Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nikola the Street Painter from Yugoslavia

Nikola is from Yugoslavia. He studied art all over Europe, including France and Germany. He's travelled the world making a living as a street artist. In today's modern, fast-paced world, can someone still make enough to live on doing art on the street? As I dropped in some money into his hat, I noticed it was filled with $1 and $2 coins. Not bad...

The last few years he's spent his time in Canada. He's in Toronto and Ottawa in the summers, and makes his way out West during the winter months. He's made his temporary home base at the corner of Howe and Robson, underneath the covered entrance to the old Sears building (the soon to be Nordstrom) where he can draw on the sidewalk with no fear of the Vancouver rain to wash away his work prematurely.

Monday, April 29, 2013

An Accordionist, His Dog and a Little Boy

As a street photographer, I appreciate street artists. They are often colourful individuals, they're stationary (easier to get a few good shots), and if you contribute financially to their performance, they don't mind you taking pictures of them. This performer was an accordionist, a rarity in the world of buskers. I wanted to get a nice environmental shot with people passing by, so I backed up a bit. At the same time, a mother decided to send her young son to put money into the busker's old broken case. I noticed the dog acting very anxious, probably due to the anxiety of the little kid, not understanding the instructions of his mother of where to put the money...and that's when it happened!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Canon G1X, The Street and the Cool Guy

I notice many photographers trying to be street-style photographers, but are neglecting one of the most useful traits of a street shooter: discretion. We don't have to be invisible, like a paparazzi stealing images across the street, or like a sniper-photographer trying to shoot a polar bear and her cubs. However, it's good to blend in. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rockstar Comes Out of Shadow into Light

I hate it when the sun is too bright! Everyone thinks photographers love the sun, but many of us don't. Why? It usually means shadows!! When I use to shoot weddings, I always told the wedding couple that a cloudy day is better than a sunny day, since the lighting is more even and nobody squints in the pictures.  That's why we often use flash even during the day, to even out lighting and avoid shadows, especially underneath the eyes and chin.  But when doing street photography, I never use flash on unsuspecting people, so I have to make due with whatever the lighting is for the day. For street photography, the best type of lighting is a nice, even, cloudy day!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Canon G1X and Color Accent Mode

I had the Canon G1X for a week to review, but I only had 2 real days of shooting. We were getting low angle sun and lots of shadows caused by tall downtown buildings. I waited around until late afternoon to get more even lighting in the shadows, but the lighting was dark and gray and boring. That's when I decided to use Canon's wonderful color accent mode.

Most manufacturers have pre-programmed colors (red, blue, green, orange, yellow, etc.). Canon allows you to capture whatever color you see, with the ability to increase or decrease color sensitivity.  My favorite is grabbing Coca-Cola red with +5 sensitivity, which picks up almost all reds, oranges, yellows and most skin tones, but everything else becomes monochromatic. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Preview: Canon G1X as Street Camera?

The Canon G1X is an unusual camera. It doesn't really fit into any category. Too big to be a point and shoot, but not versatile enough to be compared to most interchangeable lens system camera. What the G1X has is a huge 1.5" CMOS sensor, outperforming the micro 4/3 system cameras, and just slightly behind APS-C equipped cameras in terms of image quality. The lens is a modest 28-112mm F2.8-5.8, but it's better than most kit lenses on entry level interchangeable lens cameras. The autofocus is a bit better than most point and shoots, but not up to the level of most newer micro 4/3 and DSLR cameras.  The build quality is outstanding. It's a tank! The dials and buttons are super solid, built like an Canon L series lens or a single digit series Canon DSLR body . 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jack White-esque Busker in Open G-flat

I couldn't help but notice the explosive sounds echoing off the tightly packed buildings as I got off my bus. This noise was rhythmic in bluesy fashion, but with a raw rage that is definitely descriptive of Jack White's guitar playing. With a block of wood and  his foot stomping as his percussion section, Brett was all business as he one-man-jammed along Granville Street in Vancouver.