Vantage Point

Processed with VSCOcamSo it seems street photography is a thing now, I guess the advent of social media and digital technology has thrust the genre tagged, tweeted and trending onto our flickering screens. So that’s nice.

The emails generated from my last blog post showing more than a passing interest it seems and obviously I am very happy about this, questions that I am continuously asked are about my favorite locations and favorite images along with the usual which kind of camera is best for street photography kind of thing, also the nice people at Light kindly asked me to share some of my thoughts for their #VantagePoint project.

I think most photographers will say pretty much the same thing when it comes to their favorite photograph, that it’s a hard question to answer, I have many images that I love for various reasons but love can often be fleeting and what can start out as infatuation can soon change to something mundane.

Some images though do just continue to tickle my fancy and this image of the young Turkish lad, bored and arrogant, legs splayed wide, a typical teenage tear-away still makes me smile, not just his cocky pose but the little details, another lad was clambering through the window of the tram, a police water cannon can be seen just in the background, it’s an Istanbul image in so many ways.

Over the last few years living in Istanbul Istiklal Street has become one of my favorite locations to shoot; it’s a huge city with some wonderful neighborhoods of myriad personalities but living where I do Istiklal Street is always on my way, tourists and terrorists, shoppers and buskers, protestors and police, it has it all and never fails to deliver interesting images.

I am not a snob when it comes to the equipment I use, as a professional photographer I use whatever I need to use for whatever specific job I am doing and my street images are usually shot on whatever DSLR I am using at the time, probably this post would be way cooler if I hung sleek rangefinder or two over my shoulder, having a camera ready to hand is the important thing, I spotted the boy through the crowd of pedestrians, I wasted not a second in striding purposefully towards him, his pose and gaze could not be shot at a distance nor from the side, it had to be face to face, my mind was focused on one thing, simply the composition, having a camera to hand and not having to feck about with settings and zooms, the art is in the composition, the vantage point, I used what was in my pocket; an iPhone 4 and framed 30cm square print now hangs on my wall.

The photographer is always searching for the best vantage point, jostling for position, clambering cliff tops, being the right place at the right time is rarely an accident, as the great landscape photographer Ansel Adams says “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

The new compact camera technology under development at Light  does look very interesting and I am more than happy to give them a plug so check out what appears to be game changing  camera technology here:  New Light Camera Technology

Now having said that; camera manufactures, I am more than happy to shoot with whatever latest technology you throw this way so let’s work together.

If you are feeling social please drop by and say hello on Facebook where I also post more Street Photography images.

Now it’s time for me to update my website: John Wreford Istanbul Photographer

27 thoughts on “Vantage Point

  1. Aslı Tatlıadım

    This is very 1940’s New York. Reminds me of a photograph of Shoe Shine boys taken by Stanley Kubrick. Can you picture the one I am thinking of? Beautiful John.

  2. So happy to have found your site. My mother’s family was from Istanbul when it was Constantinople, when my grandparents and two eldest aunts emigrated to the US (late 1920’s I think). I’m looking forward to scrolling through your images. Thanks also for your comments on the shot, rather than the equipment, being the “thing.” That has been my take for years: It all hangs on composition.

  3. Now that is the best definition of a true photographer – getting the best shot from the perfect vantage point with whatever camera you happen to have in your hand. Great shot. 😊

    1. Thank you Irene
      I know its a cliche to say the camera is not the important part but honestly there are lots of factors and feel personally that the result is what matters.

  4. that photo is fantastic… such a great snap of real life in the city, so colorful even tho in bw :)))

    and I hope to read a review from you of that Light technology once it comes out… 🙂

  5. Pranati

    Wow, the photograph is really nice!
    I’m an amateur photographer, and whenever I come across a random person who I really wish I could photograph, I start to feel really awkward. What if they object? Can I take their picture without their knowledge/consent?
    And if I do ask them, the ‘moment’ would already be lost.
    I’d really appreciate if you could give me some tips on the same. 🙂

  6. Great post, John. I used to be strictly a landscape photographer, but have recently switched to street photography. I believe that every face tells a story – if we can just read it properly.

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