Digital contact sheet #3 : The shoe shiner

This series depicts a shoe shiner taking a break in Rosario and is an example of the shooting “from the hip” technique. From the hip because I aimed without looking at either the LCD screen or viewfinder of my Leica X1. Indeed, I absolutely wanted candid shots from this man and neared within one meter of him. To get the shots, I let my arm hang along my leg and aimed towards him (he did not notice my camera at any point). The main difficulty of such shots is usually to keep a straight horizon line and compose well (your hips ain’t no eyes, are they ?). Also, I opted to shoot at F2.8 in manual focus which added distance estimation to the challenge due to the resulting thin depth of field. All in all, the only parameter I had some control on was timing since I coud see the man’s expressions from above.

Finally, I don’t enjoy taking “sneaky” pictures such as these yet it would have been impossible to get a candid if I had kneeled in front of him. I would probably have gotten the horizon line straight, yet the man would have either smiled or shouted at me. Less interesting in my opinion.

 (For better viewing, click on the first picture and go through the slideshow)

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What is your opinion, which picture do your prefer in this digital contact sheet ? (and feel free to explain why in the comments section)

Shoe shiner

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