Friday, July 18, 2008



I was photographing someone else and she had turned to watch me. Her father, just out of the picture to the right, smiled and nodded his approval of my request when I pointed to the camera and then his daughter. I quickly shot two frames, one not smiling, one smiling as a reaction to the first exposure. My working technique for shooting these images was to keep my 24mm lens pre-focused at about 8-10 feet, choosing an f/stop to give me maxium DOF, and merely adjust the exposure depending on what part of the island I was shooting. But never did I focus the camera nor adjust the exposure while the camera was at my face. The idea was to keep the camera at my side, and raising it to make the image as quickly as possible. This was how I observed Gary Winogrand working the crowds out in front of the University Coop in Austin, Texas. It was during the time we were both on faculty (I was in journalism and he was in art) at UTAustin in the late 60's. What I observed is that when you shoot this fast -- the camera is only at your eye for a second or so -- it doesn't register with most people they have just been photographed.

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