Personal Cinema; Stampede

8 365 Stampeed 8 365 stampeed-of-feet-tram-mono-small

Personal Cinema is a way for me to look back on the images and tell the story behind some of the ones that have moved me and that have some insight to offer into how it came to be. These images really have become my personal cinema, frames from my life living here in Poland, stories that move me. I hope you enjoy this series.

I have wrote about this one before because it was included in the World Street Photography book #5, but wanted to include it in this series as well because its just one of thos images that worked perfect but in an absurd way and is a very cinematic moment for me. So here we are.

Last year, I partnered up with who would help supply me with gear to use, test, take to the streets and do what I do and I love ebing able to do this. A few weeks before this image was shot, they put in my hands the FujiFilm X100f to test out and see what I could do with it. I had never used a mirrorless before and at first found it baffleing, small, powerful but somewhat awkaward in my bg hands. I had grown so used ot the big DSLR that this one felt delicate to me. I took it with me to Wlodaw for a vist and used it extensively, working thorugh much of my first impressions. You can read the review of it I wrote here. Chasing Shadows with FujiFilm.

For a few weeks I tooled around with the FujiFilm, getting the feel for how it works for me and really growing to love it and the images that I was produsing. Completely something new for me and very inspiring. Soon, it was time to change cameras and bring this one back to exchange for something new to try out.  My day was packed with places to be and time was not really on my side, but I would make it work as long as I kept a schedule.

From my house in Jezyce to the tram stop on Dąbrowskiego by rynekJezyce, is about a ten minute walk. The tram system was still feeling the weight of the summer overhaul of the lines in Poznan so the posted schedule was always a bit funky and trams were not running as often through my part of the city then. So in other words, I couldn’t afford to miss one.  Walking to the tram line, of course I am in a hurry but if you know me, then you also know I shoot…often. And on this day it was pretty much like that….tons of visual distractions ot keep me busy and ponts of interest to occupy me, making me a little late.

It was early afternoon and the streets of Jezyce were very busy with cars, people, peddlers and in this area around the market, especially crazy and vibrant with activity. Luckily the traffic then on Dąbrowskiego was packed and backed up a bit from the ongoing construction to the street, so I could see that the tram was already on its way. I needed to move fast and began picking up the pace and navigating the sidewalk. (If you know this area, then you know what I mean). Its a revolving door of stands, people, buying, selling, coming and going in the afternoon that is a visual feast and a blockade.

I have described the sport of “tram chasing” several times in my writings and how I find it to be somewhat funny and slightly absurd, but also how I wouldn’t partake in such a thing, knowing that another tram isnt too far behind. Well, on this day I broke my cardinal rule and needing t make this tram, I ran. I hope someone saw me and gained a smile from it.

Camera in hand, chasing the tram and then seeing a golden opportunity for a shot all happened in the span of seconds. As I am running up Dąbrowskiego, I can see ahead of me the crowd waiting to board and a beautiful puddle just at the curb where the people would cross over. Racing to the stop and not thinking about it as the tram pulled up, I knelt down, position the Fuji just at the edge of the puddle, leveling it as best I could and started to shoot just as the tram stopped, people began to pour otu and the crowd waiting started to cross. If you look carefully you can see the look of amusement or confusion from someone seeing me. Hoping that I had the meter set correctly, I took two shots and picked myself up.

I made the tram. Sweating a bit. Last one on but I manged to do it. I wasnt exactly sure if I had gotten the shot, but in the view finder it looked pretty good and the focus on this little camera has proven to be excellent. Later on, looking on the large screen, my feelings were confirmed…I got it and immediately included it in my newly started 365 as image number 8. You can see them all here. 365 Monochrome Project 

For myself, this shot is perfect cinema and is the perspective that I really love. You probably know this if you have been following my work at all. Getting on the ground, puddles, reflections, people doing people things are exactly the form of dynamic frames that I love. I seldom pass a puddle without looking for new life in it and on this day I only saw the puddle and hoped I would find that life in it. It worked out this time perfectly, but sometimes it doesnt. A little bit of luck at times goes a long way. Now, I don’t recommend this type of quick shooting for the novice because I would hate to discover that you accidentally dropped it in the water, but I do encourage looking in the next puddle and see what there is to discover. You may just be surprised.

That’s the cinema for today! I hope that you enjoyed the ride and look back on the frame. I am always interested in your thoughts, so post them in the comments and I will see them.

I am also pleased to announce that you can get your very own copy of this image from my newly opened store in partnership with Get Inspired Magazine here. I will be offering more soon and including some of my favorite and compelling images, so check back often. Below I am posting for you the actual one that is with a border, available in the shop.

Cheers! ERIK-WITSOE-small