Elixir Vitae – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Some of my favorite photographers are street photographers. Those New York guys in the ‘60s and ‘70s? It’s some of my favorite work.
There’s something about modern street photography, though, that doesn’t appeal to me. It starts to look the same after while.
There are exceptions.
I’m not a huge fan of doing street photography, either – not in its traditional sense. I’ll head out with a camera and explore a city. I’ll even take photos of people in the streets, in windows, in their cars, wherever. It just has to be a pretty special shot for me to share it.
A shot like those guys (or ladies) in the mid-century would make.
Shapes, shadows, the kind of urban landscape stuff that Stephen Shore would make – that’s more up my alley.
I took a spare Friday this summer and hit the not-so-mean streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a beautiful evening, Summerfest was going on, and Friday nights in Ann Arbor are pretty hopping. The light was past the too-harsh phase. It was one of those great June nights in Michigan.
For this exercise, I shot locations, mostly. I saw an interesting scene, waited until something fun came along, and made a photo. Or the sunlight would come in at an interesting angle, so I’d shoot that scene.
What I didn’t do was go out and try to find interesting people. Maybe that’s the Stephen Shore difference.
More scene finding, less Gary Winogrand’ing.