When I first started this blog, I titled the original Street Style as “01”. It wasn’t even a Street Style photo by today’s definition—but that’s not the point; the point is, it was “01”, and a couple of days later I went back and changed the header to “001”. I had no idea I would get to 100 street style portraits (on top of everything else I wanted to blog about for Lord Ashbury). I just figured I should be prepared, you know, just in case. But then I got to Street Style 050, and then 075, and then 090, and I’m like, Crap, 100 is a milestone number. What kind of photo do I want for Street Style 100? I asked friends for suggestions. I stayed extra mindful on the streets. I double and triple checked the 3,000 images that have never been used. I realised I have a ton of test images of Savannah.
“Stand there. I need to test my white balance.”
I do a large bulk of my street walking in the evenings. During the week that’s when I have time to walk, but I also like the sun better when it’s not midday right over us. When I first started shooting for Lord Ashbury, it was still winter, which meant shorter days; when the sun set, it set fast. In New York where the buildings are tall, the streets run east/west, but the avenues run north/south. One could have adequate light on 8th street, but upon rounding the corner on 5th ave, find it totally dark. (If you own a DSLR, you know how moody the white balance gets when the lights change.) The great thing about having a walking partner, especially when this stuff was brand new, was I could test all of my settings out on her before asking strangers to take their picture. People are gracious to let me stop them; it feels sort of disingenuous if I have to sit there and figure stuff out, “Oh wait, is my ISO right? How come I can’t see his face? Maybe I need to speed up my shutter . . . why is she green???” I extracted several of the test composites I had of Savannah and lined them up.
What’s interesting is being able to see both my progress as a photographer on the street as well as her level of comfort when I spontaneously shoot her for light tests, which frankly, has gone from Oh Gee! to Whatever. On top of that, she’s certainly had her share of LA fashionable days.
Since the winter, I have light composites of Savannah from every walk we’ve done. Now that we’re diving into summer and I’m so much more comfortable with my camera, there’s really no need to do light tests as extensively as before. But every once in a while, I’ll still say, “Stand over there.” Oh, snap.
P.S. I want to thank everyone for continuing to visit Lord Ashbury. We’re creeping towards an average daily hit count of 1000/day. It’s one of those things a person sort of hopes will happen, but could never know if or how long it would take to happen. On behalf of Savannah and Lydia, thanks for making the work bearable and fun. And for everyone who has appeared in the catalogue, thanks for trusting me to take a completely random photo of you on the street. I only asked because I thought you were worth it.