With all my years of street photography, it’s still nerve-racking to get in close. I believe it’s not in the classic spirit of the genre to use a telephoto zoom lens. Zooming in from afar is safe, not pushing boundaries, and thus produces an image that has a disconnected feeling. Using a 50mm or shorter lens and getting close to the subject is the way to go.
My equipment of choice is the Olympus PEN-F with the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 lens. It gives a classic 50mm equivalent focal length. That’s what I used here, capturing a group mesmerized by something. What it was, I can’t recall. Often, the holy grail of street photography is to capture the scene, unseen — not having the subjects know you took a picture of them. I almost got away with it here. Except, one young woman discovered my intention.
That’s part of the risk of this kind of photography. Except here, perhaps having that one person stare into the camera makes it more interesting. It’s as though the young woman, with her innocence, is more sensitive to the world around her. The adults have learned to ignore the world.
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