05 Throw shapes on the street

Think graph­i­cally for more cre­ative ur­ban can­did images

Digital Camera World - - 10 THINGS ... TO TRY RIGHT NOW -

Street pho­tog­ra­phy has never been more popular, but it’s eas­ier said than done. Many be­gin­ners hit the high street with good in­ten­tions, only to get dis­cour­aged and over­whelmed by the sheer num­ber of pho­to­graphic choices on of­fer, not to men­tion wor­ries about how peo­ple might re­act to be­ing pho­tographed. Deal­ing with this lat­ter is­sue comes through ex­pe­ri­ence. Car­ry­ing business cards helps: even quite hos­tile in­ter­roga­tors re­alise that per­verts and ter­ror­ists are un­likely to give out cards con­tain­ing all their de­tails.

As for where to start in street pho­tog­ra­phy, a great tip is to keep an eye out for in­ter­est­ing graph­i­cal shapes, and how peo­ple in­ter­act with them. The re­sult­ing im­age can be quirky, funny, so­cially con­cerned, what­ever – but if you look at the images of all great street pho­tog­ra­phers, from Eu­gene At­get and Henri Cartier Bres­son on­wards, you’ll see this exquisitely de­vel­oped graph­i­cal and com­po­si­tional aware­ness. Check out the re­cently pub­lished World At­las of Street Pho­tog­ra­phy from Thames and Hud­son for great street ideas, in­clud­ing work from the two pho­tog­ra­phers fea­tured above.

Get started to­day

* Speed and an­tic­i­pa­tion is of the essence in street pho­tog­ra­phy. En­sure your cam­era is prop­erly set up and that you’re com­fort­able with the con­trols be­fore set­ting out. * Most street pho­tog­ra­phers pre­fer smaller, more eas­ily con­cealed cam­eras, with fast, wide-aper­ture lenses. It’s en­tirely a mat­ter of choice, though. Nils Jor­gensen, one of the best-known street pho­tog­ra­phers in the UK, uses a hulk­ing great Nikon D800 SLR and a long lens to take his dis­tinc­tive shots. * While you have to work fast when an op­por­tu­nity arises, you of­ten have to wait pa­tiently for this op­por­tu­nity to arise. Pe­rus­ing your phone or lis­ten­ing to mu­sic while you wait for the ‘de­ci­sive mo­ment’ can help you feel less self-con­scious as you loi­ter on street cor­ners. * Street work of­ten looks great in black and white, so turn on the Mono­chrome pic­ture mode on your cam­era (if avail­able) to see how a scene or sub­ject will ap­pear in black and white be­fore you shoot. Your cam­era will still record raw files along­side the JPEGs.

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