Personal Views

Introduction

Are you suffering from a lack of inspiration? Do you Street shots look the same? Are you in a rut?

Often enough we plough our own furrow and on occasion what used to inspire only confirms we’ve reached a stepping stone in our street photography and it’s time to scale new heights but we don’t know where or how.

I come from a fine art background and have painted for a number of years so rather than incestuously digging over photos again and again, although this very much has it place, I reach into other visual media to inspire.

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Introduction

There are many different styles, genres and types of Street Photography. We all like different things, see things differently and have our own interests, styles and things we like to shoot. The things I see, find interesting and decide to capture, for example, others may not connect with. So what makes a good Street Photograph? How do you capture the imagination of the people viewing your work?

Andrew Sweigart selfie

Introduction

Street Photography has opened a door into a band new realm of creativity for me. I would be willing to bet that any one you reading this could say the same. This expedition is still in it’s early stages for me. I can count my street excursions on my fingers and toes! Like any new adventure, it’s exciting, but also slightly terrifying. The thrill comes from the wonderful mixture of both.

Besides the thrill, the biggest reward I’ve reaped is the skills I’ve acquired. Prior to this, I would have considered myself a hobbyist. I would shoot mostly inanimate objects, with the exception being animals. Venture out on a sunny day and snap away mostly on Auto. I got cool shots, but I didn’t challenge myself. It wasn’t until I got gentle pressuring from Spyros that I even attempted shooting a human being or street shots. I was fearful, really. But man, am I glad I accepted the challenge! I didn’t know what I, with my camera, was capable of. That being said, I’d like to tell you about the benefits that I’ve discovered, of being a street photographer. I’d like to focus on the new skills that I’ve begun to acquire. And I’m going to keep this simple and personal. No technical talk, because frankly, I don’t know it!

Note: The following views are mine personally and do not necessarily represent the views of the StreetHunters team

Introduction

Rules are made to be broken.” Nowhere does this hold more true than in the creative world. Great artists, in any genre, break rules all the time. Sometimes, the act results in failure. Sometimes, it’s a game changer. And sometimes, it’s a different means to an end.

From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen, shooting with a fixed prime has long been a commandment of street photography. Using a 35 or 50mm had been gospel. Why? The most popular reasons I’ve seen are these:

  1. all the great street photographers have used them.
  2. fixed primes produce the sharpest images, and
  3. a fixed focal length lens helps the Street Photographer know what he / she will see in the viewfinder before the camera hits the eye, enabling them to focus faster then they would with a zoom.

All very, very valid reasons. Using a fixed prime is the the best way to get the street feel and to isolate and capture your subject within whatever composition you’ve dialed in. But, it is the only way? I’m saying no, it’s not.

Introduction

I’ll be honest, I prefer my street photography mono. It’s classic. Like Rob Heron has said, it has a timeless feel to it. However, I’m slowly warming up to shooting color. I believe this is because I’m technically becoming a better shooter. I have found my beginning shots that are simpler, more stark mono compositions have yielded some pretty palatable results. However, the more I shoot, and the more I grow in my skill set, the more I like the more vivid, rich color pieces. Let me try to explain why.

Being still very much a novice to street photography, and photography in general, I keep things very simple. I shoot JPEGS only. The reasons why is this: Due to schedules, I have an extremely small window of opportunity to shoot every week. So, I spend what free time I have just shooting a TON of pictures, practicing my composition skills and working on building my technical skill set. Eventually, when I think I’m ready, I’ll shoot RAW, and that wonderful world and the full glory of post processing that goes with it, will be a new bag of tricks to play with.

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Introduction

During my short time as a Street Photographer I have come to realise just how difficult it is. As I said in my introductory post ‘anyone who thinks it’s easy has probably never tried it or doesn’t do it properly’! Sure, anyone can stick a 200-300mm telephoto lens on and take random snapshots of people 100-200 metres away but that’s not what street photography is all about. So in this blog post I will try and explain some of the difficulties I have encountered so far.

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Introduction

“Is There Such A Thing As Ethical Street Photography?”

What a question! I suppose that depends who you ask!?
Let’s start with the people we shoot. Some of them enjoy having their photo taken so if you ask them they probably won’t see any harm in it but what about the people that take exception to it? I’m sure if you ask them they will say that no street photography is ethical.
Then we have us the photographers. Every street photographer thinks different about ethics. There are some that would say “anything is fair game on the street”, others who have strong ethical views and some who take the middle ground.
Obviously I can’t speak for everyone so all I can do is tell you my point of view and the ethical values I have for myself. Hopefully this will spark some debate and feedback from some of you.

Introduction

Street photography is still very fresh and new to me… I’m very much a rookie. I can count my street excursions on both hands! For the amateur photographer, street photography can be intimidating, frustrating and almost overwhelming. Personally, I still find the intimidating part applies, but it lessens each time I go out to shoot. To go from shooting trains sitting in the rail yards and pets lying around to shooting on the street was a big jump. So, I’d like to tell you how I did it and about some of the trials and tribulations I’ve encountered early in my journey!

Introduction

Street Photography is a genre of photography that could be argued by most that it has it’s own etiquette. I find this logical since it involves interaction with other human beings and whenever there a more than one human being involved in some sort of interaction, rules must be followed, if not rules then at least something like a customary code of behaviour.

So this customary code of behaviour or etiquette, these DOs and DON’Ts if you prefer, can help us Street Photographers enjoy our Street Hunting to the max, but at the same time without getting ourselves into too much trouble.

In this post, I will share with you some things that you ought to keep in mind while Street Shooting.

I remember, when I was younger, my dad always used to tell me what I shouldn’t do (in a situation), before he told me what I should do. Now that I am a father myself, I understand that he was trying to protect me. So, after careful consideration and following his example, I think that it would be best to share the DON’Ts of Street Photography first and then in a another post, share the DO’s.

So let’s get started.