one day at a time


© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

All pictures taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.

The other day when I took my Zorki to the planetarium I took some more pictures even after I finished my roll of film. I exchanged my Zorki for my E-PL3, which I had in my bag as well. It is absolutely no problem to carry around two cameras as long as one of them is light and small. And I’m sure glad that I had the Olympus on me, because I really like the first picture! It was taken at the station Gesundbrunnen, which is exceptionally dark with really strange lighting in some places. I’ve attempted pictures at precisely this spot again and again, but the lighting is really difficult and the autofocus is usually struggling a lot under such conditions. This time I got lucky!

People don’t like to admit it, but street photography relies on luck a lot. Sure, the photographer is in control, he has to know where to go, where to find the right kind of people, the right kind of scenes, the right kind of camera settings and so on, but in the end he depends also a lot on luck. That miraculous moment when the right scene meets the right light is a matter of chance. If you’re unlucky your camera is out of battery or your roll of film is full right when that moment happens. If you’re unlucky your autofocus decides to be unbearably slow or someone walks right in front of your lens. And if you’re really unlucky it’s all over when you’re finally close enough to get a decent shot. Luckily it doesn’t always matter that you missed the shot. Doing street photography often means that you notice moments that other people ignore, because they are too busy to be in the moment. That’s always something to be appreciated, even if the picture turns out nothing like you imagined.


10 responses

  1. You have officially inspired me to to try to do some street photography! Except this weekend, we are flying to Niagara Falls for the weekend; perhaps I can get lucky and snag some interesting tourist shots!

    June 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    • Wow, I’m glad to have inspired you! Definitely nice to hear! Tourists can be a worthwhile subject especially the badly dressed ones 😉 I sometimes go to the more touristy spots in the city as well, because street photography is easier with lots of people around. Another advantage is that usually you won’t seem out of place with a camera. Just give it a try! Once you get over the awkwardness of pointing your camera at strangers it becomes really rewarding!

      June 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      • Sure thing! I have wanted to pick my camera back up for creative reasons for quite a while, but have been a) too busy (grad school, etc.) and also, a little scared to handle the technical aspect of it…Have you ever had anybody protest that they don’t want their picture taken? Or ask who you are/why you’re doing that? lol

        June 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      • Well, I shoot a lot from the hip, so not everyone notices. Those who do usually aren’t sure whether I have even taken a picture, so I hardly ever get any protests of that sort. Once on the subway there was a girl who asked me to the delete the picture that she thought I had taken. The funny part is that I hadn’t taken a picture and she was just being paranoid.

        Don’t worry about the technical aspect of it. It’s something that you pick up while doing it, nothing to be afraid of. Especially not with digital cameras and all their automatic functions.

        June 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm

  2. I like very much the last picture. how about cropping a little in order to cut the right side and concentrate the attention on the two characters on the left side? Just my idea, which of course could be wrong!

    June 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    • Thanks Robert! I thought about it, but then I quite liked that there was more to see. Maybe you’re right though, the bit on the right is a little busy.

      June 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm

  3. Do you have any issues on the street with the noise of the camera?

    June 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    • Actually, not anymore since I have my little Olympus. My Canon DSLR is way too loud though, so people tend to notice the shutter sound and turn their heads. Also my Zorki is relatively loud, but it sounds very unlike modern cameras, so it’s less of a head turner.

      June 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      • Surprised a DSLR makes so much noise.

        June 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      • Well, it’s as loud as any SLR thanks to the mirror. It’s really a lot louder than a mirrorless camera. I never thought it was that loud until I heard the subtle shutter sound of my Olympus.

        June 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s