Background Information

stwk09_0021The photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard once learned a lesson from his mentor Van Deren Coke. When you are photographing look for an interesting background and then put your subject in front of it. Meatyard learned this lesson well as his extremely inventive and utterly unique photographs can attest. As I photograph on the street I try to keep this in mind.  This has led me to one of my favorite techniques while on the street. When I come upon a background I find interesting I pretend I am utterly absorbed in the subject with my camera, blithely unaware of the pedestrians passing in front. In reality I am acutely aware, looking at who is approaching from the corner of my eyes. Sometimes I’ll make believe I am fiddling with my camera and as soon as an interesting subjects passes in front I quickly bring my camera to my eye and shoot. 

Usually this technique works. 

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Sometimes it does not.

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