Its a delight to see more people venturing out and enjoying the enforced cafe culture in the city which hasn’t always been a pleasant experience laterally, more of an endurance test, due to adverse weather conditions. More people should normally mean more street photography opportunities, but, as with all aspects of our past normal lives, the impact of Covid continues to challenge.
I’ve definitely lost my mojo. I’m reluctant to approach people and ask for pics. There are face masks to contend with and the main difficulty is a reluctance to get close enough. How many times do I hear Bruce Gilden’s voice growling in my ear saying ‘if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Ok Bruce, but social distancing is real, I don’t want to frighten people or make them feel they are at risk by encroaching on their social distanced space however I’m really averse to shooting street images with a 200mm lens.
Dilemma. So how to overcome this. It calls for a different approach and perhaps a different shooting style. The silhouette, scale using light and shade. you are more likely to be seen, so its more challenging to obtain candid shots as there are no crowds to hide within. Being unobtrusive was not one of my talents in preCovid times and its even more difficult to become invisible now. However, to be wholly negative is not the intention of this post, rather it is to show that as with all other challenges that have arisen with Covid restrictions we must adapt.
I’ve started using the 85mm prime again, gives a bit more distance. With wide-angle shots using reflections and architecture can work. Areas around the city are much quieter, so an extra level of patience is required to wait for someone….anyone, to walk into your frame. As many people are still working from home there is less of a buzz at lunchtimes and clocking off time. Theres more footfall in the parks and dog walking areas, as everyone and their aunt seems to have purchased a puppy in the last 18 months! So there are pictures to be made, different pictures, joggers and cyclists, dog owners and the take away coffee clan. This new wary public is back out there. The desire to shop and eat out slowly overcoming the fear of ‘having to stay at home’. Of course the numbers of those who’ve received a vaccination is increasing daily which helps. Its been a crazy time for everyone, with much collective sadness, loneliness and despair. There is optimism in the air now though and an anticipation of warmer, brighter days to come. Face masks and distancing are now ingrained in our daily routine. Adapting our photographic shooting style will follow in due course.