After a fairly long and relatively successful run as a software entrepreneur, three years ago I embarked on a path to reinvent myself as a fine-art/documentary photographer. Dramatic life changes such as this are never as easy as they might seem, but photography is far more rewarding, emotionally and spiritually, than debugging C++ code.
My first love is street photography, in black-and-white, using small, unobtrusive rangefinder cameras. People, usually random and anonymous, are essential elements of these photographs. My preferred method is to see and photograph—but not be seen.
Street photography is a very liberating experience for me. After years being cooped up in an office, getting out into the world is a joy. And I’ve found my camera opens the door to meet people (usually not the same people that I photograph), and I have made friends on both sides of the Atlantic after my camera offered an initial introduction.
When seeking out photographs, most of the time I simply start walking. This method works best in the cities of Europe for the old-school-style street photographs I prefer (think Henri Cartier-Bresson). It works occasionally at home in the United States too, but I often find the results less satisfying.
On these photo treks, my little camera, usually affixed with a wide-angle lens, becomes part of my right hand, and I just see where my feet take me. Coffee shops, known or unknown, are welcome stops along the way.