It is Wednesday, February the 12th. It is partly cloudy in Seattle, with temperatures in the 40’s. I have just gotten off the train at King Street Station. I have the Nikon FM3a loaded with Kodak T-Max P3200 with the Nikon 24mm 2.8D lens attached. I am shooting the film at 3200 so I can zone focus with F stops from F8 to F16. I am shooting in Aperture Priority. I will check my shutter speed in the viewfinder to make sure it is at least 1/500th of a second. The time is 12:15 PM. By a few minutes after 1 PM, I will have shot 30 images and will be done. I will show some of the images here as I walked the streets of Seattle. The images will not be cropped or straightened. Shooting with a wide-angle lens is different than shooting with a 50mm lens. It is more spontaneous and the hit rate for a good shot is less. I want to show you how I work because Street Photography can be controversial. Fujifilm just let go of one of their ambassadors, Tatsuo Suzuki. His aggressive style in one of their promotion videos on their new X100V camera created lots of opposition from the viewers. Perhaps my style also creates tension in the people I shoot or with viewers like you.
I am walking down South Jackson Street towards 1st Avenue. I am looking for anything to shoot. A young man is approaching and before I think about it the shot is made.
Though I am primarily zone focusing the camera I am still looking through the viewfinder and tweaking the focus. I am not holding the camera out in front of me. I keep walking. There is a young woman crossing the street. She has bypassed the crosswalk and is coming right at me. We are on a collision course and she realizes I have a camera and as I raise the camera to take the shot she changes direction and turns her head.
I keep walking. A postal worker comes into view. I worked for a few years at the post office. He looks right at me as I take the shot. We have a friendly discussion about the post office.
I keep walking. I have come to 1st Avenue and I turn north. I am walking very fast. Since it is lunchtime many people are carrying their food with them. At least that is the reason my mind just told me trying to defend the shot I just took. You can see my shadow.
I keep walking. I am coming to a corner. I am always looking for a collision of two opposing parties not paying attention to anyone but themselves. I see one coming. I take the shot. The collision does not occur. Maybe next time.
This can be a discouraging business but I know it takes years to create a few good images. If not today there is always tomorrow. I keep walking. I see a man on his phone, stop I tell myself but it is too late. The shot is made.
I keep walking. I see a man sleeping on the sidewalk. I rarely include street people in my images but I am hoping to create something with the two people walking right next to him, perhaps creating some tension in the moment. I do not know if it worked.I keep walking. I am coming up to Pike Place Market, a place where tourists come when they visit Seattle. But look, a baby! Everyone likes images of babies. I take the shot but as you see the baby is sort of small. That is what happens when you are shooting with a wide-angle lens. You have to get very close to the subject to be effective.
I keep walking. I am now at the Market. Two young men are coming toward me. They look like construction workers. I take the picture and end up right in front of them. I need to think fast. I ask them, “Where are you working today?” “Nowhere”, says the big one, “We are going from job site to job site looking for work.”
I keep walking. I am now inside the market. I am getting tired but I need a few more shots. I see a musician. An easy static shot.
I keep walking. I am leaving the Market and heading up Pike Street toward 4th Avenue. All of a sudden I see hair and lots of it. The hair is with friends and is walking toward me very fast… and I press the shutter!
I keep walking, perhaps not as quickly now. It is almost 1PM. As I cross 2nd Avenue 2 women are coming on my right. I wonder if I can be invisible to them as I take the shot?
I keep walking… be patient, we are almost done now. I come towards 4th Avenue and turn north. I do not need any more images but I see a large man with large hands. I go up to him and ask for his hands. I am done. I have taken 30 images. I could shoot a few more images on the roll but I have accomplished what I set out to do. Time for lunch.
I developed the film with HC-110(1:31) for 9 minutes, 15 seconds, @21C. I scanned the images with the PrimeFilmXE film scanner.