Personal Views

Find inspiration in street photography cover

I’m not afraid to admit that I am currently going through somewhat of a creative block with my street photography. I am feeling rather listless with regards to the street photos I have been creating of late, and not enjoying the process of shooting much either. Part of this stems from a feeling of general frustration I have with shooting in my hometown – I’ve mentioned before how I find it so much easier to shoot when I’m on the road, and why I think travelling is so important for street photography, but I can’t always rely on travelling to get me out of the gutter, nor can I think I can get away with being a purely fair weather street photographer (both in a literal sense and a metaphorical one). So, there are clearly times when I need to learn how to try and force myself to be more sharp and get the creative juices flowing. To develop as a street photographer I feel I need to be prolific, because virtually without fail the only way to get really good at something is practice at it really hard until it becomes second nature. To do that I need to be able to get myself in the zone and that means making the most of all my opportunities, but also trying out new methods to galvanise myself and think creatively in order to get inspired. So I’ve put together a list below of techniques I’m currently experimenting with to help myself out of a creative rut. If you’ve experienced similar problems of frustrations in shooting in your hometown, I highly recommend you give Spyros’ article on how to get over the boredom of shooting street photos in the same location every day. There is some overlap, but my list covers a mixture of things that include both activities out on the street and broader ways of changing my mindset, so hopefully something from this will work! Read on for more…

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10 reasons I use manual in street photography cover

As tech progresses further and further we find more and more that we need to do less and less to make things happen. Cars can now swap cogs, brake automatically, and in some respects drive far better than people can manage. Homes are becoming ‘smart’, with auto lights and heating, and Wi-Fi enabled everything. The great march towards automation is the Holy Grail for manufacturers, and will in all likelihood come to define and dramatically shape how we live our lives this century. Naturally of course, the drive of automation has been embraced by camera manufacturers too over the last half century or so, with the arrival of built-in light meters, auto winders, automatic exposure modes, motor drive, autofocus and TTL flash – the list goes on and on. And all this is hardly surprising. There’s a lot to think about in photography, and auto modes take so much of the hassle out of the process, paring it back for the majority of users so all they need to worry about is pressing the shutter. As well as their portability and always-with-you convenience, a big aspect of the success of smartphones and iPhones as cameras is the effectiveness of their fully auto camera controls. With each new phone or software update the technology gets better and better, with the phone doing more and more of the work to easily produce great looking pictures exactly how the user envisaged. Hell, the newest iPhone can now even make ‘professional’ style shallow depth of field portrait photos! But there remains something brilliantly satisfying about using manual controls in photography, in much the same way as it’s great fun to drive a fully manual sports car. And in street photography in particular, I personally feel that shooting fully manual is the best way for me to get the results I want, and get maximum enjoyment from the experience. Why? Well, let me first explain exactly what I mean by ‘fully manual” and then give you my personal run-down of the 10 reasons why I shoot in manual mode for street photography.

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What I learned from Film Street Photography cover

ATTENTION

The following views do not necessarily represent the views of the whole StreetHunters team.


Still, in 2017 the debate between digital and film rages on. Digital may have won the technological and consumer battle, but the struggle for hearts and minds continues ad infinitum. There continue to be countless street photographers who love shooting with film and maintain that it is the best way to go. Film still offers one of the best bang-for-your-buck initial investments into the world of cameras and particularly street photography (though more on that later), and is a fully traditional process practiced by the great masters of street photography, and a medium that has been refined through years and years of gentle evolution. It is grown-up, mature, tried and tested. Digital, by contrast (and in the grand scheme of things) is still in its infancy. While it has overtaken film in several technical aspects – light sensitivity (ISO) and size (ie the ability to squeeze sensors and cameras into our smartphones) being just two examples – in other respects digital continues to evolve and require finessing. The digital street photographer is still playing and experimenting with a medium in flux, and one where they still (if successfully lured into it) have to take part in the constant arms race and never ending hamster wheel of new gear (read sensors) through gear acquisition syndrome. It’s not necessary, but it’s an easy trap to fall into. No such issues with film. And then there’s that intangible quality. The utterly subjective (and to an extent invented) and the mythical. The glorious analogue nature of a process that as times seems like witchcraft made real. Light and chemistry coming together to create something not alive, but packed full of character and imperfection. Where silicon wafers and ones and zeros are replaced with something altogether more powerful. Something with soul. Or so it goes. As a millennial, raised on 35mm disposal and compact cameras in the ‘90s but cutting my teeth and really ‘learning’ solely on digital in the noughties, I owed it to myself to give film a shot. So read on for my experience of using film in street photography.

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Street Photography Image Problem Cover

ATTENTION

The following views do not necessarily represent the views of the whole StreetHunters team.


As I fire off another frame because I’m out ‘shooting on the streets’ and I feel compelled to, I often wonder just what the point of it all is. The same feeling often pervades me as I browse through my Lightroom catalogue. Hundreds and thousands of street photos but just what am I striving for? When I get into this kind of mindset I often begin to think about the concept of street photography as a whole, and the more I do, the more I begin to wonder about the genre itself, whether there are some real issues that need addressing, and specifically, does street photography have an image problem?

I edited this blog post on 6/5/2017 to include a reference to an article by Michael Sweet which I had forgotten about – thank you to Karen Commings for the reminder!

Street photography is a type of photography that aims to document everyday life. If you’re set to master street photography, give these tips a go and you’ll be on the right track.

Unlike other types of photography, street photography is generally about taking candid photos of people in public. It aims to capture stories and emotions without the influence of the photographer, which is, let’s all face it, not an easy thing to master.

But don’t lose hope! Every great photographer starts somewhere. To help you get started on your journey to becoming an impressive street photographer, follow these essential tips.

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Anxiety in Street Photography Cover

NOTE: This is a Guest Blog post written by Dan Ginn exclusively for www.streethunters.net.


Anxiety can be a terrible feeling to live with. It can be so constant in your life that it follows you even more than your own shadow. Over thinking situations combined with creating fear within moments that haven’t even happened, can be all too damaging to a person’s all-round wellbeing. I constantly live my life battling my own anxiety, sometimes in healthy ways and sometimes in not so healthy ways. I find myself in a constant fight to find peace and contentment. Anxiety affects me in all walks of life; work, friendships, relationships right through to making day to day decisions. With this in mind, it is not a surprise it also creates conflict within my art, even in times when I am trying my best to use it as inspiration to do something creative.

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10 Reasons I Love Street Photography Digby cover

I have been dreading this day. You have probably noticed that we three Streethunters editors take it in turns to write a ‘big’ article every week. We call them feature posts, and it’s a chance for us to wax lyrical about anything street photography we like. Andrew will often put out an awesome book review or a comprehensive under the influence analysis of some cracking street photographer, and Spyros will review some street photography gear, launch a new street hunt video, or debrief about the latest street photography jaunt he’s been on. Well, this week was my turn, and I had nothing. Zilch. Nada. I was utterly bereft of ideas of what to write about. I’ve had some things going on over the last few weeks which has meant that street photography has had to take a bit of a back seat. Without being able to get out and about with my camera I’ve been a bit stuck for inspiration. So I started to look through some of the old articles on the streethunters.net website. And I hit a goldmine. Both Andrew and Spyros have picked the 10 reasons why they love street photography, but since I’ve joined the team I haven’t got round to it. And what better way to rekindle my passion and get myself back in the groove than remind myself why street photography is so awesome in the first place? So, strap in for the 10 reasons why I love street photography!

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Using a 35mm Lens for Street Photography Cover

Introduction

We all like to chop and change our lens selections from time to time. One of the things I have discovered as I have practiced street photography more and more is that a prime lens is perfect for street photography. There are several reasons for this, but that’s a story for another time. But once you’ve decided that you prefer prime lenses over zoom lenses for street photography a problem presents itself. Which focal length should you choose? After all, you can’t simply switch focal lengths as you would with a zoom lens. You may remember a while back I wrote about my experiences using a 50mm lens for street photography. I’ve also talked about why I currently feel that the 28mm is the perfect street photography lens. This time round I’ve decided to focus on the photojournalist’s holy grail – the 35mm lens. So read on for my pros and cons of using a 35mm lens for street photography!

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Action Cam Street Photography Cover

Street Photography with the Sony HDR-AS20 Action Cam

Recently I decided to try something alternative with my street photography. I’m finding that the more different cameras I shoot with, the more I learn about photography and the more I broaden my skills and experience. So far my street photography has been focused on shooting with dedicated cameras – namely DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. I haven’t yet tried my hand at street photography with a smartphone, although I intend to.

Action Cam Street Photography 1

Those of you who are familiar with our street hunt videos will be aware that we shoot our videos by mounting ‘action cams’ in a rig on the hotshoes of our cameras. The weapon of choice for both Spyros Papaspyropoulos and myself is two variants of the Sony HDR-AS Action Cam. This is essentially Sony’s rival to the GoPro. They offer 1080p HD video as well as absolutely essential (for our videos) image stabilisation. I used the Sony a couple of times for still photos on the beach and in the pool, and I was pretty impressed with the image quality from the 11.9MP Exmor sensor, as well as the effects from the super wide angle lens. I decided that this, combined with the action cam’s tiny size, might make for an interesting combination on the streets. So I tried using the Sony HDR-AS20 action cam for street photography. Here’s what I learned:

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Back in May we began our annual search for the most influential street photographers of the year, asking you, our readers, to submit names and ultimately vote to decide the 20 Most Influential Street Photographers for 2016 according to the Streethunters.net Readers. As is often the case with our ‘most influential street photographers’ search, our poll generated a fair amount of controversy. Some of it was warranted, and some of it was down to people not fully understanding the nature of the poll. We learn something from the feedback from the posts each year, so this year we decided to write a ‘debrief’ of sorts to help understand and interpret the polls, and to show that we take our feedback very seriously. So read on for the Street Hunters debrief of the results of the 20 Most Influential Street Photographers of 2016!