Sunday afternoon in Prenzlauerberg
As I mentioned in my previous post, lately I have returned to shooting street photography with the trusty 50mm f/1.4 lens. For a long time, I went about using three other lenses, often referred to as the ‘holy trinity’ of f/2.8 lenses. I’m talking about the Nikkor 14-24mm wide angle lens, the 24-70mm mid-zoom, and the 70-200mm telephoto. The wide-angle nature of the first enables me to imbue pictures with a perspective which I often find very interesting, the second one offers a flexibility that is quite useful, and the third allows me to focus on more faraway subjects whilst isolating them nicely from their surroundings by virtue of the increasingly shallow depth of field. However, a 50mm prime offers me two special benefits. Firstly, its relatively small size means that I can be more discreet when shooting. Secondly, its fixed focal length forces me to concentrate harder on ‘finding’ a picture, at the same time ridding me of what I’ve come to call the ‘burden of zoom distraction’.
Coming to the picture itself, I employed hip-shooting for this one, i.e. I held the camera by my hip, aimed roughly at the required location, and then ‘blindly’ fired away a few frames as the subjects approached. This way, my presence went unnoticed and I did not interfere with the events that unfolded in the next fraction of a second. It’s a technique that is very useful when you’re out shooting in the streets, and certainly worth every effort to master it.