I would love to take a great picture. A thrilling picture, or something deeply moving or conveying mystic or intrigue, or poised in a euphoric moment. In street photography it’s always just around the corner. It’s a moment away, it’s just behind the very ordinary person, blown out by the flash, who’s in front of the camera right now, blurred. It’s being carried off at a fast pace by a woman with freshly dyed neon hair while I fumble with my camera.
But for some reason, it’s not frustrating. It’s like scuba diving. All these colourful fish flitting past in shoals. You feel mesmerised, you feel in the flow of things. Ugly things are beautiful. It’s a thrill.
But you have to deal with the road kill.
This may be my ugliest most horrible and shocking attempt at street photography so far.
Oddly, you get an emotional attachment to a photo and sometimes you can’t see that it’s bad (not that one, I knew with that one). You were there and you remember how it felt. You saw the subject’s good side before they turned to face your camera and you overheard a funny weird snippet of their conversation. You smelt the popcorn. Your photo triggers the memories and it lives for you. But no-one else has the memories and you conveyed none of that in the photo.
You have an imagination and when you look at your photo it takes you to another place. But it doesn’t take anyone else. It leaves them cold. Freezing cold, on the side of some backwater road with no train or bus connection. Or worse – it actually hurts their eyes to look.
I posted this on the HCSP crit thread.
“Frankie, it actually hurts my eyes” and (trying to be kind) “Why dont you delete and start over? I dont think anybody will mind, and it will be easier on the eyes in the long run.” justinsdisgustin
“It’s an earache in my eye” and “it’s super ugly” Flat5
“blue halo looking hideous” oscar juarez
They may be partly right. I am proud to say that the photo was accepted by Flickr’s Ugliest Photos Group and they don’t accept photos everyday. The funny thing is I still like it.
Poagao does the best satirical crits on the thread.
“Lee Gillen He is silently castigating you for not using a slower shutter speed and a smaller aperture in order to increase the DOF and include him in the in-focus party you’re holding at the back of the train. Also, that was really rude of the ghost hand on the right to pull your camera into that tilted angle, but hey, it’s a ghost hand; not much you can do about a ghost hand.”
If the road kill doesn’t come back to haunt you, the near misses will. In February the sun shone a couple of times. During one of those exhilarating moments, this scene was available to be photographed for about half an hour.
I then learnt that landscape shots are better, and it’s nice when you can see the faces of the people. So I stole another moment a few days later and I got this.
Fail fail fail. But as Winston Churchill says on InspirationalSpark.com
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”