Wandering the streets of a city with my camera

Making pictures with John Enman - photographing cityscapes

Cityscape possibilities are endless.  John Enman says when he composed this shot he “...wanted shadows on the concrete

Cityscape possibilities are endless. John Enman says when he composed this shot he “...wanted shadows on the concrete

I enjoy wandering city streets with my camera because I think the possibilities for photographs of cityscapes are endless.

Let me begin by saying that my wife and I were in Kelowna, B.C., doing cleanup and some renovations to a house we own and rent out.

The day had been long, and with lots of work done we had reached the time when we wanted to just stop, rest, and find something to eat.

Linda had said she had a craving for souvlaki. I don’t’ get cravings the way she does. Hers are always for some specific taste or particular food, while mine is just for food. She, of course, gets irritated with me when she asks for my help, “What would you like?” and I respond, “Hmmm….food”. So we stopped, washed up, and found a Greek restaurant called Yamas where I ordered souvlaki and she ordered lamb. Well, so much for her craving.

The day had been clear and bright, and at 7:30pm the sun was dropping and making the cityscape a mosaic of glittering glass, cold metal, coloured concrete, and deep, shadowy silhouettes. The sun on the downtown architectural features created angles, shapes, shadows, and textures.

I began this by writing “The possibilities for photographs are endless.”  Summer in the vacation city of Kelowna mean streets filled with tourists walking or bicycle riding, exotic cars, prowling Harley Davidson motorcycles, and just about any kind of architecture one wants. A photographer only has to select a subject.

So after one of those meals that makes one so satisfied that you must bump up the tip a bit to the waitress, we wandered out into that exciting scene and Linda suggested I take her back to the house so I could do what a photographic opportunist like me is most fond of, wandering.

I spent my time looking up, over, and around, jaywalking, precariously standing in the street, and oblivious to those that have just as much right to a sidewalk as I do.  I pointed my camera and made exposure after exposure, so totally preoccupied with what I was seeing and the act of photographing that, I admit, I do get caught up in what I am photographing.

On this occasion I had decided to only capture parts or specific details of the architecture, and not the whole building, as part of the city’s landscape; just small parts of buildings that engaged me. I wanted shadows on the concrete, glaring and reflecting glass, the contrast of bricks, concrete, metal, and glass, against the sky or other buildings, and patterns of everything.

Our dinner had lasted long and the return trip taking my wife home took away time so I had to move fast, because evening shadows were growing and starting to take over the valleys between the tall buildings in a dim, flat scene, without the defining contrast that separates features.

When I finally put the lens cap on my camera and headed for the car I did notice bright neon signs turning on and bright light pouring from a couple of nearby bars, but both had some intense looking characters glaring menacingly at me and my camera, so I continued walking without composing a picture. I’ll leave those shots for another day when I can shoot and rush off without being weighed down with too much Greek food, or better yet, to younger photojournalists. I’ll stick to photographing buildings.

These are my thoughts this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops.  And if you want an experienced photographer please call me at 250-371-3069. I also sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

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