When Henri Cartier Bresson was asked about what made a great composition he simply replied “Geometry.”
I had this in mind when I found myself staying in a 34th floor apartment in Toronto recently. The view across the city and to the next door CN Tower was amazing. However, it was the view immediately below that fascinated me. I was transfixed by the ant-like people. They manoeuvred themselves along the busy streets, stopping at junctions and then beginning their immaculately choreographed street dance again. All of this movement was punctuated by the road markings and street furniture which would not even be worth a second glance for a local resident. To a tourist and street photographer, these were things of beauty.
It’s a great gift to photographers that new places allow you to see things with the fresh eyes denied to the locals. I loved the yellow and red taxis, the yellow fire hydrants, the stop signs, billboards and fire engines. Those colours just ... popped!
My usual street photography set up involves a 35mm equivalent lens on my Fuji x100f. However, that would have been useless up there. Instead I reached for a 300mm lens; something that would be impractical and highly unusual in street photography where Capa’s maxim of getting in close is sacrosanct. I needed those 300 millimetres to frame the shots I wanted; shutting out so much of the busy streets and just focusing on the geometry below.
Something a little different from me - but all the more satisfying for it.