The Importance of Gesture

Hey You! - New York - 2014

In his street photography workshop, Jay Maisel stresses “go for the gesture over the graphics” when shooting images. Light and color are important – but most of the street photography we think of as “among our best” have some powerful gesture as part of them.

This image is an example. I shot this on the way to lunch at Katz’s Deli on Houston Street the second day of Jay’s workshop. We were walking up a relatively narrow street when we came upon this construction site. What caught my eye was the triangular wire shape hanging down from a crane. But what makes this picture powerful is the construction worker pointing directly at me with his finger. He wasn’t happy with me – and it came across with this initial gesture!

Of all of the nearly 2,000 images I came home with following the workshop, this is one of the best gesture images – and also the only one that I recall upsetting the subject as I was taking the picture!

Shot with my Fujifilm X-T1 – processed in Lightroom 5.

See also my post about this image and Jay’s workshop on InMenlo.com.

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