NYC, Street Photography on a wheel…

Hi there !

Thank you so much for dropping by and joining me in this ride. Up to this past year, I wasn’t much of a skater or personal electronic vehicle guy. However, as we know, this year many things are pushing us to explore new ways of navigating our cities. After trying out an electric scooter, I got more curious about other electric forms of personal transportation. The scooter is great when you need to go from point A to point B fast, but it’s not amazing for taking your time and enjoying your surroundings.

That’s what lead me to want to try the Onewheel. It’s hands free operation allows me to carry my camera with me and be able to stop and take photos at any point in a completely seamless way. Which makes it for me a perfect tool for doing street photography while commuting. 

Photo gear wise, what you will see me photographing with during this video is mainly my Leica M6 with a 50mm Summicron and Ilford HP5 shot at 400. I am also using my Leica Q2. Lastly, I also used briefly a 35mm point and shoot camera when I was first getting used to the Onewheel just in case I had any mishaps. Other than that, the choice between film or digital was mostly made based on the mood I had that day…If I wanted to take my time and be more intentional, I’d grab my M6, but if I wanted to be more fast and loose I’d reach for the Q2. I love them both equally tho. You can however imagine the challenges of focusing a rangefinder while being on top of a moving object, but really that was part of the fun. 

Street photography is art form of its own. As with every art form there is of course a huge element of subjectivity. Each individual has their own set of reasons to purse it. For me is a way to connect and engage with the world around me. It encourages me to pay much more attention to the people and places that I come in contact with on a daily basis. And because I am making a point of paying attention, I also generally  stop taking so many things for granted that I probably would not have noticed otherwise.

When I am out and about doing street photography what I am mainly aiming for is to create a record of moments and and more specifically actions. Actions by nature tell a story. The idea is then is that when the viewer sees the photograph afterwards they have a departing point from which to create their own fiction as to what could have happened prior or after the moment in which the photo was created. This is What we call the decisive moment. 

Another thing that will often catch my eye when photographing is clothing…and more specifically, hats and head wear. Once again is all about evoking that sense of story telling in the eyes of the viewers. Hats have this distinguishing feature that can turn almost anyone into a movie character of sorts. 

But you know sometimes, street photography is also about just asking questions. Observing things and taking notes. Almost like creating a visual diary of life for no particular reason other than just noticing something and asking yourself “huh…I wonder what was that all about…?” You don’t really need an answer but the you needed to ask yourself the question…

Lastly, Street photography is also been a great tool for me to hone my photographic and cinematic skills. It has helped me to understand and learn how lighting can affect my subjects and stories. By the same token, it also teaches me how to use the elements in my locations to create mood and texture. This learned skills I can later use and take advantage of when creating more intentional works.

But really…wen you think about it…Street photography is nothing else but wild life photography in a concrete jungle.  The habitat of the human creatures. It is a little bit about art and a whole lot about trying to understating the behaviors of the human species through observation.

All images and text ©2021 Omar Z Robles. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or use without written consent from Omar Z Robles.

One comment

  1. Lydia Velez

    Mi respeto y admiración por tu trabajo que muestra gran talento y sensibilidad; y por la valentía de moverte en la “scooter” por las calles de NY. Tuve que volver a ver los otros vídeos de las bailarinas porque me encantan. Dios te bendiga. Éxito en todo.

    El vie., 12 de febrero de 2021 9:58 a. m., Omar Z Robles escribió:

    > Omar Z Robles posted: ” https://youtu.be/bSkeTTrfu-U Hi there ! Thank you > so much for dropping by and joining me in this ride. Up to this past year, > I wasn’t much of a skater or personal electronic vehicle guy. However, as > we know, this year many things are pushing us t” >

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