Street photography! There’s nothing like dive bombing into the photographic deep end, and exploring a metropolis with your camera to photograph the stories you find.
If you are into photography and have never taken your camera out onto the mean streets of the city, then you’re missing out on so much “life” and potential photo opportunities.
As a enthusiastic and slightly obsessed camera nerd, I love all styles of photography. Portraiture, landscapes, commercial shoots, but there is an inherent thrill when it comes to capturing that perfect street photo.
“Street photography is all about getting into the mix and capturing photos, of the street – from the street.”
Now let’s try and sing from the same songsheet here. Street photography, in my opinion anyway, is not about lurking in the shadows with a long-ass telephoto lens and photographing people from a safe distance. No! Not only will you look like a freakish stalker, but is this really street photography?
“Capturing the perfect street photo usually involves taking a small risk. Perhaps getting in close, and climbing out of your comfort zone to achieve a personal point of view of an unfamiliar subject.”
New Street Photography Blog Series
Street photography can throw many challenges and dangers at you. My new blog series on street photography will hopefully offer some useful tips and advice covering everything from “getting in close” to your subject, to a definitive checklist on what to take with you to survive the mean streets!
You are navigating your way through a crowded inner-city scene. Somewhere you have never been before. Dangerous puddles of water lurk in shady corners, ready to inconvenience you with wet feet if you don’t watch where you’re going. Crowds of people advance toward you from all sides like zombies. They are unresponsive. Uncaring. Maybe they’re office dwellers marching back to work after a hurried lunch break, or maybe they’re angry unsatisfied shoppers about to endure another round in to the next shopping centre.
“It’s a dangerous world on the mean streets. You keep cool. Dodging the masses. Camera in hand. You know your next best shot… could be just around the corner.”
You keep an eye on the congested road next to you, making sure you don’t accidentally stray out into a herd of ruthless commuters. Stay cool. It’s a hostile environment, but stay cool. You’re a photographer armed with your weapon of choice. Back to the hunt.
You are fighting attrition. You’ve been walking for almost one whole hour now. You want to eat the freshly made sandwich in your bag that you bought from the delightful cafe on arriving at the train station. But you resist. Now is not the time.
“You’re a trained photographic street ninja, in the wild. The delicious sandwich in your bag can wait 5 minutes at least.”
You look down at the camera in your hand. It’s switched on. It’s always on. Your pre-programmed settings glowing on the LCD display. Everything is ready, and if anything happens, you will be ready.
You dodge a cyclist. Side-step an office worker who is talking loudly on his phone who ‘will not settle for anything less than a cosy table by the window.’ You carry on walking. Sliding through the waves of people.
“And there you have it. A photographic opportunity falls into place, like a puzzle solving itself before your eyes… but only for a moment.”
You stand before your “moment”. To one side, away from the river of tourists and shoppers, your eyes are drawn nearby to someone wrapped up in their own little world. Perhaps talking on the phone. Perhaps talking to someone else. This person catches your eye and immediately they make the scene unique. You see a small story, within a larger scene. This person has become your photographic subject.
This is your shot. Take it now, before it’s gone for ever.
When it comes to street photography, you have to be ready to act, and quickly! You will only get one shot.
Street Photography Blog Series Coming Soon
My new blog series on street photography will begin soon, so please watch this space!
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