The Five ‘F’s of Street Photography

Here’s an interesting video in which street photographer John Free shares a system he’s developed to take the confusion and guesswork out of practicing street photography, called “the five Fs”. He says that contrary to popular belief, it’s not about “seeing”:

It’s not the eyes. Anybody can see that has eyes to see. It’s what we feel and what we get out of the heart that matters. We have to convey a passion. We have to convey an understanding.

The five Fs are: finding, figuring, framing, focusing, and firing.

(via DPS)

  • Melo

    Blah blah.  Take a picture.

  • Anthony Wood

    Five F’s is a photography example of an OODA Loop.  Observation, orientation, decision , action time loop.  Also known as the Boyd Cycle.

  • branden rio

    Dodge duck dip dive dodge!

  • Beaver

    Not very up to date on today’s cameras if he thinks they only focus in the center of the frame! Old geezer trying to sound important.

  • Knur

    and young ignorant idiot trying to be cool.

  • Beaver

     …wish I was young!

  • A_DoP

    How about the five C’s of cinematography..
    Jeez, I could only last 2 of the 5 minutes looking at the same ridiculous ecu of an eye.

  • Vladimir Byazrov

    I was going to say blah blah blah, but not strangely noticed that everybody already mocked him with it. 
    What a bunch of useless noise this is. My head aches.

  • Brent

    DPS is one of the worst photography sites to get lessons or pretty much anything photography related from. Some of the least inspiring material is posted there. When I first got into photography I loved that site, but then I realized how out of sync they are with the rest of the industry. 

  • Peter

    I’m not a regular contributor to any comments, anywhere but this has spurred me into action.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about the obsession with gear in these “photo” blogs. I was once in a photo club here in England – 40 years or so ago. The obsession with members was in gear. “What did you take that with?” was a regular question. I soon got out of that club and so it will be with these blogs, tuitions and fora on the subject of photography.

    So what’s this go to do with the 5 F’s? You may well ask. This type of … well… I’m trying to think of a word for it yes! “bollocks”* is just too much. Pontificating on the “art” of photography.
    Just bloody do it. Get out there with any gear and create pictures. You are likely to be bad at first – I’m still there – but if you’re lucky (and dont you find you become more lucky the harder you work) you’ll get better.


    * Bollocks is a word used here in the UK. It actually means testicles. And you can say he’s got some bollocks meaning he’s brave. But you can also use it like this… “he’s talking bollocks” which means he is talking (unnecessary) rubbish. Or you can uses it as a one word put down. Bollocks! which just means you explicitly dont agree with a statement. Oh and I forgot you can say “bollocks to that” meaning you are not going to do it. It’s a useful word, if a little crude. I suggest you read any of these pieces and ask if they are talking “Bollocks”

  • B E. L

    Why does everybody hate EVERYTHING.

  • Luffnik

    When he is on his third F I have already taken five pictures.

  • steviejay3

    I was wondering the same thing. What’s with these lacerating, mean-spirited responses to a harmless post about photography? Save that rage for child molestation and BP Oil Disasters, folks!

  • Melo

    The ‘negative’ responses that take offense to this video do so because this guy chose to exalt himself and offer unsolicited advice on how to take photos in the form of a dumb video.  Someone didn’t find it and post it without him knowing… he’s trying to come off as some type of expert.  The internet is chalk full of schmucks with little to no talent offering their ‘how to’ advice in hopes of gaining an audience.

    Well, he got one.

    I for one am tired, not of the responses, but of these types of prophetalizing know-it-alls with their poorly shot videos and short-sighted ‘tips’. 

    If you don’t want to read peoples opinions, maybe seek out sites without comment sections.

  • muitosabao

    What a bunch of haters. Really, dreadful bunch of sour predictable haters.

    I wasn’t even done watching the full video and i could already see the comments, doesn’t matter if the post is good or bad, the hate brigade is always out here.

    this guys chose to give his “unsolicited oppinion”?! You know what else is unsolicited? Your hate.


  • Derek Bingham

    Disagree – have learned a lot from DPS and other sites like it. While not every post is going to be right for every person there are an amazing array of tutorials in the archives that have helped me for one.

  • Thomas

    he said “we usually dont want to use auto focus becuase the thing its focusing on is OFFCENTERED” not in the center, OFF centered.

  • Peter Garner

    He forgot “Fleeing”.. It’ happened to me twice and every wannabee street photographers should be able to sprint from a standing start carrying a variety of gear.

  • Mario Morgado

    John Free is one of the great documentary photographers of his generation-this isnt just ” some guy ” giving unsolicited advice. The people mocking him on this board would be lucky to have amassed a fraction of the body of work he has. Why dont you put your pride aside and take a few minutes to try to learn something from a proven pro.