Personal Views

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Cover Photo from post

Introduction

Most photographers (myself included) will often go through a period when they worry about their choice of gear. Both the blessing and the curse of getting more into photography and learning about camera equipment is that you realise how good some specialised equipment is for some types of photography, and how bad it is for others. Someone in search of wide landscape shots isn’t going to get on very well with a 300mm lens for instance, and a wide angle lens is far from ideal if you want to take photos of birds in flight. These examples are obviously more extreme, but it’s surprising the nuanced differences that you’ll find over just a small change in focal length, especially in a genre as demanding as street photography. 26mm, 22mm, 15mm or 10mm of difference in ‘reach’ or wideness between lenses can make all the difference between getting a shot or missing one. With this in mind, and having shot street photography extensively with a mix of focal lengths from 16mm to 50mm, I’d like to offer my thoughts on using a 50mm lens for street photography.

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What is Street Photography?

Introduction

Uh oh. Deep breath. I’m sticking my neck out and putting my head on the proverbial block as I’m going to attempt the impossible and try and define street photography. So strap yourselves in, this is sure to be a bumpy ride.

I’m going to start with the mother of all kop outs though – art is subjective. It is totally and utterly subjective. One artist’s creation will be viewed as a work of unparalleled genius by some, while others will see it as mediocre, average, or just plain boring. Or maybe it won’t even stir any emotion at all in them. I remember giving a presentation at high school where I had to pick my favourite work of art and my least favourite. I chose a Ralph Goings photorealistic painting as my favourite, and an Anselm Kiefer creation as my least favourite. My art teacher and many of my classmates were appalled – I’d committed heresy! Equally Edward Hopper’s paintings used to bore me – now I look at Nighthawks and I almost want to weep because it exudes such a power over me. What I’m trying to say is that art is so fluid and dynamic that applying definitive, absolute labels to it, or pigeonholing it into ‘genres’ is not really feasible, and in a few years our opinions about it might change anyway. But I shall give it a go.

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Introduction

New Year’s resolutions. I don’t think I ever kept one! In truth, I think I forget about them after a month or so. Why? Being lazy is a big reason. Getting too comfortable in my ways. Change is hard, especially when we’re comfortable. But the reality is usually this: I just think I’m comfortable. Routine can be easily confused with comfort. Being set in your ways does not necessarily equal comfort. Not only that, but it leads to stagnation. No change. No growth. No evolution.

But I speak for myself, not for everyone. Some people may not need change, but I know I do. Not only as a person, but as a Street Hunter. For a little while now, I’ve felt I hit a wall with my photography. The same places. The same routines. The same style. The same shot. And worse yet, shooting less frequently. All these things can lead to creative death. And that can put someone on the fast track to just giving up on photography altogether. And that is, by far, the worst case scenario.

That being said, I made myself some promises in regards to my photography. Resolutions for this new year. Some will be easy to work at, some, maybe not. But I’m going to work at them with vigor and hopefully get the ship righted and on course. Let me share them with you!

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Photo by Thomas Leuthard, Street Photographer

NOTE: This is a Guest Blog post written by Thomas Leuthard for www.streethunters.net


Introduction

After five years of intense street photography with different cameras I chose to shoot some time with my mobile phone. The reason for that is simple. First of all, I had not always been carrying a camera and also got bored using it. It seemed to me that my subject was repetitive and redundant. I didn’t see a lot of new things and thought about stopping street photography. After purchasing a new mobile phone, I signed up for Instagram again after years of inactivity there. The decision was clear. I wanted to shoot Instagram only for 50 days and built up a community there.

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The Best Camera for Street Photography

Introduction

Dear StreetHunters.net Readers,

Before you continue reading this post, I want to let you know that this post isn’t about a specific camera make or model, it isn’t about a product that exists out there. No, not at all. This blog post is about the perfect camera that I would like to have in my hands when hitting the streets. It is a selection of features (options) I love in cameras but can’t find them all in one specific one. So just to make things clear, I am not going to present a Fujifilm, a Sony or a Ricoh. A DSLR, a MILC (CSC) or a Compact. This is purely a list of features that I would like my perfect everyday Street Photography camera to have.

I invite you to read and share your ideas

So if you work for one of the amazing Camera companies and you are looking for ideas on how to make the perfect camera for the streets, I kindly ask you to take a look. If you are a Street Photographer like me and find that I have missed something, or you don’t agree with everything and you would like to make another suggestion, please do so! Through conversation and brainstorming we can come up together with the most awesome camera concept to date. I will start by sharing my initial thoughts and then you, dear StreetHunter.net Reader can add to these thoughts and make the idea better and better and better. I would really appreciate any participation. A comment with a single idea. A large paragraph of ideas. Anything. Whatever you post in the comments, I will add it to the bottom of the list, together with your name and current camera model (as long as you provide me with that info).

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Olympus Trip

Well, I did “it”.

I succumbed to peer pressure. Analog bullying, if you will.

I bought a film camera.

You might be saying, “pfft, what’s the big deal?” Well, it is a big deal. I’ve been a digital loyalist from the get-go. I’ve triumphed the ease and convenience of digital cameras for over a year. It’s all I know. Now, in my second full year of being “into” photography, it’s all I’ve shot. An Olympus e620 and the wonderful Sony NEX 5n and 6 cameras. I’ve been so in love with NEX cameras, that I believed I’d never stray. I own three prime lenses, the Sony 35mm and 50mm 1.8 and the Sigma 30mm 2.8. I love them all, but the 35 stays mounted most of the time. The NEX 6 and these lenses still surprise me to this day. How can this quirky looking camera and these relatively inexpensive pieces of glass produce great images with a novice (yes, I still consider myself a novice) behind the lens?

And the speed and ease of it all. Everything is fast. Fun putting the camera up, to downplaying the images and then to editing.

Ah, editing. So easy. I just adjust a few sliders in Lightroom and voila! Done! And I know squat about Lightroom. I’ve only been using it for a few months and really have no idea of what it’s capable of. Someday, I’ll get on that. I have a book. The free time I have, if not spent shooting, is looking at images or reading about great photographers.

So why, why did I buy a film camera?

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One Camera & One Lens for Street Photography

Introduction

Ever since I have started shooting Street Photography I have been a strong advocate of the “One Camera & One Lens for Street Photography” philosophy. If you don’t know of the term, it is pretty self explanatory. It means that I like shooting with one camera and one lens without making any change to my setup while on a project / assignment or just a photowalk. Personally I like simplifying things even more by making that lens a prime lens, always. I feel that zoom lenses do not count for “one” lens. They count for as many lenses as the available focal length offers. So for a example a 16-50mm zoom lens, can shoot like a 16mm lens, a 17mm lens, an 18mm lens and so on and so forth all the way up to a 50mm lens. When I go on a Street Hunt, I take only one camera with one prime lens with me and leave the rest of my gear at home. Have you tried this? You should and here are the reasons why.

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Let your pictures marinate picture 1

Introduction

It’s hard to top a great day of shooting. Even a mostly fruitless excursion can be considered a success add long as you know there’s one good shot on that memory card..When shooting digital, the urge to immediately review and begin editing can be terribly irresistible. Knowing you have just one great shot on that card can trigger an almost child-like state of impatience.

And if you’re like me, you more than likely snuck a peek at your shots on the LCD. Yes, I’m most definitely guilty of this and I guarantee it does nothing to settle the urge to edit.

But rushing to edit what you just know is a killer shot, or shots, isn’t necessarily the smart move. After a year of taking street photography seriously, I can humbly offer some advice that has worked for me… wait.

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NOTE: This Blog post is Part 2 of 2. You can read Part 1 here


Introduction

As the StreetHunters idea became a reality and took flight, the pressure increased. The pressure to deliver the goods. The challenge was on. I had to produce images and I had to write about my journey as a StreetHunter. This was, and still is, no easy feat. I had just dipped my toes into street photography’s waters and I was still definitely at the shallow end of the pool. Both Rob and Spyros had some experience. I had very, very little. It was exciting and intimidating, this challenge… but I welcomed it. I sweated and stressed over it, but I welcomed it. I was falling deeply in love with street photography and I wanted to become a great Street Hunter. I wanted to be a good photographer. Once I embraced the fact that being part of this project would give me the support, the encouragement and the push to develop my skills, it was, and has been, pedal-to-the-metal.

But, it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Like any creative endeavor, each success was followed by multiple failures. Personally, there’s been several moments of doubt. And the StreetHunters project hit rough patches as well. But anything good is worth fighting for and fight we did.

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NOTE: This Blog post is Part 1 of 2. You can read Part 2 here


Introduction

Just barely over one year ago, I began my Street Hunters adventure. Needless to say, it has profoundly affected my life. It has turned into an obsession. It went from being an experiment to a full-blown addiction. Fourteen months ago, if a psychic would have told me I would be consumed by street photography, I would have laughed. If they would have told me I’d forsake hours of sleep poring over images, researching street photography’s masters out writing blog posts like this… I’d laugh harder. And if they would have told me I’d go crazy editing for the weekend, checking the weather forecast and basically praying for a few good hours to shoot… I’d be in tears.

But, it obviously would have all been true. Truth is, I’m thankful to be in the grasp of this thing that we do. I’ve pursued other creative endeavors before. I’ve been a journalist and a musician, and still enjoy making some noise now and again. And I followed my heart with each of those artistic notions. However, I didn’t see street photography coming. It wasn’t even on the radar. The reality is, I was pushed!