To think that I used to hate shooting street photography by myself! Not having someone to talk to about the art and the process, someone to share instant results/LCD screens with, seemed lonely to me. Lately, however, I've come to appreciate the solitude of shooting street solo. Often times I'll throw my jazz playlist on in Spotify, and other times I prefer to listen to the unique sounds of the streets while I shoot. When I'm alone I get to linger. I get to be patient, to wait for a shot that I know can be something but hasn't manifested itself yet. Whether it takes 5 minutes or an hour, when I'm alone I can trust my vision and wait. Most of the times, that patience rewards you. It has become pretty clear to me now that you reach a higher state of concentration and immersion into the art when you go at it alone, with no distractions or outside influences. While I will always enjoy shooting street with other photographers, observing their processes and listening to their philosophies, I'm truly starting to appreciate the solitude of street photography.
"This state, in which nothing definite is thought, planned, striven for, desired or expected, which aims in no particular direction and yet knows itself capable alike of the possible and the impossible, so unswerving is its power -this state, which is at bottom purposeless and egoless, was called by the Master truly "spiritual." It is in fact charged with spiritual awareness and is therefore also called "right presence of mind." This means that the mind or spirit is present everywhere, because it is nowhere attached to any particular place. And it can remain present because, even when related to this or that object, it does not cling to it by reflection and thus lose its original mobility. Like water filling a pond, which is always ready to flow off again, it can work its inexhaustible power because it is free, and be open to everything because it is empty. This state is a primordial state, and its symbol, the empty circle, is not empty of meaning for him who stands within it. Out of the fullness of this presence of mind, disturbed by no ulterior motive, the artist who is released from all attachment must practice his art. " - Zen in the Art of Archery. Eugene Herrigel.
I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend out in L.A. with part of my NVC fam (AD, Jasz & Jorge). I had some time to wander around and shoot street in Long Beach, DTLA and Venice Beach, where we ended up in a magical drum circle during sunset. Below are some of my favorite shots from those sessions.