It’s not an everyday thing for a street photographer when everything that goes into making a picture works out perfectly. Infact it’s something which is very rare. The prime reason for this being that a perfect street photograph is 40% of hard work from the photographer, 40% of luck, and another 20% says that a perfect street photograph does not exist. True, and it is this urge to make the perfect picture which keeps us from going out there every day and shoot.
None of us till today have got the perfect picture, but yet, while hunting for it, we make/made several pictures in the process which we are proud of, or a picture which we feel had most of the elements coming together as well as it could. And my fortune got me this shot I wanna share with you people which I think came out good enough to make me happy. And the reason why this simple photograph makes me so happy is because after taking the shot when I looked at my LCD screen, I was about to delete it. Glad I didn’t.
This incident occurred in an evening of May 2012. It so happened that after college, I was walking to my favorite spot (market) in my small town where I do most of my street photography. One the way, there was this house that had the gates opened. My eyes just scanned around the compound randomly, when I spotted a kennel, with a dog sitting right outside it. Usually, I’m very scared of unknown dogs, but I noticed that this dog was chained. Something within me made me to stop there and I continued to stare at the dog and the kennel. Usually, I wouldn’t dare approach a chained dog too, but at that moment, somehow, the only thing I was worried about was the owner. I was thinking to myself if I should go in and ask permission from the owner to take the shot. But then again, I knew that if I did so, something which was so natural about the scene would disappear. I started taking very short steps towards the kennel which was right next to the house. As I kept walking, my eyes fell on an old man who was strolling around near the kennel. From his looks, I could say that this man was probably a laborer or something of that kind who was working in the compound. The man turned towards me, saw me entering the compound, and moved his eyes away, almost as though he never saw me… almost as if I was invisible. I kept walking. I was carrying my 50mm prime, so there was no question of zooming. I knew exactly at what distance I had to be to get the shot I wanted. When I was at that distance, the man was standing just next to the dog. I could see an even more beautiful story added to the composition. I bent on my knee, bought my camera in front, and looked right into the eyes of the man one last time to see if he would object. Nope, no reactions. I bought the viewfinder to my eye, and took exactly two shots, got up, and walked away. The dog never barked, the man never spoke. Weird, eh!
Anyways, once I was out, I looked at my viewfinder and somehow I didn’t like the shot at all. I have no idea as to why I felt that way, but I immediately deleted one of the two shots. I decided to keep the other one for the time being. When I got back home, on a bigger computer screen, I opened up the pic and knew exactly what I had to do. It was almost instinctive. Firstly, I did the usual (converting the color RAW into black and white), and then the magic “square crop”. It’s very rare that I do a square cropping, but for this shot, it was just perfect (according to me). The story I wanted to tell through the photo came out better than I had expected.
So here is the photo. Hope you guys like it…