Okay, so I’ve told you about my penchant for photographing “street art”, right? Above are two examples from my “Street Art Series”: an oil rainbow and a smashed Vanilla coke can, both discovered on the street. While I talk about this photography habit as being “weird”, that’s really just my way of recognizing something that I thought was unique about my photographic vision.
So it was rather disconcerting for me to come across the following admonition in the chapter on aperture in Bryan Peterson’s book Understanding Digital Photography (page 48):
“If you want to try your hand at “easy” exposures…pay close attention to what lies on the street as you walk…It’s amazing what most people don’t even notice at their feet!”
This is found right below a photograph of a smashed Schweppes can lying on the street. On the next page, is a photo of a rainbow formed by leaking oil as it mixes with water.
Do you see a pattern here?
I thought I had created a unique point-of-view and chosen a compelling subject matter, something that was distinctive. I must admit – I liked how this made me slightly peculiar; maybe even a little edgy and creatively artistic. And I thought it was all mine.
And now I find out that my “street art” theme is an aperture study exercise that has probably been seen by hundreds of photographers who have read Peterson’s excellent book. Not to mention how many smashed can photographs have been taken in the name of aperture studies.
Instead of being unique, my theme is instead rather pedestrian.
Oh, well. It doesn’t really change the fact that I continue to find this subject fascinating and captivating. And that you will still be able to find me, eyes down, searching the street for that next photographic treasure. For me it is something more than an exercise; it is part of who I am as a photographer.