My street photography adventure in downtown Vancouver began in April, 2014.
Two to three times a week I would have the privilege of capturing the textures and heights of the streets. I’ve always been intrigued by tall buildings and sky scrapers despite my fear of heights. The architecture of downtown Vancouver has influenced some very compositional photos.
Color photography has so many layers, my thought was to keep traditional and shoot mostly B&W. There is something about B&W that bores people, but for me it couldn’t be more interesting. Street photography all around the world has set its benchmark, it’s all about your own perception of what a street photo is to you. I can always marvel in a street portfolio I haven’t seen.
I plainly used a Canon T3 with an old 70’s Russian Helios 58mm F2 for these shots. The range and bokeh on this lens was like opening a new world of photography. Although this series for the most part is B&W, the Helios has an amazing nostalgic image in color.
When I started shooting Downtown, it was hit or miss. I would learn something new and see something new every time. There was never a lack of inspiration, it could always be found. The energy and the noise of the city can feed the street photographer’s view. The locations in the images were all on different days, with different light. Composition came into play a lot because of the architecture of the glass city, as it’s known. I was most interested in what caught my eye in the way of buildings that had been there for many years, dripping with stories, as well as the pristine work and the man-hours put into these insane structures.
The first photo I picked for this series was taken in May, so I shot for about a month
until I captured something I liked. This photo was the only one in which I didn’t use the Helios. I used the lens one day and this was the shot. The pole with cables captivated me so I captured it, and B&W seemed to fit.
The second pictured here is a building that I shot various times. This was the first day I saw smoke coming from a high floor, and I wanted to capture low with lines and depth.
The third shot has a similar vibe to the fourth shot. I was in an alley in one of the many areas of east Vancouver. I saw some nicely hung, brand new Chuck Taylors in a scummy alley. I stepped across a couple needles to get my framing for the shot, but in the end it was worth it.
The fourth photo was also in an alley where lots of things happen, some not so pleasing. Art pieces are everywhere in the alleys, the lines and the way the shoes were hanging sparked my interest.
The fifth photo was taken on a great street outing with an old friend. There was so much material this day, I remember feeling overwhelmed. I wasn’t feeling street portraits so I reverted back to my alley ways. Intrigued by the word that spelled out “person”… snap..snap! Graffiti is its own form of street art, to capture it, I believe, is to second someone’s artistry.
The sixth photo is actually an apartment complex that caught my interest most of all in the area that day. The complex looked as though it could’ve been anywhere in the world, from my viewing angle.
The seventh photo is a tall glass/brick business building that had to be documented. Once again I took a looking up approach. The eighth photo is a busy building just off Granville, the more I looked at it the more of a story it told.
Downtown Vancouver is quite a place for sites and especially street photography. It is, in my opinion, a check for the bucket list of street photo cities, despite its size.