Towards the end of the afternoon, we were walking along the street in the historic town of Fort Edward, where Jane McCrea met her tragic end during the American Revolution. As the sun began to sink behind the centuries-old buildings, an elderly man met us on the road with a smile and a wave.
He pointed at many of the buildings and byways we’d been admiring, and he told us the stories of how the Tories once held power, how musket balls could still be dug up in places, and how McCrea’s death stirred up such a furor. In the end, he took his leave and told us that he hoped to see us again in his hometown. My 7D was in hand and as he pointed toward the heart of the village, in the middle of a story, I froze his face in time.
Later on, Topaz B&W Effects and a few tweaks to the contrast in Photoshop brought some extra power to the impromptu portrait.
Often street photography is all about spontaneity. The photographer should be ready to bring up her camera at a moment’s notice and compose quickly. It’s a good idea to have the camera’s settings all ready to go so that the moment isn’t lost in a flurry of technical preparation. Also, consider apertures and shutter speeds that tend to shift the histogram further to the right, i.e. a bit brighter than normal. This allows for a more contrasty effect in post-processing.
Exposure Data: ISO 160, f/2.8, 1/80