Saturday Evening Post #56 : Street

When I was a much much younger photographer, and life was quite simpler in so many ways, I used to enjoy wandering the streets of a small country town with a camera, roll of film and the only lens I owned. Well it was a fixed focus, fixed lens so a brace of interchangeable lenses was not even on my ‘must have’ horizon.
And try as I might, I just couldn’t match the power, quality and story of photos that I saw in books by Henri Cartier Bresson or W Eugene Smith, that I could look at in my local library. But I was much too young to be introspective, so just kept click’n away recording the goings on in a town.

No one really took much notice of a ‘kid with a camera’, so most times my meager lens was sufficient. It certainly matched my limited vision. But I guess I did learn a thing or seven about making dark moody prints that epitomized the moment.

As I grew older and moved to the ‘big smoke’, I was able to rub shoulders so to speak with a number of photographer who excelled in making the most of street, and to hone to a fine tune, the art of ‘the decisive moment’. One Michael J. Hill springs to mind,  I guess I mention Michael, as I have a half baked blog that he features in, but still have to add the polishing touches.

I love following on Flickr a range of Street Photographers, and still mentor under David DuChemin from time to time.

EE and I were travelling the Bellarine Peninsula and had arrived at Drysdale. It is one of those charming towns the writers always say, “nestled in the…”  As if all charming villages nestle.  The same writers have ‘bubbling streams’, and ‘astonishing vistas’, along with ‘constant changing panoramas’, and the like.

Drysdale at present is in the middle of a huge roadworks project that will be a bypass road for traffic along the Bellarine. But, at present the town is somewhat ‘engulfed’ (I had to put that one in) by large heavy duty road making equipment, on the way into town. Which means that lots of little red witches hats and dangling plastic safety marking tape are all over the area.
Just past the guy holding the ‘STOP/SLOW’ sign, I noted a Grey Butcherbird by the side of the road. Totally unconcerned about the changes happening to its landscapes, there it sat making the most use of the strange perches and the opportunities for the food that was being stirred up from time to time.
I pulled off the road, and we watched as Butchy hopped from fence to witches hat to tape and then onto the ground with the big hardware rolling all around.

Cameras out, and I was a kid again. But this time with a much better defined vision, and an interchangeable lens. 🙂
Eventually got the shot I wanted, and on looking at it, thoughts of all those old prints came back, and I thought that a mono approach would bring out the ‘street’ feel.
A quick trip through one of my fav programmes, Silver EFex Pro gave me the desired result.  I also added a small selenium tone just to match the bird’s mood.

Oh, the colour version wasn’t too bad either.

I’m gone.

9 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #56 : Street

  1. I really like the effect of the black and white (which of course suits the Butcherbird’s outfit to a T) because nothing in the image distracts the eye from the bird itself. I do so enjoy your Saturday Evening Post David – always something different and interesting to read and to look at.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Derek, thought you’d appreciate the street approach.
      The big deal here is the getting the light grey behind the bird as the blue dominates in a straight mono style, ended up with a green filtration (in SFX) to tone it down to allow the bird to step forward


    1. Hello AVU, thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s not often that I get the desire to make a b&w when I’m in the field, mostly the need for an accurate result is more mindful, but just the way the bird had worked the street gave me the inspiration.


  2. Enjoyed reading of your humble beginnings narrative David, it is inspiring to younger photographers, and yes and a beautiful capture of Butch. I almost got my almost pet Butch yesterday as he hopped around on our ancient Frangipani tree, but watched my wife back the car in and decided to leave. They do look stunning in the light. Have an enjoyable week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ashley, thanks for the comments, I guess I’m a story teller at heart, Photo-journalism would be my choice if I ever had a chance to come around a second time 🙂 So I have to satisfy my storytelling with a few hastily conceived words. 🙂
      We don’t see them locally, and its such a thrill to hear them in full cry.
      Think they are quite tolerant of us mere humans, which makes for an interesting relationship.

      All good.

      Liked by 1 person

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