Ranger Kathryn's Arches

October 13, 2011

It happened on Main Street

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 11:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

I consider myself a fairly fearless person. There’s not a lot that rattles me, and I’m always willing to try new things. That process of “trying and liking” is how I ended up entering the world of rock climbing, solo hiking, canyoneering, white-water rafting, etc. However, a co-worker ushered me into a new realm the other day that exposed some pretty deep fears.

First I tried hiding behind a hydrant. Less than successful.

He took me to Moab to practice street photography.

Nathaniel and I rolled into town with our cameras a couple hours before sunset, and committed ourselves to trying to capture images of ordinary people interacting with their world. That’s all. Just cruise the busy artery of Main Street looking for interesting human scenarios to photograph. It’s harder than it sounds.

I don’t want to offend people by snapping surreptitiously, but I also don’t want to create contrived photos by asking permission. Nathaniel taught me several techniques to decrease the wariness of my subjects, but I’m far too transparent and they all knew I was trying to sneak photos of them. It was awkward at times and I’m sure I looked sheepish. I got glared at once or twice, but my “Minnesota nice” middle-aged wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly persona must have been pretty non-threatening. Nobody called the police.

Then I found a tourist across the street, in turquoise shoes. Easy to shoot with zoom.

While I enjoy people-watching better than people-photographing, I may try this again at some “event” that brings plentiful opportunities. To get good at it you really must shoot thousands of images. This day I felt wildly unsuccessful.

Have you ever tried to photograph others without their knowledge?

Shirt says: "This is the shirt I wear when I don't care." I needed more chances with her but she was on to me.

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