Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Shooting Street Photography

I am by no means what some would call a hard core street photographer, but some of my most satisfying works fit this category. Being a rather shy person I don't generally get up close and personal with my subjects, but instead I like to capture things very candidly from a distance and capture the environment as well as the person. I like the quote Seth Resnick used in a recent seminar I attended in  that "a great photo needs both an actor and a stage". It is something that is with me now as I am out shooting more consciously than it was before. I am now looking much deeper in my work.

That being said I usually prefer to shoot with a longer lens, a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 in my case, although I find lately my Minolta 50mm f1.4 is finding its way onto my camera more often.

Camera settings; I usually walk with the camera in aperture priority mode and set an ISO (400-800) and f-stop (f4) that will give me a decent shutter speed for a sharp picture if I need to take a shot very quickly. The rear dial on my Sony is set for exposure compensation so I can make a quick adjustment if warranted. If I am in fairly consistent light I use manual mode with the spot metering and adjust to bring the shadows about 3 stops underexposed.

In my opinion interesting street photography needs an interesting background. And to me I separate that from street  portraiture where the person becomes the focus and the photo brings out the depth and complexity of the subject. Two photographers that I follow on G+ epitomize this talent, Alan Shapiro and Mike Shaw, check out their work, it is amazing and inspirational . I am constantly working on reaching that level both in my skill and my relationship with my fellow men, but for now my work is more from a distance.

Some of my favourite street photography shots I have taken among many:

Taken in Kensington Market this gentleman was just enjoying the day with his dog. In this case I did ask him if it was okay for me to take his picture after I had already taken this more candid shot. The hard edged graffiti in the background provides a contrast to the calm relaxed nature of this fellow.

This shot was taken on one of my morning walks. I saw the subject in the scene on this cold morning and his posture portrayed a look of despair  and it added to the mood of the scene. Looking at this one can draw many conclusions about the story of guy sitting on the bench and his situation. Another photographer described some of my work as being a Slice of Life so I like to look for that perspective when seeking out shots.

I though this shot taken in Havana Cuba let the viewer into a moment in which this guy was enjoying a cigar waiting for transit after a day of work. Although not much of the background is in focus to indicate where this shot was taken the image says Cuba to me.

Generally I prefer my street photography to be in black and white, I find the lack of color creates a deeper focus on the details and complexity of a scene. In this case the city lights reflecting of the water provided some extraordinary color that adds to the scene. Taken during the storm that was the end of Hurricane Sandy as it passed through Toronto this lone guy out getting some street food was very interesting and it leads into a story.

On other thing I always try to do is keep my camera with me whenever I can. Great street photography scenes can happen any time, just like this moment I caught walking down to my local bank. Even though you can't see the faces the grasp on the shirt says so much and leads into a story. The great thing about photography is the capture of the moment, and a simple gesture can say so much, even if it is out of context and for me that is the art and essence of street photography. This scene really made me smile.

I hope you enjoy my photography and my blog. My If you want to see more of my street photography and urban landscape work please check out or My photography and my writing is constantly evolving so please stop by periodically to see what is new.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Repath Tall Ships Toronto

I got a quick chance to visit the Toronto waterfront yesterday and got a glimpse into our historic past. One can only image the scene when sailing ships like these were the norm in the Toronto Harbours. These floating beauties are in town for the Redpath Tall Ships Tour.  See for more on the festival.

I arrived mid-morning and didn't have the best light available but I hope you enjoy a few photos from my visit  and get down and visit the waterfront yourself if you are in or near Toronto this weekend. There is a lot going on, despite the construction in the area, and it is always a great area to visit.

Toronto Photograph
 Some of the ships moored along the Toronto Waterfront. Could you image this scene in the 1800's or early 1900's?
Colourful flags decorate one of the masts on this ship. The intricate rigging is amazing and it must take a great deal of knowledge to get everything up and running.
Dinghies all arranged on a row  on one of the waterfront docks.
 Gangway to one of the ships which you can visit while down at the Tall Ship festival.
View from the bow with a wide angle capturing the majesty of the Tall Ships.

All photography is copyrighted by Robert Greatrix Phototgraphy and cannot be used without permission. If you like my photography please visit for my full portfolio or if Urban Landscape and street photography is more your thing. I am always looking for subjects for photography and blogs so please contact me if you want to be featured or have an interesting idea.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Food and Travel

One of the things I love about travelling is the opportunity to sample new food from various locales and countries. Unfortunately sometimes my love of the food and wine takes over and I don't remember to photograph or even take notes. Getting caught up in a culinary moment is not always a bad thing. So I thought I would try and breathe some life into my blog and show a few examples of the gastric delights I have remembered to shoot and my thoughts. 

A trip to Italy last year was definitely a highlight and kick-started my interest in approaching photography from a more commercial aspect (an ongoing struggle for future posts). The start to the Italy adventure was Naples and there is no better spot to get pizza. For almost two days all our meals in Naples were Neapolitan Pizza. 

A short walk through the streets almost anywhere in Italy will show you why the food is so delicious. The fresh produce looks so good and seems so plentiful.

This photo (not the best) was what I think was the best Pizza I had time to sample in Naples. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant and couldn't find it again other than I know it's in an out of the way Piazza called Piazza Portanova. We happened to stumble upon it during the height of the afternoon heat when most places were closed but it was delicious.

Again the Agritourismo we stayed at on the Amalfi Coast besides being Michelin Certified was absolutely fabulous in their preparation of fresh food making simple dishes truly gourmet. 

We had many great meals in this region including restaurants on the island of Capri where fresh Caprese Salad and a Local Seafood salad were highlights. And in the stunning town of Ravello the food matched the views and scenery. 

As we travelled to the Umbria Region in the Medieval City of Perugia one of the most highly rated restaurants was an Argentine one. I don't know wether the food or the service was the star. Located on one of the cities walls this establishment had a stunning view as well. Immediately upon being seated were greeted by two glasses of complimentary champagne and a hot appetizer. An additional order of Prawns and Beef Carpaccio did not disappoint. A cleanse of the pallet with some lemon Sorbet led to this dish of truffled Argentinian Beef. Coupled with a bottle of the Umbrian Sagrantino Montefalco that could be described as one the fullest most robust red wines known this dish was outstanding. 

And no meal is complete without dessert and the plating of this was incredible. This was of course the heart of the Umbria International Jazz festival. For any fan of Jazz the festival in Perugia is not to be missed and the food here is also must. If you ever get the privilege of tasting a Sagrantino vintage letting it decant is a must but the experience is divine. We also had the privilege of joining Mark from Gusto Wine tours who with two other guests took us to some outstanding wineries in the region where we sampled some great Sagrantinos and Pissitos. Lunch at another Agritourismo Mark took us to was simply incredible.

Amore recent bout of travel found me in South America where I had the fortunate surprise of finding Molita restaurant which is in a trendy artsy kind of Bohemian along Calle Lastarria (?). I came in by myself and ordered a greta bottle of 2011 Chilean Malbec. My appetizer was this delicious seafood Carpaccio. It was outstanding in both taste and presentation. Again despite my bad Spanish the service was incredible. 

My entree this day was a Lamb Risotto and the picture does not do it justice. It was perfect match with wine and made the experience unforgettable. It is a place I would definitely return if a stay in Santiago presents itself . 

And again what would a meal be without a great dessert to finish it off. I didn't even read the dessert menu, I saw this beauty travelling to other tables nearby and ordered it immediately. It was the perfect compliment to a great Cappuccino. 

I am looking forward to keeping resurecting my blog from its well intentioned but inconsistent start and experiencing some more amazing food and travel.  I will try to share some more local experiences as well.

If you like my photography please visit for my full portfolio or if Urban Landscape and street photography is more your thing. I am always looking for subjects for photography and blogs so please contact me with any suggestions. 

Buen Provecho.