If you’ve ever gone out to try your hand at street photography you probably experienced your fair share of anxiety once you were out there. Taking photos of strangers, even on crowded city streets, takes practice and time, time that’s mostly spent getting over the natural fear of taking people’s photos without their permission. But the fact that it requires practice and time doesn’t mean that a few good tips won’t speed the process along significantly. Read more…
Portland-based photographer Jimmy Hickey made this helpful video in which he shares how he goes about shooting portraits of complete strangers he meets during his travels both overseas and on his local streets. He has some great tips that you can easily apply to your own street/documentary 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.
People ask me, “Jun Shen, how do you shoot so fast on the streets?!?” I’m like a ninja, whipping out my camera, shooting it, and putting it away so quickly that my subjects don’t know what hit them. They walk away whispering to themselves, “What was that? Did he take our photo?
It’s thanks to video games, folks. Read on to find out why. Read more…
The United States is a diverse country, but there are few places in the US as diverse as New York City: “the greatest city on earth.” In many ways The City’s diversity makes it a street photographer’s gold-mine, and it’s this mine that photographer Brandon Stanton has been meticulously digging through over the last couple of years. Read more…
In the 1970s and 80s the Czechoslovak secret police, among other things, were charged with surveying the population without their consent or, for that matter, knowledge. Taking pictures from under coats or inside suitcases, the secret police kept tabs on the goings on of the general public. And while the act itself is voyeuristic and creepy, the pictures turned out surprisingly well. Read more…
I’d like to be a mirror. And show people who live where I live what they’re like or what we’re doing or how we act. How we live. I think Garry Winogrand said he looks at people as animals and aren’t we bizarre? It is that standing back and trying to show us how we behave, and isn’t it funny or isn’t it sad or isn’t it ironic? I love how people act in public places.
One interesting statement he makes in the video: “the lovely thing about street photography is [...] that the best stuff there’s absolutely no way you can stage, or even think of. It just like… happened, and isn’t that weird? Then it’s gone.”
Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.
That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever. [#]
The phrase was taken from a quote by the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, who stated, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”
Street photographer Eric Kim and DigitalRev host Kai Wong recently got together to do some street photography on the streets of Hong Kong. Kim and Wong have personalities that go well together (and look like brothers), making for some pretty humorous photographic entertainment.