New Work

Opening the Sudan Second Line
Opening the Sudan Second Line

First. This.

You know what that’s about by now. If not, please head to Storyteller on November 4. You’ll learn more than you want to know.

And now, new work.

Yes. Yesterday’s second line actually happened. An hour late. But it happened. It was a little chilly. Yay! And, overcast. But, no rain. Yah, again! And, it was great fun.

I made a few changes in my street technique. I stripped the camera down to its basics. A body and a 16mm pancake lens. For those who don’t know,  a pancake lens is very short and light. It’s designed to be unobtrusive. It’s probably as long as a stack of about ten poker chips. I turned off most of the camera’s bells and whistles. I needed and wanted to get simple. Real simple. I also stayed away from the pack — of photographers — as much as I could. Nothing wrong with them. They are my friends. But, I wanted to try to make pictures that were a little different. You can’t help work around other shooters, but when I could, I turned left when they turned right. I’m not sure it all worked out as I intended. And, it took a lot more work. I like to fill the frame with my pictures. In order to do that I had to work closer and use my legs and feet, rather than a longer lens. Yeah. Sure. I could have used something longer. But, the pictures wouldn’t have looked the same. And, I’d have a compressed, rather than layered, look.

A funny thing happened.

I’m the guy who says don’t over shoot. Don’t put your finger on the button and hold it down. Working that way is a sure way to miss the most decisive picture.

Here’s what happened.

Normally, I shoot about 250 to 300 pictures at a second line. I think that’s reasonable because of the motion of the parade, spectators hopping in and out of the picture and so on, and so on. My first edit usually yields about 10%. That’s pictures worth looking at again.

Today. Ha.  My intent was to expose far fewer pictures. I thought maybe between 100 and 150 pictures. Yeah. Right. Try 584 pictures. It is true that I worked longer and walked further. But, still… the idea is to cut down, not go up.

Oh well. Next time.


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