Week 118 — Window Washers

Omaha, 2016; Fuji X-T2; Fuji 35mm f/2; 1/950s; f/8; ISO 200

There are a couple areas that I’ve been struggling with in my street photography of late: incorporating people and creating depth.

Not incorporating people into street photography is kind of an amusing problem to have, as a lot of people would probably argue that it’s not really street photography if there isn’t a human element to the image. But whatever. My definition of street photography is more expansive than most. Anyways, the combination of being in a relatively low-traffic city, the fact that I’m still a little gun-shy about shooting strangers, and my focus on urban minimalism shots has all but eliminated people from my images lately. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I think to many people images are generally more powerful if they include a human element. I’m ok with making low-impact urban minimalism images that entertain myself and few others, but I think it’s worthwhile to hone my skills of shooting humans as well.

This image is a gateway drug for shooting people. The man in this image is far away and isn’t paying attention to me, so I didn’t have to contend with any social anxiety (aside from weird looks from other pedestrians). And this is essentially an urban minimalism picture with a tiny human element layered on, so I didn’t even have to switch out of the urban minimalism mindset when creating this image.

The other struggle of late (creating depth) is also related to the fact that I’ve been making a lot of urban minimalism images lately. Minimalism tends to overlap with compressing perspective and creating a very 2-D look. I have a lot of fun shooting like this. Most images try to preserve the 3-D-ness of our world in a 2-D medium…and they usually fail. So it’s refreshing to just say “screw it” every once in a while and turn our 3-D world into something that’s as 2-D as possible.

This image is kind of weird in the sense that it’s pretty 2-D, but there’s also just enough depth to make the image especially interesting (to me, anyway). Oddly enough, the depth is added by the human element. In this case, this nice window washer allowed me to kill two birds with one stone.

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