X100F: Street & iteration—a sequence.

How do you do this Patrick? Do you see a potential photo and wait for the right moment, the right person at the right time in the right step?

I received that question about an image I posted on Instagram and thought it would be interesting to follow-up on. The short answer: yes, but I don't wait for long. Now for a more detailed explanation…


Different shooters use different strategies—hunting, invading, gathering. I'm a gatherer...which means I rarely linger and spend most of my time moving while I shoot. Truth is, I like the urgency: catching a glimpse out of the corner of my eye, reacting in the moment, spidey senses tingling. It's a very potent rush. That said, I do pause

For this particular image, we were shooting the promo video and I saw the light/shadows across the street. It was all there—the tree, the stone facade, people walking by...the picture was essentially fully formed, waiting to be captured. I knew the frame I wanted but...standing in the middle of a downtown street? Not the best move. So I switched on the X100F's new digital zoom function and set it to 70mm (max). I shot the four images below

12:02:08 PM: No one there. I'm essentially practicing my framing. Nice shadows but it lacks dynamics without a human subject in the shot.

12:02:10 PM: I see a guy coming and wait for him to be in the right spot...but I miss. It's not bad but the overlapping vent muddles the silhouette.

12:02:18 PM: I know I have it. I saw both subjects and again waited for the right position—but this time I got it right. Rush. Endorphines. Yay.

12:02:19 PM: One last frame just in case—I'm there so what the hell. But it's a miss.

Total linger time: 11 seconds. Pretty much the average extent of my patience when I'm on the street. But while it may seem quick, I think there's still a psychological process at work: iteration is part of it (refining through 3-4 frames) but also accepting the idea of the picture and where it's headed. It's just enough time to visualize an end result and act on it. And sometimes to accept it's not worth the trouble—which is also fine.

Quick word RE the zoom: it does affect IQ. But if it means the difference between getting the shot and not getting the shot...I'll choose the former. I won't use it on client work but under good lighting conditions, for personal stuff, I'm keeping it in mind. Btw: all of these were processed in LR but I'm including a before and after comparison below, showing a slight angle and contrast correction. I'll have a full SOOC post in the next few days.