Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Evening on the Streets

This post is subtitled The Many Joys of Street Photography

Alleyway Buskers: Power and Light by an Old Pickup Truck

I've riffed before about my love of photography, cameras and vintage lenses. But once again, I will step upon my Blogger soapbox to proclaim my love of street photography. I shoot almost anything that moves and a few things that don't, but street is just a sublime experience.

Bright Lights and Halos
When wandering with my camera, it's like I am a raw nerve. I walk, I watch and I react. Much of the normal noise in my head just goes away as I do and be. It is the proverbial 'Zone' of hyper-focus. My wife can attest to the fact that I will often forget to eat or drink on my forays. I've gotten better about that.

Tales of a Lonely DJ
As with all things in life, some evenings are better than others. All of these images came from one extraordinarily fun and interesting First Friday art walks in the Kansas City Crossroads District. This was the last evening before the leaves turn and we contemplate the long, dark months of winter ahead. It was pleasantly hot, but the vibe was super mellow despite the huge crowds and the buskers and other street characters were out in force.

Ah, less talk, more photos.

 Music, music, music...

Old Time Music with Gallery

And here is the scene inside the gallery. The art is being observed.

Which ones are stuffed?

This is the scene across from the Leedy-Voulkos gallery; the current center of the Crossroads.

The Fae of the Wildwood specialize in mirth and merriment.

Really, she is the most mirthful of the bunch. I can't blame her for glaring a the camera.

Just Another Faerie

Actresses in Character
Random Factoid: The majority of these photos were taken with a Sony NEX-6 fitted with a '60s era, Thorium doped Pentax 50mm f1.4 lens. Yeah, this sucker is radioactive! With the addition of a Lens Turbo, it acts like a 54mm f1.2 lens. Very handy when there is little to no light. I enjoy the challenge of working with a manual focus lens.

The street outside the old Arts Incubator building gets turned into a massive party. Some schmuck in a car didn't quite figure that out and became stuck between a dance party and a board crew taking back the streets.

And here is the Leader of the Pack! Yes, that is a Big Wheel. Best not to ask.

On a perfect summer evening, I can even be entertained by human statue mimes. Really, they were awesome!

They were more creative than the average buskers. An excellent entertainment value!

Street photography is exhilarating and somewhat exhausting. The thrill of discovery keeps me moving, and moving and moving until the crowds start dying out and the last Lonely DJ loops some really lovely tunage. The next day, I get to remember how many hours I walked in search of the visual buzz. I hope I never actually get too old to enjoy evenings on the streets.

But enough of my musings - bring on the random slices of life... starting with machines gone wild!

And moments of total randomness...

With moments of normalcy - who doesn't love cold treats on a hot summer night?

I can never get enough of reflections. Layers are the best.

 And so the evening ends. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

 Musings on the archaic concept of Copyright: While the concept seems lost in this digital age, the content on this blog, unless stated otherwise, is Copyright Dwayne F. of Vintage Technology Obsessions. Please participate in our sharing culture. There is a handy Google +1 bar at the top of the page. My personal images and random musings also live on G+ at Me, on Google+


  1. Great shots! The lighting is superb. Very natural look to these photos, Dwayne. The ones of the two street mimes look awesome. Lots of bokeh effect in those two.
    Great work.

    1. Thanks! It would be tons of fun even without the magic lens! Pleasant bokeh is not the strong suit for micro 4/3 or APS-C sensors. I absolutely love the color and contrast of this old school Pentax lens and the Lens Turbo just adds to the goodness.

      My first batch of photos with this combination is peppered through my Google+ stream from the Greaserama car show.

  2. Excellent focus and composition! I look forward to the day when I have mastered manual focus that well (:

    1. Thanks! The Sony NEX-6 is close to being my dream photographic tool. With focus peaking, I see in focus zones highlighted on the back screen or through the electronic viewfinder. There is a handy button to zoom in instantly for a tighter look at focus areas. I can park that on an eye, but that isn't quite as quick as a Canon 30-60D focus point. I also see a live brightness histogram making it easy to adjust shutter speed and exposure compensation. I've barely touched my 60D and fleet of EF glass since getting the NEX-6.

      Not-so-dreamy... the menus are non-intuitive with common functions buried. The diminutive size has ergonomic tradeoffs. Kit glass is a mixed bag as would be expected and it does not have sensor based vibration control like Panasonic and Olympus.

      But the camera is simply a tool. Ideally, it helps free the user up to work on composition. We're living in a Moore's Law fantasy world where magic technology drops from the sky.

  3. Excellent pictures - it really TOOK me there! KC has always been one of my favorite places. You totally captured the street "vibe".

  4. Wow! I just realize from these images that you also live in Kansas City area. I love 1st Friday's.

    Analog Communications

    1. Bruce: Thanks for looking! Yes, I am a Kansas City area native. As an FYI, most my photography lives on Google+ after the unfortunate experience of being burned by Fotki last year. I've found your blog and webpage. Cameras and typewriters go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Welcome to the Typosphere!


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