I’m mindful that the word gets tossed around a lot but I too like to think I’m somewhat of minimalist by nature. The less I have of anything, the less it becomes a distraction or a worry that I need to care for. Take my hair for example. I believe I shaved it off almost 4 years ago and not having to worry about its disheveled appearance when I wake up or when it’s dried up after having frolicked in pool is amazing. The same applies to photography gear.
Since upgrading to the 5DMII, 95% of my photographs have been taken with the 50mm 1.4. The focal range has offered many compositional possibilities, it has high optical qualities and quite honestly, it’s the only lens I could invest on at the time after having splurged on an already high-ticketed price camera which I don’t regret buying because it’s constant use makes up for everything.
I’ll refrain from going on a rant about how coming across people on the streets draws me, primarily if the setting or an action underlines a little about them in some way. With a lens like the nifty-fifty, you almost have no choice but to get in close and it’s become a take-it-or-leave-it-deal that I’ve learned to cope with willingly.
I use to be extremely comfortable about taking photographs of people without them knowing and by having switched to the process of asking, it’s lowered my confidence on the former. It almost feels like stealing to me. I’m sure I’m simply over thinking the process but every now and then the opportunity arises where you really don’t think about whether seizing it is right or wrong but more on how you can’t walk away not having taken it. Case it point with this gentleman enjoying a cigarette on a boisterous evening near a bus stop in Jackson Heights.