The Weekly Minute is a fairly new blog for me, I haven’t been following it for long, but Shane Francescut started commenting on my blog and he seemed like a nice person, so I went over to see his blog. I liked what I was seeing, and have continued liking it. Now Shane often sends me an image for the Monochrome Madness Challenges and I always like what he sends. He does a lot of architectural images and that is certainly something I always like to look at.
Often when you look at another photographers work, if you like it then there are going to be reasons, I talk about that all the time in these posts, why I like the work of other photographers, however, while I was going through Shane’s blog, one thing really struck me, I kept thinking, I would take that photo like that, or that is the type of thing I would take. We have very similar taste in subject matter. It was quite extraordinary to see.
I did ask Shane why he takes photos.
I first got into photography because I wanted to document my children’s lives. As my interests grew, I began carrying my camera around and shooting things that caught my eye. I’m a big fan of collecting candid moments, even in family settings, so street shooting seemed like a natural progression for me. And, one advantage of living in Canada’s largest city, is that there’s always so much going on, and so much to document.
Since Shane mentioned Street Photography, I thought I would too. Street photography is a very hard thing to do, and I know many of you have said that to me in the past, how hard you find it. I couldn’t do it, I would always be worried that someone would punch me. There are two types, or as it seems to me, of street photography, the street portrait, asking people if you can take a photo of them, or the more candid street photography, capturing them going about their business. Shane does the latter and if you want to see what the streets are like around him then take a look at his blog, which you should do anyway.
Inspiration, was the next question.
Well, I’d be lying if I said that having one of my recent posts Freshly Pressed didn’t give me a boost. The feedback, and more importantly, the tips that people shared in the comments have really motivated me to continue. But generally, I’m inspired to improve on my existing work each time I shoot, to challenge myself in new ways, much like I’m doing by exploring black and white photography. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I’m inspired by the possibilities that photography presents. I am not one to settle and do what’s comfortable.
You get to see lots of different aspects to Shanes life, from the city to the country, the mundane to the wonderful. It is great to go through and not know what you are going to get next. From reading his inspiration I can see that he does try lots of things, and that is a great way for us all to learn, just take photos. I still do that, I am always having a go at something new.
I did ask, as I usually do if there was anything special about the way he worked.
I’m not sure whether there is anything special about how I work, because I don’t really know how other photographers work. I tend to work very systematically, by routine. I was a professional golfer for a number of years, and I think the regimented practice and preparation I did with that might carry over to my photography practice. Basically, I think of a couple of ideas for shooting before I head out. When I get home, I upload the images and process them in Lightroom 5, create blog posts based on what I shoot, download images for the posts, download separate images and format them for Instagram, Facebook, etc. to promote myself elsewhere, and schedule my posts for the week. I shoot five days a week, but I usually create all of my posts in one or two nights… so it doesn’t feel like a job. It’s a system, a formula, but it’s quite effective for me.
I thought this image and some of the others had a Instagram feel to them. I understand why now. That is probably where Shane and I differ, in our processing, I’m not saying anything is wrong with how he processes, not at all, we just approach it differently. Well really, we all do don’t we? I do like the colours and the way he does some of his images, the desaturated look is really nice. I’ve been trying to do that a little more in my images too.
I asked what gear he uses.
I became fascinated with mirrorless systems when they first came out, so I bought a Sony NEX f-3. It’s Sony’s most basic model, but it fits extremely well in my hand, it takes great video, and it has fantastic image quality. It’s perfect for a walk around and travel camera. I’m a big fan of primes, and most often use 19mm and 30mm Sigma lenses. On a crop system they become 27mm and 45mm… perfect focal lengths for street shooting. It’s not the most professional system, but I can shoot in full manual, and I know every setting, and I know exactly how to get the best out of it. I was also just given a Nikon D5100. Again, not a pro camera, but it has solid image quality and is much more responsive than my Sony. It also has a viewfinder, which I have really been missing with the Sony, so I’m having a lot of fun with that right now.
I am going to put a selection of Shane’s images into a gallery now, I really hope you will all go and take a look at his blog The Weekly Minute and say hello. I would also like to thank Shane for allowing me to showcase his blog and work like this.