Marcin Baran

The streets are paved with gold… and blue, and pink. Shoot pops of colour in ur­ban scenes, with tips from street pho­tog­ra­pher Marcin Baran

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS -

The street pho­tog­ra­pher shows us how to find pops of ur­ban colour

MY PHOTO chal­lenge is to look at your streets in a dif­fer­ent way, seek­ing out colour. I know: same old streets, same old neigh­bour­hood… but your fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings can be re­ally de­cep­tive. You don’t need London, New York or Tokyo for ur­ban street photography – places you live in, work in or visit will of­fer great scenes. I strongly be­lieve that you can find amaz­ing photo op­por­tu­ni­ties any­where in the world. Some­times, pops of beau­ti­ful colour have been right around the cor­ner for years, but you didn’t pay at­ten­tion to them.

Cap­tur­ing peo­ple in cer­tain places can cre­ate a lovely splash of colour, too. I’m fas­ci­nated with hu­mans in all kinds of ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments, so it’s very dif­fi­cult for me to take a shot with­out a per­son, a sil­hou­ette or even an an­i­mal in it.

Weather and the time of day also play a great part in street photography. Try walk­ing to a spot in the morn­ing and in the late evening, then try look­ing at it again in late af­ter­noon light or in early morn­ing misty weather.

You also need to ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent points of view. You can never take su­per-in­ter­est­ing pho­tos if you only walk on the pave­ment and take shots from your eye level. Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is def­i­nitely the best thing you can do. In terms of kit, leav­ing a heavy full-frame cam­era be­hind and go­ing for an ad­vanced point-and-shoot was the best de­ci­sion I made for my street photography. Hav­ing a handy, light cam­era means you can melt into the crowd and not be per­ceived as a pho­tog­ra­pher. It’s much eas­ier that way when it comes to shoot­ing in the streets.

I also re­ally like leav­ing the cam­era in full auto mode when I’m walk­ing around the streets. I think 30 per cent of my shots are taken in auto mode. For the other shots, when go­ing for blurry or ac­tion shots, I use Shut­ter Pri­or­ity. Of­ten Aper­ture Pri­or­ity is re­ally help­ful – in good light con­di­tions, I can set it to f/8 or so and be sure that cap­tur­ing peo­ple will not re­sult in an out-of-fo­cus shot. When it comes to ISO, I al­ways set it as high as pos­si­ble, even to 6,400. Of course, your set­tings will de­pend on your cam­era and lens’ ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

How­ever, I’m more than sure that the cam­era you use, the lens that you crave, and the tons of photo equip­ment gath­ered in your closet of­ten dis­tract you from the most im­por­tant thing: show­ing the world with your own eyes. Your cam­era is just a tool, but your eye is unique. Pay at­ten­tion to what is hap­pen­ing around you, and con­cen­trate on search­ing for per­fect mo­ments, light and colours.

C n’t et over hue This se­lec­tion of pho­tos by Marcin Baran show that colour can make a dra­matic dif­fer­ence to your street pho­tos. Your ap­proach will help you de­velop a sig­na­ture style.

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