Street air­show!

Street pho­tog­ra­pher Ryan Hard­man takes a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to pho­tograph­ing an air­show. He shares his top tips…

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Press pass 1 (if pos­si­ble)

When you’re plan­ning a project which is an event, make sure that every­thing you do is well-pre­pared and pro­fes­sional. Or­der­ing a press pass through the or­gan­i­sa­tion is a good way to be taken se­ri­ously as a street pho­tog­ra­pher. In my case, it meant the events staff knew I was there as a pho­tog­ra­pher, tak­ing pic­tures of the peo­ple at­tend­ing.

Have a good 2 han­dle on theme

I spent a few days look­ing into other pho­tog­ra­phers’ work that would in­spire my project. I was espe­cially in­ter­ested in how Martin Parr works at sim­i­lar events. His lat­est work from the Chelsea Flower Show in­spired me to fo­cus on the hu­man el­e­ment of the air­show rather than set­ting out to pho­to­graph planes.

Plan­ning 3

I planned care­fully for this event, mak­ing sure my images cap­tured the back­ground of the events. This is where the project name, ‘Fixed Wing’, came from: the planes don’t have wings that move in or out. Hav­ing back­ground knowl­edge of an event – how long it has been run­ning, or how many peo­ple are go­ing to at­tend – makes sure there is enough sub­ject to cap­ture.

Note­book 4

I have re­ally got into writ­ing notes about projects and the feel­ing around the pho­tog­ra­phy I cap­ture. I have re­cently start blog­ging and giv­ing ad­vice on how to use cam­era equip­ment, how to deal with con­fronta­tion, and other street pho­tog­ra­phy in­sights. The note­book re­ally does help, as it can help to give the project the right di­rec­tion.

Pho­tog­ra­pher’s eye 5

I have found out from con­tin­u­ous prac­tice how to cre­ate pleas­ing com­po­si­tions and work around other tech­ni­cal is­sues when I’m shoot­ing. I will spend a lot of time not pho­tograph­ing at all, but just watch­ing the sub­jects. I of­ten pho­to­graph with both eyes open, let­ting peo­ple walk into the frame to al­low my­self to see more of the sub­jects around me.

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