would it look good? Does it tell a story? What type of story does it tell? How are the shadows? The lights? Do you shift one or two steps over. Does that shift tell a completely different story? Should you turn around and see what’s behind you? Maybe another subject is coming towards your direction. What’s above? What’s below?

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All these thoughts run through your head, and a split second decision has to be made, or else it’s gone for good. I certainly have paid more and more attention to this and continue to do so whenever I step outside with my camera. This is a way for me to escape from the norm of everyday life. A way to better understand our complex, mysterious world. Even if I don’t take a photo on that particular day, or if the photo I take isn’t quite good enough, my mind is automatically set to think photographically.

There are days that I don’t take my camera with me, and I come across a particular scenario that would make for a great photo. I do regret it, but I don’t sweat it much or lose sleep over it because I know more opportunities will come. At least my mind is trained to look for these things.

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I’m always composing the shot in my head. I’m always escaping from the norm. So, if you have a camera that’s sitting in your closet collecting dust, go dig through your junk and find it. Blow that dust right off and venture out.

Let us all escape from the norm and continue shooting life’s mysteries.