This past Saturday, I had a neat opportunity to go shooting with a photographer that I admire. Kirk Tuck, an Austin based commercial and portrait photographer, was leading what he called an anti-workshop in San Antonio. He was going to have a casual downtown photowalk with some instructions and suggestions on street photography. I’ve followed Kirk’s Visual Science Lab blog for a while and wanted to get in on the fun. San Antonio is about 80 miles south of Austin and is worlds apart. It’s an older city with a richly detailed downtown with a strong Hispanic heritage. My Photographer friend Mike was nice enough to drive as we started our carpool at 6:35am from Austin. Kirk’s gathering was meeting at the world-famous Alamo at 8:30am. A good group of about 30 people gathered as Kirk started his talk. We started our photo tour around the Alamo as we wandered through the downtown streets of San Antonio, guided by suggestions and a map from Kirk. We met at Mi Tierra restaurant at 10:30 from some brunch and we ate again at 5:30 at another Mexican restaurant before going back to Austin. In the spirt of Kirk’s photowalk, I only brought one lens, my 50mm f1.4 lens, with me on this trip. The 50 is a bit long on a cropped frame camera but I still think it can work nicely for street shooting–especially as it gets dark.
[View my entire San Antonio Street Photography Gallery]
My Thought Process
On the plaza, in front of the Alamo, there was a Hispanic cultural event. There were people dressed in some old Texas Ranger outfits and other historic garb. The photograph above was taken of two girls that we set to dance at the cultural event. As I took photographs of the girls, I notice how they both held their hats in a similar way. They were both wearing beautiful matching dresses with wonderful detail. I decide to get down low and get an image of their hats, outfit and boots. I wasn’t concerned about getting their entire outfit. Just enough to give a flavor of the dresses and their culture. The stonework also nicely complements the outfit and though you can’t tell, the wall behind the girls is of the Alamo. I usually shoot my 50mm close to wide open (as large an aperture as possible, low F number) but I closed the aperture down a bit so that both girls will be in focus.
The images was taken with a Canon 7D with a 50 mm f1.4 lens as a 18MP JPEG. Post processing in Apple’s Aperture 3 program included some sharpening, adding a slight vignette and increasing color saturation.
Taken at: f4, 1/1000 sec, no exposure compensation, ISO 100 at 50mm