Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In the style of Z

I am follower of a blogger named "Z" in New York who you may already be familiar with. He's started posting some exciting photos of people in the street under the tag "Chaos and Dynamism of NYC". The photos are close range, shooting from the hip with lots of contrast and saturation. I tried to give it a go, choosing Queen Street and Albert Street in hope of some crowds but there just seemed to be nobody about. This picture was the best of the bunch I took. It was really hard! I haven't quite managed the Hitchcock-esque technicolor look but I'll keep working on that one. Anyway - to check out what I am trying to get at, see here.


Ann said...

Interesting. Look forward to seeing what you get. Haven't tried shooting from the hip. Do you use live view or just take put luck?

cara said...

Pot luck. Most of my shots were of a bit of shoulder and a roof or the side of somebody. I had the auto-focus on and that was a bit annoying because it would take half a second to focus by which stage the moment had gone. Back to drawing board I think.

Joanna said...

I think "Z" may be using a very fast shutter and he's also got a real depth of field going. Another thing I suspect is that either he has his camera set on 'vivid' color or he enhances it in post processing. Maybe enhances the contrast also. Nothing wrong with that, I just think it may be happening.

My last pondering on "Z"'s work is that I wonder whether all these people being photographed close-up mind being put online?

They sure are interesting photos though.

cara said...

Hi Joanna, I have bumped the saturation up in post but I think there's a trick to it. As for DOF, I agree - I think a higher f-stop would help with the DOF and would make the sky bluer... and a faster shutter speed too... which would mean I'd have to up the ISO. Right? erm...

Regarding permission. I did think about this and have wrestled with this idea a lot. The photos are attractive because the subject doesn't know that they are being photographed. I am only too aware of how people change when you tell them you intend to take their photo and put it on the internet (from my experienced with the blog "100 Strangers"). I suppose I could have chased after her and then shown her the photo and asked her if she minded. But I didn't review any of my photos until long after the people in them had walked past as I was walking along in the opposite direction with the camera on continuous burst.
Naturally if this lady or someone who knows her sees this post and objects, they can contact me and I'll remove it straight away.

Joanna said...

Yes, I think a higher f-stop would be needed, but am not too sure about upping the ISO. You don't want a washed out photo.

As for the effect on "Z"'s photos, I was reading about HDR after I heard someone mention it once a while ago. It's a bit confusing, but HDR means High Dynamic Range, and is a way of manipulating either contrast or lighting in parts of a photo. I saw a website that showed a simple (?) way of doing it, but I believe you really need a special program to do it. There's a daily photo blog from Barcelona and I think he (Rob) may do that to some of his photos, but I may be wrong.

Much of this is beyond me, lol.

Alan said...

Funny, I thought of Z as soon as I saw this pic and before I read the title. Great job, Cara, it's an out and out, from the hip candid. Love it.

I play around with HDR quite a bit (using free software called Luminance HDR). I don't think Z's photos are HDR, but I might be wrong!

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