This week’s challenge: One Street Portrait Every 10 Minutes with the Fuji X-T1

Hello everybody!

We passed through Seattle on Monday and I had an hour to wander the streets with a camera.  Because I only had such a short period of time I wanted to focus my shooting efforts, and gave myself the challenge of meeting one new person and shooting one decent street portrait every ten minutes.

Camera Speak:  For this trip I had brought the Fuji X-T1.  Normally I shoot all of my street photography with the tiny, quiet Fuji X100s, but we were planning a trip to the zoo and I wanted to have a wide range of zoom options available.  All of the shots below were taken with a Fuji X-T1 and the 18-55mm lens.  The camera was set to Aperture Priority, aiming for an aperture of f/8 to provide sufficient depth of field for street shooting.  I usually set auto ISO when street shooting, letting the camera set an ISO that maintains a shutter speed of at least 1/125th.  The Fuji X-T1 is amazing up to ISO 3200 (and ISO 6400 is useable with a little post production) so I am happy to let the camera drive a little bit.

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As always, WordPress compression kills landscape images.    Please click each image to view large without compression.

Portrait One:

As I was waiting for a beverage I watched this young lady serve customer after customer with an amazingly happy attitude.  True to form she had no problem posing for a quick portrait:


Portrait Two:

This gentleman, and his companion, were hanging out at Pike Place Market.   I hate to say it but with their appearance and the ocean behind them all I could think of was “Pirate”!   They had a well rehearsed routine and clearly worked as performers in that area often.

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Portrait Three:

This gentleman is former USMC.  When we were talking he told me he was from Texas.  I asked how he like the weather in Seattle (being from the South) and he told me that after you grow up in south Texas, and spend a couple of tours overseas in deserts, the weather in Seattle is juuuust fine.

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Portrait Four:

I initially stopped to take an image here because of the juxtoposition of somebody panhandling in front of an armoured car…. and then I read this sign.

This gentleman is also from down south.  His opinion of Seattle weather was the exact opposite of the gentleman in portrait three.

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Portrait Five:

A very sweet lady in Pike Place Market.  We never spoke…. I just held up my camera as she spoke with customers, she nodded and smiled, I clicked the shutter.  Done.

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Portrait Six:

This gentleman has traveled the west coast for years, Alaska to Mexico.  His dog was brilliant, a constant source of attention and hopefully revenue.

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Of course, there are always those candid moments you see when you are out wandering the streets.

These kids were clearly done:


But this dude on the other hand:  I have no idea what he was listening to on his iPod, but he should get the steering wheel air drummer of the year award.

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And, finally, this father and daughter.  Just a cute image.


Seattle is a fabulous city for street photography.  I highly recommend it, and also recommend giving yourself a photo assignment when you head out for the day.  Only shoot one theme.  Only shoot one colour.  Set your camera to black and white.  Give yourself a challenge!

Nerd Speak:  All images shot on the Fui X-T1 with the 18-55 lens.

2 thoughts on “This week’s challenge: One Street Portrait Every 10 Minutes with the Fuji X-T1

  1. JJ says:

    I’d love to know what you say, by way of “asking” about taking your photos…
    Do you just say “hi, I’m a street photographer, I’d love to take your portrait ?”
    Great images BTW Ian..

    • Ian says:

      Hey Josh!

      Pretty much, yes. 🙂

      I’ve found people can get weirded out when you are…. “awkward”.

      If you just make eye contact, smile, hold up your camera, and say “hello! My name is XXX. I’m a portrait photographer and I love your (smile, hat, eyes, tattoo, etc). Would you mind if I made a quick portrait?”

      You’ll get turned down, but you’ll be surprised by how many people say yes too!

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