Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inspiration From Criticism - Connect!

Kuko, Harlem, New York City, by Reed A. George
Kuko, Harlem, New York, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700
I apologize. This is not a Lumix image. But, it's the best recent example I have of listening to the advice of photographers I respect. I have had the feedback that my photography can lack intimacy. To quote one person, "it looks like you never meet anyone"
I can take criticism; it is the key to improvement.
In this shot, I was in a place somewhat foreign to me. Having been to Harlem only once before, in the tough days of the early 1980s, I was more than a little concerned about interacting with people directly. To be honest, the painted wall is what attracted me to this scene. Then I saw Kuko. She wore such an interesting, peaceful expression, I could not help but talk with her. We spoke for only a few minutes, but I learned that she is a high priestess in her religion. Her clothing was made by a dear, recently deceased friend, in celebration of a religious holiday. We only spoke for a couple of minutes, but I definitely feel we made a connection, and I will remember her. I helped her carry her bags onto the city bus, and she was gone.
I need more experiences like this.
Here's a blog entry from Kirk Tuck, on how to take "far more interesting pictures."
I need to take Kirk's advice to heart. There are a lot of good ideas there. When you connect with people, the photographic equipment you use becomes less important. I would also say that being unobtrusive becomes more important than having a long list of high performance specifications. The Nikon did fine in this situation; Kuko may have been a little more relaxed if I'd been holding a GF1.
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