A Dapper Ajusshi on Crutches

A Dapper Gentleman on Crutches

Well, I’m happy to type that my LC-A is up and running properly again. It had a bit of a sticky shutter and wasn’t firing consistently, but everything’s working nicely now that it’s been serviced.

This street photo was from my first roll after getting the LC-A repaired a week or so ago. I shot it from the hip so to speak, in stride, while I was crossing the street. The LC-A is great for this kind of discrete photography since it’s a zone focusing camera. I simply set it to what I believed to be the proper distance from me and the subject – 1.5 meters in this case. As I neared this dapper ajusshi ( a common Korean term for middle aged man )  and got within a meter and a half or so, I simply held the camera by my stomach, directed it towards him did my best to compose the shot. I snapped the photo mid stride and casually continued across the street, hopped up the curb and walked away as I advanced the film to the next frame.

I don’t think he or anyone else noticed that a photograph was taken. I must admit that this is not the easiest way to capture a candid street portrait. The composition could have easily been off, the focusing not crisp…so many things could have gone wrong. Yet, with some practice and patience I’ve gotten pretty decent at taking street photos in this manner. Sure I could use a zoom lens from half a block a way, but where’s the fun and adventure in that? Lately I’ve been studying up on some famous photographers from the past – Diane Arbus, W.Eugene Smith, Alfred Eisenstaedt, to mention a few.  It seemed these brilliant photographers were always right up close to their subjects. This proximity added a certain dynamic to their images. Bill Eppridge, the late Life Magazine photojournalist best known for capturing Robert Kennedy’s assassination, once said “I want a photograph of a person to have a sense of intimacy, of being there. You lose this with an extremely long lens, or shooting from a high or a low angle. Whenever possible, I use a 50mm lens and shoot right at a person, dead on.” So, I’m doing my best to mimic the masters. All the street photographs you’ve seen on this site were captured without the use of zoom lenses. This dapper gentleman was captured with a Lomo LC-A ( and it’s fixed 32 mm lens ) on Kodak Tmax 400 film, personally pushed one stop in the darkroom with Kodak D76. © Patrick Bresnahan

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