Active Thinking

     The image below is one of my favorite shots that I took during my visit to Verden, Germany, in fact it’s one of my favorite street shots that I’ve taken to date.
    The reason being, it’s so totally different to the style of images I normally take and, for me personally, a breath of fresh air to my street photography.


    I am guilty of just wandering aimlessly around town centers and back streets waiting and hoping for someone or something interesting to come my way.
    People sitting on benches, people on the phone, people standing talking or smoking are the normal sort of street images that I’ve taken since starting street photography. Yes, it’s all street photography, but I’m looking for more than just ‘Flickr photostream fillers’ and this shot, for me, was a turning point.

    About five or ten minutes before I took this shot I thought to myself ‘come on get something interesting’ and I started thinking about some of the tips and tricks I had previously read about on various web sites on how to make photographs more interesting.

    I’ve recently started to apply the ‘get down low’ tip, but on this day the tip of ‘shapes & patterns’ came to mind and soon after, the stripes of the sun shade on the market stall caught my eye. I hung around for a few minutes waiting for some people to complete the scene and it paid off.

    I hope that after a while of ‘active thinking’ when out and about, all the different techniques that I’ve learned such as low pov, shapes, lights etc, will become second nature and I’ll be able to spot and capture street shots like this more often. I hate to think how many shots I’ve missed in the past just because I wasn’t ‘actively thinking’ about my photography.

    It was actually this shot that gave me the idea of the subject/theme of patterns for the October Monthly Challenge that we have running over on our Flickr Group.







    1. Esther | | Reply

      Very interesting to let us know how and why you take this picture, Mister GC
      I love it too. The hight contrasts add strength.
      Street photography can be a way to document the everyday’s life, but also a good way to improve composition, light and shadows, shapes… and patterns.

    2. Mister G.C. | | Reply

      Thank you Esther.
      The challenges that we set each other every month are also a great way to keep the mind ‘active’ when out and about.
      I’ve even seen me driving along in the truck and thinking ‘oh that would have been a good one for the challenge’.
      Basically, the more I think, the more I see and hopefully my days of ‘aimless walk-abouts’ will be few and far between.

    3. Tina | | Reply

      I really like this shot. The composition and tones are all top notch. It’s always good to try and branch out from what you normally do otherwise everything just starts to feel stale. It’s always good to learn new things, whether it’s a new technique or getting into a different style of photography.

      • Mister G.C. | | Reply

        Thanks Tina.
        ‘Variety is the spice of life’ so…..let’s spice up our street life.

    4. Just Ard | | Reply

      Grant I think we are all guilty of getting stuck in ruts. Sometimes it is hard to get out of them. One of the worst is because you are enjoying a certain style so taking so many, then it hits you and you realise you should have moved on before that point, and it takes a while to get out of it.

      I suppose what I am trying to say is that we all need to be moving along all the time.

      Great image and an honest explanation.

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