***This is completely three months late. I’ll be better at submissions. This was originally slotted for a week back in September 2014. I will finish up the rest of the quarter’s assignments in one to two entries since there were only a few assignments left.
This week we watched mostly videos of photographers who do different types of photography. Some of them repeats some of them were new but most of them were street shooters. This weeks homework, take 100 photos and submit two of the best photos you’ve created.
I chose to miss the Taste of Colorado event this Labor Day weekend for two reasons. One, I didn’t want to get the same photos of drunk people that my classmates would get and two, I like money – I worked. My main thing however, I wanted to get something different, something special. I wanted to take pictures of people getting on and off the buses downtown. Let’s take a moment for a story. Please, get your refreshments, use the restroom… I ‘ll be here waiting until you are ready to hear/read my story.
Ready? I decided I wanted to go to Union Station to take photos of people at 4pm-6pm coming out of the underground bus station. I wanted to try my hand at long exposures and not have the street photo be so much about the people, but more of the essence of the people, the people would not be in focus, only their surroundings would be but still see the “ghosts” of the individuals and what they were doing. Kind of like this photo just below.
To be fair, I already know that that I can’t take photos on private property. I must be on public property to help avoid confrontation with, security guards and police officers (something I have far to much experience with as it is – stories for another time). Knowing this, I figured doing photos at the RTD station would be fine since it is public transportation, tax-payer dollars, and all that.
Well, I get there, I pay my dollar for the meter parking and grab my tripod and camera and walk around – at this point I haven’t been to this place since they remolded it so I wanted to look around at the new stuff. I walk downstairs and I have not taken a single picture, I have my camera and a tripod, nothing else with me other than my phone and identification.
I am walking downstairs and I feel like I am at the airport with all the digital signs and florescent lights and televisions with bus schedules listed. A ticket counter and seating next to doors with large white numbers above them. I poke my head out one of the doors and the bus whirls by, a sign saying, “Please Wait Inside Until the Bus Stops”. I close the door and continue looking around. The area seems to be pretty long and I walk past the ticket counters and decide, I don’t want to be down here, the light kind of sucks, I’d rather be outside. I turn around and head back to the escalators and I notice a security guard walking towards me. I smile and say, “Hello!” and he smiles and says hello back. At this point I was half expecting him to stop me and ask me what I was doing but instead he kept walking. I think I scared him with my nice up beat, “Hello!” and eye contact. I still had yet to lift my camera to my face and shoot anything – nothing would turn out down here without using a tripod and it just wasn’t what I was looking for.
I went back up the escalators and outside, I decide to take photos of the light rail, people waiting for the train, waiting for it to take them to an unknown destination. I walk up to the handicap platform, pass two workers who were in uniform and set up my tripod. It was getting dark outside and I wanted to capture the movement of the people getting on the light rail with a long exposure. HOWEVER! This guy walks up to me and says, ” You cannot take pictures here, it is private property, you need a permit to photograph here.” Confused? I was too, this is a public transportation depot owned by the taxpayers of the city and neighboring communities.
The two guys I had passed to get to where I was, were shocked and stunned that I had set up directly behind them without their knowing. I asked the guard, “Isn’t RTD owned and paid for by the tax payers?” He said no, it was a private company.
“That is why it is called, ‘Public Transportation’, right? Who do I need to talk to in order to get this permit?” I questioned.
“It is a company, a large one down off (insert street names), it is big like Xcel Energy.” He tells me.
“That is all good an well but what is the name of the company? Is it RTD?” I asked. The guy didn’t know he just started saying, “It is just a big privately owned company” again. I got irritated and decided to leave, I was mad I had wasted a whole dollar for parking just to get kicked out of a public area.
A few nights later, my friend Vic and I went back downtown, this time not to the main hub for RTD’s light rail but to a large station that is more popularly used off of Colfax. We went there and there were plenty of people at dusk. The night was just right, people stopping at the bus stop and people stopping at the light rail. It was perfect! Not a single person seemed to mind that I was taking pictures with my camera on a tripod.
Vic and I saw some interesting things, as most people do when they are in a densely populated area with public transportation–people dressed nicely, teenagers, people on skate boards, drunkards, people arguing, people being board and others just simply waiting for their bus. It was a great night and I got the photos I wanted. I wanted to capture the essence of people coming and going not so much the people but more of what they were doing.
The following photos are probably some of my favorites to date that I have created for school. Mine definitely were not like everyone else in the class, they were different, and well enjoyed. The first two are the ones I submitted for a grade, the rest were other favorites of mine.