Photography can be so exciting when you have inspiration be it fresh rolls of film, an empty card or a new camera. Whatever it is that has inspired you to take photos, that’s great. But where do you go from here? How do you start taking amazing images and practice street photography? Lets cover how to start in street photography.
How to start in street photography
First get up early, good light happens in the early hours of the day or late hours of the evening. Giving you more dramatic lighting and long shadows. Find out when the sun rises and go from there. I personally like the first few hours after sunrise. Second get some comfortable shoes, because your about to do a lot of walking. Street photography is about being there in the moment, right next to your subject matter. That requires you being on the street or in a public space. Take your headphones off, listen to the street and hear what’s going on around you. The percentage of you getting a great photograph will go up when you’re using all your senses.
OK, you’re up early, you have your camera, new batteries, fresh memory card and/or roll of film, and you have some comfortable shoes on. Let’s go. Get out that front door, and start walking to the city or park (preferably not a kids playground or school). Don’t over think anything, if something interests you take a photo of it. If you’re contemplating taking a photo just take the photo. Don’t live in regret. If you like people, take photos of strangers. If you like contrast and shapes, take photos of the shadows or architecture. Whatever interests you is game in street photography, there is no wrong subject matter here. You won’t get kicked out of class here if you are not following the rules. Do whatever you think is right.
OK you went out, you took some photos and now it’s time to look and edit them. I’m using Lightroom, but Bridge, iPhotos or just looking at them in a folder or on a contact sheet is fine. Whatever you currently have, use it. I personally look at all my images small. That way I don’t focus on the little things like sharpness, motion blur or exposure. All I’m looking at is composition and content. I select the ones I like and now I can nit pick them to death. I’m not going to go into presets or if you should choose colour or monochrome. That decision is entirely subjective and should be left up to you to decide what aesthetic best represents your vision. All I’m going to say is, for me its Kodak Tri-X 400.
Today I only got four images that I liked. As you can see for a whole day of walking I only took 17 images (FYI the first 8 images were from yesterday). Anyway four images from a day of walking is pretty good I think. I don’t overly edit or do much post work on my images because I want my workflow to be as easy and simplified as possible. Plus I want to be taking photos not looking at a screen all day. And that’s how you take street photographs, you go outside with good shoes, a camera in hand and press the shutter button, it’s that simple.
So to recap, go outside when the light is good. Have your gear ready and wear some nice comfortable shoes. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. And when you see something that interests you take a photo of it, don’t over think things. Once the day is up and your ready to go through your images, look at them thumbnail size so you can be more subjective with your choices. Once you have selected your favourites, do a little bit of editing and you’re done. Now you have successfully practised street photography, that wasn’t so hard now was it?
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- Have I finally found the perfect camera? – DIYPhotography.net
- Are you a photographer or, just a camera operator – PetaPixel.com
- Why I got rid of my photography gear – PetaPixel.com
- Finding style and voice in photography Leica.com
- Use deliberate practice to find your photographic style – PetaPixel.com
- Why I only use one lens – PetaPixel.com
- Camera fundamentals (coming soon)
- 10 ways to develop your photographic style
- Deliberate style
- The number one challenge (coming soon)
- Deliberate practice
- Foster your passion