In my previous Blog I stated that I had several hours to hang around while waiting for nightfall in the market. This gave me an opportunity to walk around and to photograph the unique charms of people on the street. The Ottawa Byward market is a busy tourist area and therefore attracts a diverse group of people. The more interesting people are those on the fringes of society.
When photographing street people, unless you are trying to steal a candid shot, it is always advisable to try and engage the person if possible.
I always carry change around so if the opportunity arises, I can provide coinage to help out, if they are begging or entertaining on the street.
This is a photo of a man sitting in the outdoor portion of a local bar, who seems to have a form of muscular disability and sits in a wheelchair. I was struck by the wonderful smile and a look of enjoying life on his face. I asked if he would mind if I took a few shots and he kindly obliged.
I learned later that his name was Ron and was a regular to the tavern. A week later I printed an 8x10 photo and had it framed and I took it back to the tavern to give to him. He was not there at this time and the barman, who knew Ron, said he would give it to him when he saw him again and placed it on the back shelf.
There were others taking photos on the street and I captured a shot of this person taking a photo of a street musician. We struck up a good conversation later on and at this point another photographer, who was doing a web project of 25 People a Day, took our photos.
This was a stolen shot of a person watching the same musician.
and this is the musician that they all were interested in.
I came across this man smoking a cigar in his bright orange plumage and I could not resist the shot, as he was juxtapositioned against the signage ‘Complet” which is french for 'Full'.
Later on I came across this pair who were slightly inebriated and who had made some disparaging remakes when they saw me with my camera as they were routing through the garbage bins on the sidewalk.
I said “ are you pretending to give me a hard time?” and they laughed. This seemed to alleviate any possible friction and we struck up a small good hearted conversation. I asked if they would mind if I could photograph them and the also obliged.
There can be inherent dangers when you try to capture street people shots. This girl did not like that I took her photo and began a rapid verbal tirade using street language, before I could even discuss the photo, she then decided to spit on me. Not a big issue as it is easily cleanable, but you never know how some people might react and therefore be ready to understand your location and be careful if engaging a large crowd.