Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey stops in his driveway to share an important photo tip while taking a picture of his cat. It’s a tongue in cheek video but his tip is an important one for street photographers with or without a cat on hand. Hit the jump for the video.
David Alan Harvey Photo Tip #14
David Alan Harvey acknowledges that lightning doesn’t strike twice but there are times when things are predictable. He uses the example of his cat who regularly hops on the warm hood of his truck when the weather is chilly. So he gets out of his truck with his camera in hand ready to look for a shot. After snapping a few pics he talks to the camera for a second but his attention quickly returns to taking pictures:
“I’m making this video and I’m actually missing a good picture of Earl. Wait a minute, what am I doing?”
It’s fascinating to watch him work. How his mind becomes razor focussed at the task of making a photograph and the world sort of disappears. Even when he returns the camera to discuss his photo tip he’s drawn back to his subject. He’s absolutely compelled to make photographs wherever he is. The glee with which he shoots is infectious and you can really feel his passion fot photography.
His photo tip is simple, “Go back to the well. Sometimes something really cool happens.”
As street photographers we’re often tempted to grab a shot and disappear into the crowd. Always looking for the next shot. But there are times when the next shot is right in front of you. Stop, watch and work the scene. When you think you have the shot, take another one. Be curious and keep shooting.
An important skill for any street photographer is the ability to recognize patterns as they start to come together. We don’t take pictures of things that we just saw happen, at that point it’s too late. Try to predict how people might react in certain situations and patiently wait for things to come together for the perfect shot. Proactive photographers rarely miss the shot. Be prepared!
And can we talk about the view from David Alan Harvey’s driveway?