Why on earth am I writing a blog? I'm a bit late to the game I know.
Writing about something always seems to help me learn more, and I also guess it kind of forces me to put my words into practice.
So here goes my take on three ways to kick off your street photography journey, counting down from three:
Your subject will be what defines your image as street. There are many views on what is and isn’t street, but the consistent theme across all types of street (in my opinion) is to make your subject obvious. Bash the viewer over the head with it.
Don't get me wrong, at times subtleties can be absolutely breath-taking in street shots. But they're hard to pull off, and best to start with the basics.
Most forms of street use people as the subject and there are some out there that will demand it. From my point of view your subject can be quite broad - things like colours, architecture, humour, and juxtapositions. There’s too many to list and, I’m sure, a great deal that I haven’t even considered.
At first take as many shots of different subjects as you can, over time you’ll find what you prefer and you’ll be able to refine your style. Start in your comfort zone but constantly push yourself out of it.
Your subject is a great motivator as well. You can decide on what subject you’re going to focus on during a particular session.
Your image needs to have a purpose and adding a subject is the best way to achieve this.
If you don’t know basic photographic compositional rules I suggest you read up on it before hitting the street.
Be mindful of the moment and think how your subject will be complimented by the composition. The street is made up of lots of very useful compositional aids. Leading lines is one that I use the most.
Pick your subject, then be patient and wait for your eye to be drawn to the subject by white lines on the road, or by a lovely narrow laneway for example.
Get the composition right and you’re halfway to making your subject stand out (the other half is the number one point coming up).
Experiment, and you’ll get a feel for it.
Here we are, the number one tip for street. I hear an overwhelming sigh of disappointment: ‘Light? Yeah of course you need light for a photo!” everybody is saying.
It’s not the light itself I’m referring to but rather the consideration of your light source before you press the shutter.
The way you use your light source will entirely change the way your shot will look and feel.
If I’m not happy with the way my subject is lit I will not even bother taking the shot. And I’d recommend you do the same. If you don’t have light you’re happy with change the direction of your approach or find a new spot.
All of my shots are made in fractions of seconds but take much longer to plan. As I said before, be patient.
Most of all, be mindful of your shot and make sure you are always learning from what you do.