When we think of either paparazzi or spy cameras, I believe most of us wouldn’t connect them with the late 19th century. Photographer and scientist Carl Størmer (1874 – 1957) had an unusual and controversial hobby at the time. He was only nineteen years old when he walked around Oslo with a spy camera hidden underneath his vest. He was secretly taking photos of famous men and women of the time. because of this, he is sometimes referred to as “Norway’s first paparazzi.”
Today I used Lightroom Mobile to capture images on the street for the first time. I recently remembered that you can sync images from Lightroom Mobile right to the Lightroom desktop application. This was huge for me as I’m tired of syncing via Airdrop… It legit takes forever to select which images you want to import.
Anyway, when syncing the images I noticed each one took about 10-20 seconds, quite long, but worth it considering the images were RAW. This also gave me a little bit of time to inspect each image. I had nothing else to do so I looked over them one by one as they dropped in. I didn’t make any changes, simply evaluated them based on quality.
This year my wife Chrystall and I have decided we’re leaving London for the country.
As much as we love London we feel this is a good time for us to leave and move onto other bigger things. One of them being the launch of our new website, Great Things To Do, in January 2018.
I’ve written before about the ethics of street photography and as a London based street photographer, there was something I needed to put right before I left.
Back in 2009 I was wandering in Ladbroke Grove, not far from the tragic Grenfell Tower, on one of my typical days out shooting urban photography.
As I walked passed a garden, something, or rather someone grabbed my eye but I kept walking for a bit.
But it was just too good a shot to miss so I went back, smiled at them, paused for a second and took the shot to then walk away again.
The shot turned out great but there was a lingering feeling of having stolen it, and it never sat very well with me.
A few years went by and this slowly but surely became one of my most popular photographs, winning recognition at the International Street Photography Awards.
Here we were now in 2017 and I still regret not going back to at least give them the print.
So in July I decided to do something about it, I would find them again.
I’ve always said that I love street photography so much that I would die for it. However, I didn’t expect the Universe to call me out on it.
Getting that one shot almost got me killed once…
As if finding amazing moments wasn’t hard enough, you also have to capture them in the blink of an eye. Especially in the beginning, that can be very frustrating!
Once you shift from finding moments to predicting moments, it gets much easier.
One of my goals for 2017 was to get back to taking photos for no one but myself. I have been so focused on my own work that I forgot what it’s like to just take photos for the sake of it and have the luxury of not shooting to a brief or a deadline. One of the main reasons for this was simply due to the fact my cameras were too good!
Whenever I’d take either my Canon 5d’s or 1d’s out for personal work I felt like I was taking a gun to a knife fight. They are too heavy, too loud & quite often would get the attention of the subject when I didn’t want their attention at all.
I’ve never been one to care much for ‘specs’ of cameras, I just know what sort of camera I need for the type of assignment I’m shooting. For the most part, cameras mean little to me other than being a tool I need to do the job.
You may have heard that photography is also referred to as “painting with light”. However, would you consider yourself a light painter so far? If not, let’s change that real quick to massively improve your street photography composition!
The difference between photographers and painters is that painters add elementsand photographers reduce them. When you hit the streets, your “canvas” is already filled with all sorts of elements on the street: subjects, sceneries, cars, trash bins, billboards, street lights, people in the background and so on. Your challenge is to kick as many unimportant elements out of your frame as possible.
Street photography doesn’t only require photographic skills and capturing the right moment. It also involves interaction with the strangers, which can be difficult for many of us to deal with. Photographer Eduardo Pavez Goye has created a helpful video, in which he’ll give you some tips for taking the right attitude. If you feel awkward taking photos of strangers, but really want to pursue street photography, these tips could really boost your self-confidence and help you overcome inhibitions.
Eduardo uses film cameras, which makes it more difficult to get the right shot at the right time. Some of his tips are especially helpful if you also shoot film, such as prefocusing, taking your time and talking to people. However, all these tips are also applicable on those who use digital cameras, and they’ll certainly help you loosen up and get your street photography and interaction skills on a higher level.
As much as fun as it is to shoot fine art street photos, it’s also tiring sometimes. Every now and then, you just need a bit of a motivational boost to set your heart on fire again. I’ve researched 3 inspirational quotes that will skyrocket your fine art street photography today!
These insights helped me a lot throughout the years and I’m convinced they will help you as well.
Remember, these lessons are not only meant as food for thought. Rather consider them as fuel that drives your next photo walk! Immediate action is always the key to success. If you can, grab your cam afterwards and shoot at least for 2 minutes. That’s the way to go!
You don’t always have to hit the streets for 2 hours. It’s all about continuously improving your craft. Even 2 seconds is better than nothing!
If you want some tips on how to save time and improve, check this out!
Enjoy these quotes and may these mini lessons improve your fine art street photography!
You don’t have time? Perfect, me neither!
We both have one major challenge: time.
While you may be reading this in an office right now, I write it in one as well: the EHS headquarters in Amsterdam. Producing fine art street photography while running an international fine art street photography label takes time…a lot of time!
Throughout the years one key insight blew my mind.
Less is more, even in your fine art street photography journey. You can vastly improve your street photos…by saving time!
Let me share with you my top 3 strategies that not only save you time, but also improve your street photos. I guarantee you that they will help a lot! I use them for my own fine art street photos and they work wonders!