“Winter Hike” by Robin Conover Canon 5D Mark IV EF 100–400mm at 100mm, fl4.5–5.6 L lens ISO 640, fl5.6 at 1/1,000 second, handheld
Street photography is defined by Wikipedia as “photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents.” Such is this moment I captured last winter.
While photographing landscapes and wildlife on an ice-cold, snowy morning at Radnor Lake State Park and Natural Area in Nashville last year, this gentleman walked into my purview, perfectly completing the scene. Though it may be more trail photography than actual street photography, his presence completes the composition, adding a focal point and scale with his presence.
As the weather had kept most hikers away on this particular day, he was one of the few people I met on the trails. Hiking in solitude, he kept a brisk pace in front of me. I set a fast shutter speed to capture him “frozen” as he was in motion.
Choosing a shutter speed of 1/1,000 of a second does that and helps define his body language with a sense of movement. A slower shutter speed under 1/30 of a second would have allowed his arms and legs to blur as he moved, losing the desired effect.
I adjusted the exposure manually and metered in the center of the trees hanging over the road rather than the whole scene. Bright snow can throw your camera’s meter off by making it read the scene as much brighter than it actually is.
He and I spoke for a few moments, each of us commenting on what we had seen on our separate hikes that day. He told me that he was a caretaker for his ailing wife and that others were with her that day so he could take a needed break.
As he hurriedly walked away to get back home, I wondered how many times they had hiked here together. I saw that while she might never be able to join him again here, he still found these familiar trails to be a respite and a place of healing for his soul.