“So why not live with the magic? Be a kid again and believe in the fantastical. Life is more fun with a little smoke and mirrors.” ― L.H. Conway

Photography…Is it all just Smoke and Mirrors?  The term Smoke and Mirrors is a metaphor for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. The source of this name is based on a Magicians Illusions where they are able to make objects appear or disappear with the sleight of hand, often with the use of mirrors and a distracting burst of smoke.

To be quite honest when I first studied photography, I felt like I had joined a secret society where information was not willingly or freely imparted. Our teachers were good at their craft, but did not teach any of the magic associated with the art of photography. It was not until I watched them at work that I started to understand the process. Each time I went out on a photo shoot I felt like I had to pull a rabbit out of my hat. The magic happens, but it took a very long time for my work to become consistently good. I always knew I had potential, but I never understood how to reach this potential. How to learn this magic!
These days there are many photographers willing to share their secrets and show their workflow. When I first watched Trey Ratcliffe tutorials, I discovered that there was a collective knowledge on the internet that is unprecedented, many tutorials on YouTube will take you through a step by step process of how images were taken and processed.
This image was taken at 1/60 sec to capture the motion blur of the cyclist, I like that a suggestion of person that gives this subject anonymity. I often use presets in Lightroom as a starting point for processing,  this preset is called ‘Dark Memory’ and was created by Lindsay Adler, although I have adjusted it for this image, I liked that it brings out the structure of the ornate doorway of this Mosque.
I enjoy the use of mirrors and other reflective surfaces to add interest to my images. This picture that you see reflected in the mirror, was actually a TV screen that was set as if it were framed Art during the day, they watched football by night. The subject here is the picture in the cafe and the telephone, you may not have seen the chef in the background until I mentioned him.
 In this final image of an artist sketching the statues inside the Louvre, I have used radial filters to highlight and direct our eye to his artwork by increasing the exposure and clarity.
Street Photography resonates with me more than any other genre, I want to produce images that feel real to me, not manufactured on a computer. Images that feel personal. Post processing can but used to create a mood and add impact, but generally I want people to notice the image not the processing.
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Have you watched any good tutorials on Street photography?