Girl under a Tree

by Streets Of Israel March. 30, 2020 164 views

I took this at Habimah Square in Tel Aviv, December 2018. It's a photo which represents one of the things I really would like to do more, but what isn't always possible, when doing street - having a vision, and then create it. Or, as is possibly obvious from the shot, it is possible, but to an extent.

With this shot I was in control of how to position myself, and how long I wanted to wait, until the elements were all in place. Fortunately for me, only two of the elements was an uncertain variable, the woman and the light.

The light, fortunately, was very stable, no clouds and in the middle of the day, so the only element I didn't have any control of, was the woman.

I didn't have to wait long, fortunately. Some ten minutes I think. It wouldn't have worked without her, she was the element that fulfilled my vision at the moment, and then she came.

The thing is, when I'm normally doing street photography, my focus is more on the moments as they happen. Spontaneous, sudden, expressions of the dynamic life in the streets. There are other street photographers, who typically are more focused on doing what I've done above. I rarely have time for this, unfortunately, so I admire them the time. I too often feel that the street controls me and the shots I take, whatever the quality of the result. It's rarely me controlling the street.

So, there are two things I need to consider in this respect. How do I get more time? Should I do less shots, and focus more on controlling the composition, giving room for sudden visions to be realized, allowing all the elements to come in place? Or should I accept being controlled by the street, seeing this as a genuine way of doing street photography, since - after all - we rarely control what's happening on the street. That is, I myself is part of the constant dynamic flow of the street, just being another random element, rather than a separate observer of the street.

I think that we, those of us who define ourselves as street photographers, need to consider our own role on the street. My "frustrations" of not being able to be more in control, are more caused by my own lack of understanding of my role, more than not fulfilling visions. To be true, my visions are as much created by the moment, as any other shot I take. I arrive to a place, which has the right lighting, and I see it from the right angle triggering the vision to appear in my mind. The difference is that I'm waiting for the missing components, when I create my vision, where as the candid shots just happen, right there, and I "merely" need to be observant and perceptive enough to catch them when they happen.

I don't necessarily think that I need to choose. Do I want to be the patient observer of the street, or the busy photographer, who is so engaged in the moment, that he himself become another moment happening. O can be both. But I need to be more conscious of which role I'm fulfilling, at the moment I take the shot.

What about you? How do you see yourself, when you're doing your photography?

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