Sometimes when I do walking tours in the inner city, I don’t have time to take proper photographs. Some parts of the city are just too busy, and I have to prioritize keeping up with the rest of the group over stopping to compose pretty pictures. I’ve written about this conundrum before in a previous post, Stolen Shots of Hillbrow.
Such was the case a couple of weeks ago when I toured Little Addis — Joburg’s bustling Ethiopain district — with JoburgPlaces. It was a busy Saturday and the city was packed. If I stopped to take photos I would become lost in a sea of shopping mayhem.
See what I mean?
Plus, in circumstances like that, pausing to shoot a scene often ruins the scene. Once the person I want to photograph sees me stop and raise my camera, the moment is lost.
So, I developed a new style of shooting on this Little Addis tour. I held my camera at my side, and when I saw an interesting scene I simply pointed the lens, held down the shutter, shot a series of frames, and hoped for the best. In most cases I hardly stopped walking, if at all, and my subjects had little or no idea that I was photographing them.
I’m pretty happy with some of the results. In keeping with the spontaneous method I used to shoot these photos, I am posting them without edits. No cropping, no lightening, no sharpening, etc. What you see is an uncut version of what my camera shot.
Side note: If you want to learn more about Little Addis, check out this post I wrote a couple of years ago.
Watching the world go by. I like how the focus wound up on the woman to the left.
I love the colors in this shop, which seems to sell nothing but nappies (diapers).
Pretty socks. Only one shoe.
Anyone know what this game is called?
Inside the Joburg Mall again. One man amidst a sea of plastic packages and mannequin heads.
The Joburg Mall is full of weird mannequins, which I love. I’m not sure what to say about the one on the right…So many thoughts come to mind but none of them are appropriate for this blog.
This guy asked me to take his photo as I crossed a very busy street. I shot quickly to avoid being run over.
Ethiopian coffee beans roasting. I obviously didn’t shoot this photo using the walk-and-shoot strategy described above. I was sitting down at this point, about to drink some delicious coffee and eat some delicious Ethiopian food.
View of Jeppe Street from the veranda of the Ethiopian restaurant where we ate. Great street to photograph, horrible street to drive.
I love, love, love Little Addis. It’s one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Jozi. If you like Ethiopian culture and food, or think there’s a chance that you might, you should go there. Both JoburgPlaces and Ancient Secrets do Little Addis tours.
This photo display style serves a dual purpose, by the way. I am struggling with time management at the moment and actually didn’t have time to edit these pics, even if I’d wanted to. Please let me know what you think — maybe I’ll go uncut more often.