Getting out there
I've just moved to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. It's a very photogenic city to say the least and I'm seeing opportunities for photos everywhere. But it is strange, I don't seem to have the guts to just start shooting. I feel a bit uncomfortable showing my big, glossy camera. I'm not afraid to be robbed, it is just such a luxurious thing in a poor world. Second, I'm not sure how to approach people and how they are going to respond when I take pictures of them. Do I first start a conversation, in crooked French, and then ask if I can take pictures? If they are beggars, do I pay them something? How do I show them that I'm really interested in them and don't want to take advantage of them?
I'm sure I'll figure it out sooner or later. I did go out for about ten minutes this morning and had a lovely conversation with a guy who sells water. His friend immediately wanted me to take a picture of his coffee stand and it was actually quite a lot of fun. But then in my nervousness I messed up with getting the lightning right and the images sharp. There is so much to learn!
I have decided that next time I go out in the streets, I'll take my point-and-shoot camera, so I can practice approaching people and situations, so by the time I've practiced more on my techniques, I will be able to freely photograph and take quality pics, hopefully :-)