Tech Info: Nikon D300s | 70-300mm @ 300mm | ISO 640 | f/5.6 | 1/640 sec
A street musician in Chinatown, San Francisco.
The other day, I was discussing with one of my friends on Fear. In photography that might just be fear of experimenting, fear of failure etc (add whatever else you can think of). After that discussion, I realized that one of mine was in the genre; portraits. It scares the %$#@ out of me. I still haven’t figured out what is that scare, but I know I’m scared. I’ve forced myself to process the portrait shots in my collection, but the end result is I just don’t like them. They seem very dead. I can’t seem to find a reason as to why I took that shot. This has prevented me from having fun in that area. So I had to make an attempt to overcome that fear.
The city walk workshop was a perfect thing to just take a dip in this. The advantage is that they are all candid shots of strangers. So I don’t have to show them the finished product. My only condition for selecting the images is: If I can feel even a tiny bit of anything, then it’ll be processed. I won’t consider any of the technical things for the selection. It might be grainy, underexposed, over exposed, out of focus. They all will be selected if its going to make me feel something. Just want it to be based on emotions and nothing else. The picture may not bring out the same emotion, any emotion, but at least for me its start to recognize my own.
So with that thought in mind, I was very open to take as many images of strangers as I could. We noticed this street musician in Chinatown. If you ever miss the crowds of the two most populous regions of the world, then just pay a visit to the Chinatown in downtown San Francisco. You’ll find all the buzz, narrow alleys, shops with all the glitter, street food, beggars. Even the traffic here seems homely 😉 The feeling was just like being in Bangalore’s DVG road. In all that chaos, you could see this guy playing a stringed instrument with melodious tunes. You had to get little close to hear them, but it was very peaceful and soothing. Even though nobody was paying attention to his music or to him, this man was within himself…in a zone, all by himself and enjoying what he was doing. The passion was really something to emulate.
- Import the image to Lighroom for basic adjustments and crop. Export it as a smart-object to photoshop CS4.
- Three curves layer for various part of the person (face, hair and jacket).
- A layer for healing some distractions of the car in background.
- A curves layer vignetting and resized for the web.
- Applied a smart-sharpen layer and added watermark.
- Used Adobe Bridge to add metdata.