Earlier this month, I took in a Block Party in Fitchburg, MA. As part of its Civic Days 4th of July celebration every year, the entire downtown of the city is closed off, and local vendors sell food, crafts, as well as participate in various activities. Of course, there are the standard vintage car exhibits, and fun for the kids.
This year, I decided to take two Canon cameras, the Canonet, and the AE-1. Both loaded up with Portra 400. For candid street photography, I chose the zone focusing approach on the Canonet, f/11, at a range of 10 feet. I think I used exposures of 1/250th of a second. It was a heck of a lot of fun to try. Here are a few of the shots from that roll:
Shooting from the hip with a rangefinder is indeed a very different experience from that of SLR photography. You are not “limited” by the physical constraints of the viewfinder. And, of course, it is a much quieter experience, without that traditional mirror slap.
The use of color for street photography does seem odd. But as I have yet to shoot B&W with the Canonet, and the local CVS has been doing a great job scanning my Portra film. And, at less than $5/roll with scans, it is pretty hard to go wrong. There are rumors out there that CVS is going to eliminate many film machines from their stores. So, maybe I’m shooting color like a maniac for a reason.
This could be a very addictive genre. Once you get some cool shots, you want to keep getting more and more keepers. At the preset aperture distance, and focal length I’ve chosen here, chances are pretty good that I will get something in focus. The challenge is getting a good composition, while not using the viewfinder. But when you do, it can be very rewarding indeed.