Face-off - cc welcome


Completely Counter-dependent
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Dec 11, 2006
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Mid-Atlantic US
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McPherson Sq, Wash, DC Feb 4



the first is pretty epic. i really like them all
I must say that these are getting the message across. Each one on its own tells an intense story. #1 certainly fits the title of the thread, but the more I look at #3, the more I get a sense of "we're in this together". Each side may have their own agenda or responsibility, but that doesn't negate empathy for the voice of reason. The white streaks on the faceshield respresents two sides of the same coin for me. I would consider offering this image to the Park Police as a donation. It is that emotive.

Thanks for sharing. And BTW, I need a bit more of a heads up for a meet up. You posted on Friday for a next day. I'm ~4 hours away from DC, but would have gladly joined in.
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I love #1. My eye is drawn to his hand. It's like he's about to clutch his hand, getting ready for what might be immanent, but he's not really sure if he needs to.
Thank you for all the comments.

And BTW, I need a bit more of a heads up for a meet up. You posted on Friday for a next day. I'm ~4 hours away from DC, but would have gladly joined in.

That's nice that you would have driven from deep in the "State of Confusion." I take groups out routinely when I think something might be going to occur that will give some opportunity to practice 'street shooting.'

While there is usually something to shoot in DC, I was planning on bringing the group (of 6) specifically to the demonstration against the potential strike against Iran. This had been highly publicized by the many anti-war groups involved and I had expected/hoped for a big turnout. As it was there were perhaps 10-12 demonstrators in back of the White House - a total bust.

My fall-back was to go to the Occupy camp and we were lucky to be there when the Park Police action was happening.

When my wife asked me what I 'teach' these groups, I had to admit I don't know anything to teach and I feel a bit inadequate about that topic.

I find it very hard to put into words how I go after shots (not implying that I think I am terrifically expert but only that I have had some success with some shots)

What I do is I look for things or people or situations and think how that would be caught in a the frame in a way that might come across to the viewer as meaning more than the actual content. I do try to somehow match the tension or emotion with the placement in the image.
Placement in the frame of the subjects is quite critical, imo, because viewers get cues unconsciously from framing that add to the actual content.

For example, in the first picture, I tagged after this guy for ten minutes as he ranted at the police and tried to get a good angle until he eventually stopped walking. He is confronting the faceless mass of police, and the same in the picture.

Here is another, perhaps not as interesting as those above, but still intentional. Perhaps my thought process in going for the shot will be useful.

This young woman holding the book had some sort of 'position' with the group. Intermittently, she would would read out loud to the police, in a friendly way. I saw the word LOVE written on the book and it seemed ironic in this context so I maneuvered around so I could catch the word on the book in the upper left and waited until the policemen and the book were at the place I wanted. Don't get me wrong, I took a fair number of shots here trying to catch the right (as far as I was concerned) angle.

The book was pink and the color was too strong as compared to the rest of the picture so I converted it to BW so that the policeman's face and shield would have enough weight in the scene.


In something like this, when you want to tell even a vague story, you try for all great shots and, if you are lucky, you'll get a couple of money shots and the rest are just good enough to include. I only had two hours. If I had more time I would have shot more and ended up with more but I had the group to trundle around. The 18 shots I include are at Zenfolio | Lew Lorton Photography | Occupy DC February 4 2012 - McPherson Sq raid | occupydc-0792659-Edit

I have an acquaintance who spent $5k for a 5 day course in NYC to shoot in the street and she still pretty much sucks at it mostly because she can't dissect why a shot is good, her camera handling is weak and she can't see the shot before it occurs - a crucial skill.

The best way to learn street shooting is to look at shots that you like and try to infer what about them makes them good in your eyes - use of tones, composition, especially placement of objects in the frame and appropriate use of DOF. Then shoot a lot. If I have a day where my keeper rate is 10%, that is wildly successful for me.

I hope this is of some interest.

These are good, very good jounalistic photos. Best I've seen from any occupy shots also.
I predict that these will eventually be in the Smithsonian. They are that good.
@ 1holegrouper

Well, thanks for that very nice comment.
I usually try to agree with people who shoot Hasselblads and 1 hole groups but, in this case, probably not.

(Actually I did shoot a 1 hole group once but that was because the others were off the paper.)
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