focus52|2012 {week twenty-nine} july 15 to july 21

Welcome to week twenty-nine! This week we’re going to focus on an area of photography that always holds great interest for me. And hopefully for you too!

To me, street photography is all about the candid, decisive moment. It’s about seeing and reacting. In one instant click of the shutter, you’ve captured a scene like no other as people keep moving around you, stoplights change and traffic flows. Street photography is exciting, and you never know what you’re going to get at the end of the day. Maybe the perfect shot you think you got ends up blurry. Maybe the photo you took quite nonchalantly ends up magnificent. There are so many things to consider when framing your shot, and so little time to do so before the moment is gone.

This week, try to set aside a little bit of time to ‘hit the streets’ and practice your skills. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the streets exactly. Anywhere you find people will do – the mall, the subway or bus, the station you’re catching the subway/bus at … you get it. Now of course, you’re going to have to be a little stealth. Standing in the middle of the sidewalk with your big lens pointed in the crowd will get you a few odd looks (or maybe a ‘what the hell are you doing?’) so find yourself a comfy, inconspicuous spot and relax. Sit for a while. Blend in. Even better if you can find some sort of event where everybody is carrying a camera. Game on! :)

Here’s a few things to consider,

  • You don’t have a lot of time to think and compose, so if you’re using your camera in manual mode, get your settings straightened out as best you can before you settle in.
  • Look for moments. You’ll know them when you see them. You don’t want to just aim your camera into a crowd, fill a few frames and call it a day. Look for the interesting. Street Photography is a slice of life, a little piece of society, a statement. Capture it.
  • Remember our chat about shooting blind? You can incorporate this method here too. Shoot from the hip! I found an excellent how-to article from Street Photographer Eric Kim, here. Have a look at the “street tips” category too – absolutely chock full of good stuff.
  • Relax. The more nervous or self-aware you are, the more you will appear that way to everyone around you. You’re not doing anything wrong, so relax.
  • Try shooting from behind (as in the carnival photo above) to soothe your nerves. You can still get a great, interesting shot this way if the moment is there.
  • Still uncertain or nervous about the whole thing? Try the camera on your phone, or a smaller pocket camera, if you like. Just get out there!

Now before you go off all pumped up and ready for action, I need to mention legalities. We are all in different parts of the world and I need you to be aware of the laws governing public photography in your section of the globe. Alright? Take a google moment and educate yourself. Anybody gets arrested (or punched in the face) I’m going to feel bad. And speaking of getting punched in the face, in certain circumstances it could be to your benefit to actually ask a person if they mind if you take their photo. I know this is hard for a lot of people, myself included. But the times that I have asked? Magic (pun totally intended – click the link)

I could go on and on about this subject, but I’m going to stop now and save a few interesting links and such to share this week on our facebook page. Hope you have time to stop by!

As much as I hope you decide to join in on the prompt this week, whatever you decide to do, come back here and link up your work when you’re done (weeks run Sunday to Saturday, don’t forget!). Links must be to the direct URL of your actual work, not just to the site it’s posted in, and may be a link to your blog post or to your flickr photo (again, the actual photo, not your entire flickr stream). Also, please don’t link and run – try to find some time to visit at least a few of your fellow 52’ers. That’s half the fun! It’s a fact that those who link up early, get the most interaction on their work. Truth.

And don’t forget the flickr pool!

Have fun this week. 52’rs. And stay safe! :)

psssttt… looking for last week’s link up? click here

  • Christian
    Posted at 14:45h, 21 July Reply

    Thank you for this post! I’m feeling inspired! Lovely photos! I especially love your carnival photo with the couple walking. Very sweet:)

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