Assignment 3 – Planning

The title is perhaps misleading. Given the assignment, how can one plan for shooting a ‘decisive moment’?  It’s very nature is random and based on chance, so the idea of having a comprehensive plan is a nonsense.

I do, however, know what I intend to do… and it’s what I do best. It’s what I’m most comfortable doing… whilst also requiring me to do something I always pointedly avoid doing whenever possible.

I shall wing it…. and I shall shoot people. Er… that sounds wrong. I shall photograph people.

Here’s the thing, I’ve always been very comfortable with street photography, but what I was always shooting was the streets themselves… or rather, the buildings. I’ve never had a plan. I love to just go to new places… or places I’m familiar with…. it doesn’t matter… look around, soak in the feel of the place, point my camera at stuff and take pictures.

So for this assignment, I shall go to Sheffield city centre, probably every weekday afternoon for the next 2 or 3 weeks, and point my camera at people. (This could also be amusing, as I’m known by a few people online, and you never know who you might bump into in a place like that.)

I’m unsure what lens would be best suited for this, so I expect to try all of my autofocus capable ones, and then stick with whichever one serves me best.

I’m also aware that people sometimes don’t like having a camera pointed at them, so I have a couple of ideas to deal with that. Keeping the camera partly concealed within my coat is one thought, but I think the most effective thing will be to use the Canon Camera Connect app on my phone.

With this, I can keep my camera hanging round my neck by it’s strap, while I steady it (aim it covertly) with one hand. In my other hand will be my phone, and to anyone looking, I will be texting, or tweeting, or whatever other things a person might be doing with a phone…. and obviously, not remotely controlling my camera to take photos of them.

It’s safe to say this will be typical Cartier-Bresson style ‘decisive moment’ street photography. I’m not going for any high concept or counter concept stuff here. Why? I think it’s because I’ve looked at such works, and they just don’t excite me, where a really good C-B style shot truly does.

Whatever. This is very much to be a ‘take it as it comes’ type operation. It has to be… and I’m looking forward to it.