Dear Street Hunters,
The summer is upon us, at least for all of us on the northern hemisphere and everything feels and possibly is more relaxed and toned down. The summer is a perfect time for experimentation, trying out new and exciting things or just moving out of our comfort zones in order to see what will happen. That usually happens automatically by just going on holiday, but as Street Hunters, we can also adjust our Street Photography behavioural patterns to adapt to new habits and situations, just to spice things up.
As you might have guessed, here at StreetHunters.net (here being a virtual plane of existence, since we are everywhere and nowhere but exist as digital information within the matrix of the web) we have had an itch for a break. So, we thought that it would be just great to take a week or two off and recharge our batteries while at the same time shooting Street Photography without the pressure of having to make a good shot in order to share it on a daily basis on our website. Switching to summer mode gives the brain a chance to think on other levels and in different speeds and gives us all the opportunity to take on a fun awesome summer project. A project that doesn’t feel like a project, but more like a game! Great huh?
Street Photography Summer Projects
So, below is a list of cool ideas you can adopt as summer projects. Things that can be fun, exciting and challenging. You don’t have to admit to anyone you are taking on a project, you don’t even have to admit it to your self really, just set your mind towards one path and let it all happen for you, without pressure, without restrictions. Enjoy Street Photography to it’s fullest, have a great time, take a break from trying to follow whatever rules you have unwillingly set upon your Street Photography style! Break the rules, break your routine, do something new.
- If you are a digital camera user don’t take your digital camera with you on holiday. You will most probably have a smartphone so don’t panic! Instead of a digital camera, get your hands on a cheap film camera, be it a rangefinder, a compact camera or an SLR, grab yourself some rolls of film and forget about anything digital for a week or two. Go totally off digital photography and shoot film. Shoot it as you would shoot digital or not, do whatever you like, but shoot film! Try and slow down. Examine the light, feel the art of photography. Learn about film and evolve as a Street Photographer while having fun!
- If you are a film / analogue Street Photographer that loves shooting film do the opposite. When you go on holiday, get a cheap digital camera, they are all so good these days and forget about the slow process of film and don’t worry any more about how many frames you have left! Free your self, go trigger happy (or shutter happy), use the in camera filters, try out shooting the same shot over and over again until you get the result you want, but most importantly have fun! Learn about digital and evolve as a Street Photographer!
- If you are a digital photographer that mainly shoots B&W photos, then try something different for a change! Spend all of your summer holidays shooting in colour and promise your self you will not fire up NIK Silver Efex to work on any of your summer photography! Keep them colourful and vibrant and train your eye and your mind to look out for colour combinations in your Street Photography!
- If you are a digital photographer that shoots mainly in colour, then try switching to B&W for the summer! To make sure you don’t feel the temptation of using your photos in colour later, switch your camera to JPG shooting and Black and White. That way, your camera will not capture the colour information at all and you will not have the option of looking at your photo in colour. Something like what happens when shooting with B&W film. There is no going back! By shooting in B&W all the time, you will train your eye and mind to look for good compositions, shapes, geometry and shadows. Great fun!
- Try doing Beach Street Photography! What is that? Just take a look at Martin Parr’s “Last Resort” and you will understand. Grab your camera, hit the beaches and shoot people while they are doing their thing. This can be quite a challenging project, because you will probably be the center of attention, especially if you use a huge DSLR or something big like that, but the results should be great!
- Get your self the cheapest underwater camera and take that with you when you hit the beach. Instead of shooting beach shots of people relaxing outside the water, go crazy and shoot people under water while swimming. Combine that with flash photography and get stunning, out of this world results. Shoot people diving into water at high speeds, freeze them while splashing in the sea, while getting a bucket of water tossed into their faces, do whatever comes to mind, anything you like! Have fun and learn how light behaves underwater.
- Challenge yourself to use a flash all the time! Use flash to fill your subjects neutralising the shadows, use flash to make Street Portraits in the golden hour (this time of day is important) and then when it gets dark hit the Streets in the dead of night and Flash, Flash, Flash!!! If someone chases you, just run!
- Do silhouette photography! Summer is ideal for silhouette photography because the sun sets slowly and the colours on the sky are usually awesome! Shoot people that are backlit during dusk and capture their outlines, their silhouettes.
- Go completely manual! Forget about P Mode, A or TV Mode, S Mode and the likes! Use your camera in manual mode. Learn how it works, experiment. Try and understand what happens when you switch down a stop but keep the same shutter speed and the same ISO settings. Learn how to take control of the highlights, the shadows and exposure in general. Use manual focus and learn how to zone focus or use the hyperfocal distance to keep everything in focus! Have fun and experiment!
- Visit your local summer festivals and concerts and try and get some awesome crowd shots! Crowd shots are very, very hard to get right. They usually look too busy and without purpose, but if you approach this task with a relaxed, “I don’t give a rat’s ear” sort of attitude, you could just get some keepers! Try and mingle, become one with the crowd, get involved and take your shots with only one thing in mind. To have fun!
Bonus summer project
If you have never shot Street while listening to your favourite music, then now is the time. Grab your iPod or your music device of choice, pump it up with your favourite tunes, turn up the volume so you can’t hear anything else but the music and hit the Streets! Look at people, imagine you are in a video clip, you are somewhere not real, you are part of a game, or part of a virtual reality. Once you are into that mood, whip up your camera and start making some street photos. You will most probably be looked at, but because you will be completely focused on what you are doing you will not even notice and you will have an amazing time! When I do this, I like having a pint beforehand. Of course this is not something that the StreetHunters.net brand propagates. This is just what I do.
So there you have it. Some fun things to do while on your summer break! I for one will be hitting the beaches this summer and shooting some film! I will try and get close and shoot some Kodak Ektar 100, just so I can get some really awesome, vivid colours!
So, what are you going to do StreetHunters!?!? What are your Summer Projects going to be about!? Please share in the comments below!