It is a quiet night. There is a mix of snow and rain falling upon us. The sound creates a soft texture as it bounces off our jackets and collects on the surfaces around us. Every step we take is a soft crunch as we pack the snow below our shoes. On occasion a car passes, music up just high enough to hear the beats inside. Seldom do we see a lone figure navigating the cold ground, carefully stepping to avoid the hidden ice. Our conversation ranges from our businesses, life, family, how busy we are, and the reasons for why we make images. I can not count how many times I have wandered around the city late at night making photos. It is refreshing to have my friend and colleague Aleksandr present as we explore. Aleksandr is an incredible photographer. One of the best wedding photographers I know. His style is something you don’t see often, unless you’re looking to have the best of the best photograph your wedding. He is not prone to street photography and was very curious as to what motivates me to make an image, rather, what I see that inspires me to press the shutter.
Every couple of images I would point out some element in the scene that I saw, something that interested me or I found visually appealing. I would make the image and share with him. I explained to him that the process, for me, is about seeing. Its not about blindly running around hoping I will get an image, it is about seeing and capturing. I spend so much of my day seeing compositions. Some days I feel like I am a director navigation a film set.
While our vision differs, both of us have a very profound ability to see, read, and utilize light to produce images. This evening though, Aleksandr was making images on a Nikon D850 in black and white. He was shooting wide on a 35mm. I had a Fuji xPro2 tucked into my jacket, where it stayed there the entire time we walked around. I had my Canon 5Ds with a Sigma 50mm in my gloved hands. I have only used my 50mm a handful of times in studio on one or twice on a commercial shoot. It is such a great lens that I wanted to try this evening on a different type of shoot. The subject matter wasn’t as important as it was to take the time to be in the moment, have a few moments to be creative outside of our daily business, and just get out and shoot. When you take the time to create for yourself it is almost always therapeutic.