This week my assignment for class was to take documentary style photographs of strangers. The goal was to capture a moment of reality. I took over a hundred photos, and in the end, this is the one that I like best:
This was taken on a whim. I was walking to the library with my camera around my neck, and this girl passed by me in a hurry to get somewhere. Without thinking, I took her picture and tried to catch up with her. Later, when I went through all the photos I had taken, this one stood out to me. I like that she is the only person in the shot and that the focus is on her. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my aperture was set so that the background was slightly blurred.
I also chose this picture because she is standing in between two shadows- something I was lucky to catch. In the other photos, she was in the dark and not the focus of the photo. The lamp posts also create a kind of pattern that points to her. Overall, I am very pleased with this photo.
This project was something new for me; I’ve never been one to walk around with my camera and take pictures of strangers. Well, I did in Italy, but there I had the excuse of being a tourist. On campus, it felt awkward to discretely survey everyone around me.
Another obstacle I faced was the weather. It was so cold! On the day that I could shoot, hardly anybody wanted to venture outside into the windy weather. Most of the people I was able to photograph walked alone, huddled in jackets and hats, walking quickly past me. A lot of my images turned out darker than expected because I had to use a higher shutter speed than normal.
I can’t wait for my next project!