The joy of Photographing on the street comes from close and engaging photos. Displaying the human nature and emotions in a way that the audience can relive these moments requires the photographer to be close and engaging as well. Unfortunately for a lot of us, it is not easy to stand out from the masses and overcome artificial social boundaries. Causing an irrational fear of photographing in public and making the live as a street photographer very hard. In the following article I will describe the sources of this obstruction that is limiting our full capability.
When I was 20, I was dissatisfied with my photography. I felt like I was being limited by where I lived.
I thought if I wanted to become a better street photographer, I needed to live in Europe — and photograph the romantic streets of Paris, the back-alleys of Prague, and the bustling streets of London.
But the sad reality check was that after backpacking in Europe for a month, I didn’t become a better photographer. I saw some unique things, met interesting people, had different food, and whatnot — but I didn’t become a better photographer.
No, this is not about food 🙂 this is an easy way to remember the four key elements that makes a good photo: Design, Information, Emotion and Timing.
Photographer Craig Semetko explains how he sees that DIET to have a huge impact on a photograph. One element out of the DIET is good, but having three or more, is almost always a guarantee for a great photo. Hit the jump for some examples:
If there is one genre of street photography I specialize in, it is “street portraiture.”
I love talking with my subjects, engaging with them, and focusing on their faces. If I started shooting street portraits all over again, this is the advice I would give myself.
Photos from distant destinations can be wonderful and inspiring. But at the same time, watching them can be a bit depressing when you think you’ll never get to visit those destinations and make such gorgeous photos. This can even cause creative block and keep you from shooting for a while.
But, we must not forget that for beautiful photos you don’t need to travel far. Sometimes it’s enough to simply walk around your neighborhood. This video will inspire you to take great photos without traveling half the world, and it may rekindle your artistic flame.
With holiday spirit all around, Kaiman Wong (better known as ex digital rev Kai) and his friend Rita Law bought each other film cameras for Christmas. The idea was to create a challenge of shooting film in the street. But they couldn’t afford proper film cameras, so they got each other something more affordable: Lomo Instax and Fujifilm Instax Hello Kitty camera. Guess who ended up with the Hello Kitty one. How did the cameras perform in Hong Kong’s busy streets? Is it possible to take decent shots with cameras like this?
I have a problem. I am overly attached to my old work. Work that no longer serves a purpose, but I feel attached to somehow.
When I look at my hard drives, my cloud storage, etc — I feel like I am a digital hoarder. I hold onto too many images.
What is the problem in today’s world? The fact is that we are over-saturated with information. With bits and bytes, it is easy to have “unlimited storage” (whereas with physical storage, there tends to be a limit).
I’ve been trying to take a more “zen” approach to life— and trying to live lightly. I try to pare down my belonging to the absolute essentials, and try my best to get rid of things that are superfluous in my life.
However I haven’t really listened to my own advice when it comes to digital things. I have too many files that are backed up (even though I know I won’t look at them ever again). I also have tons of old photos which I am no longer interested in — but I still keep them for some reason.
I consider “urban landscapes” as a sub-genre of street photography. But it is tricky — what differentiates a great “urban landscape” from just a snapshot of a building?
In this guide, I will try to offer some tips, and deconstruct how to shoot more emotional, memorable, and powerful urban landscapes:
What is the best lens for street photography? There are many articles and discussions on this topic, and every photographer has their own suggestion and a personal favorite. In the new Kai Wong’s video (a.k.a.
Digital rev Kai) , you can see all three of these lenses compared in the streets of Hong Kong. So, what’s the judgement?
I’m a big fan of Zen/Taoist, Eastern philosophy.
Even though I am very pro-American at heart (in terms of our love for risk-taking, for individuality, and for freedom), I see a lot of negatives of the American/Western line of thinking. There is too much focus on “profit”, “success”, and externalizing your self-worth in terms of material markers (having a lot of money, a big house, a nice car, etc).
I discovered “Zen”/Taoism by chance. I was mostly stressed out, fed up with the bullshit of life, and wanted more peace, tranquility, and happiness in my life.
Zen/Taoism was the solution for me. It helped me loosen up, walk slower, worry less, and mellow out.
Why do I use Zen/Taoism interchangeably? To me, there are far more similar than dissimilar. Honestly, I am not the expert in Zen/Taoism (I only know it from a pop-culture perspective), but my practical learnings is that they preach the same philosophy.
To move on, the more practical question — how can we learn how to be more “zen” in our street photography and life? Here are some ideas: