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Street

Juxtapose!

When people think of street photography they often think of juxtaposition-artistic contrasts where we have two elements in an image which are opposed to each other. This has always been a big part of street photography-so much so that it's perhaps in danger of becoming a cliche. ...

The Unusual in the Usual

Street photography is often thought of as being whimsical, playful, or just plain funny. While you shouldn't rely solely on these "moments;' they are always memorable, so when you're patrolling the streets with your camera, turn your observation dial up to the max. ...

Ghostly Apparitions

Enter the world of the photo-supernatural and shoot some ghosts! The object of this exercise is to get to grips with shooting at a slow shutter speed, blurring the main subject, but keeping the background sharply in focus. Shot with care, it could make a lovely photobook, set of postcards, or framed prints. ...

Funny Guy

Humor will always be central to street photography, and for some photographers it underpins much of their work. However it is difficult to work with because when you go looking for it, it's hard to find-but then it pops up out of nowhere when you're least expecting it. The key is to have a camera with you at all times, switched on and set up for a quick "grab" shot....

Let’s Get Critical

Critique-proper critique-is essential to our growth as photographers, but it can be hard to find. Put an "average" image on social media and the chances are it will be heralded with comments such as "awesome capture;' "outstanding;' or "just wow!!" But why? It's an average image. ...

Like a Tourist

Mobile phones are ubiquitous and their cameras make a great street photography tool-they're discrete, portable, non-threatening, quiet, and we usually have one with us. It also makes us look like "tourists" rather than photographers, and people are so familiar with them that they will behave more naturally if someone around them is photographing with a phone. ...

In the Gallery

Get in among the artists! Shooting in art galleries-particularly contemporary galleries-is an art form in itself and can be highly rewarding. Okay, it's not on the street, as such, but it's still street photography. Major modern galleries are usually bright, cathedral-like spaces with light pouring in through skylights or high windows onto stark white surfaces. That means you are usually guaranteed good light. ...

Into the Light

If you want to add some real drama to your street images, shooting into the light provides both a challenge and an opportunity. Usually referred to as contre jour ("against daylight") photography, the technique goes against one of the first rules you were taught when you started out in photography (don't shoot into the light!), but there are several benefits to be gained from breaking this rule: ...

The Urban Jungle

Street photographers have been fascinated by the urban landscape since the 19th century, when Eugene Atget introduced us to the streets of Paris with his evocative monochrome images. This type of street photography places more emphasis on the built environment than it does on the people, although including people in your shots can provide context or a sense of scale. However, before adding people, ask yourself whether they contribute to, or detract from the scene....

Up Close and Personal

Bruce Gilden, Dougie Wallace, and Garry Winogrand are just some of the street photography legends who have made a name for themselves by photographing strangers at close quarters. Their style is intrusive, provocative, and confrontational, and gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "in your face:' ...

Catch Their Eye

The mention of eye contact will always fuel an interesting debate among street photographers. If someone is looking at the camera, can the shot be considered truly candid? Does it matter? Probably not: it's more of a convention than a necessity, and the decision will depend on your approach to street shooting and your aims for that particular shot. ...

Make it go ‘POP’

We live in a cluttered world and distracting backgrounds can ruin an otherwise strong street image, with the main subject just blending in with other elements in the frame. To avoid this you sometimes need to find a clean, contrasting background to ensure your subject "pops;' and there's no better way to make your subject ("figure") pop out of the background ("ground") than to have a strong figure-to-ground ratio. For street photographers that simply means separating the foreground interest from the background clutter. ...

All the Right Angles

Strong lines are everywhere we look in the built environment. Whether it is horizontals, verticals, diagonals, zigzags, or curves, lines can help you create images with a strong graphic element, often acting as leading lines to draw the viewer's eye toward a main point of interest, such as a person. ...

Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro is an oil painting technique developed during the Renaissance, which uses strong tonal contrasts between light and dark to model three-dimensional_forms. In photography, think of it as simply meaning strong and bold contrasts between light and dark areas in an image. It all adds up to a more mysterious atmosphere as it creates impact and contrast between highlights and shadows in a photo. ...

24 Hours in the Life Of…

... your city, your town, or even your village. We don't all live in naturally photogenic places such as London, Paris, or New York, where great street photo opportunities fall at our feet, but we must never let this hold us back. In fact, it can be all too easy to overlook the potential of what we see every day of our lives and we shouldn't simply assume that "nothing interesting ever happens here:' ...

Silhouette

From the earliest days, silhouettes have featured in street photography, either as a strong, graphic element in a wider shot, or a primary subject....

Gestures

The challenge when photographing people on the street is making them look interesting. We've all seen boring street photographs of a guy crossing the street with his dog, or an old lady coming out of a shop with some bags. What's interesting about that? Usually nothing. So we need to work a bit harder...

Open Wide

An old adage of documentary and street photographers is "f/8 and be there," because for many of us it is a useful setting. The main reason is that it provides sufficient reasonable depth of field for us to zone focus effectively and include lots of context in the frame, both of which are important in street photography....

1 Street, 1 Film, 1 Day

You have one day, access to only one street and a single 24-exposure roll of film. What can you do with it? This assignment is designed to really make you think about every single frame you take so you build some "creative capital" into your shooting. If you can carry some of this philosophy through to the rest of your photography, you will have achieved something really worthwhile....

It’s Cool To Be Square

Square format photography has become popular again and is back with a vengeance, due probably to the phenomenal rise of Instagram. There's something very cool about the simplicity of a square image....

Abstract

Other photographic genres cater for the abstract so why not street photography? Let's face it; there's not always an abundance of material when we're pounding the streets and we can struggle to find subject matter. But wherever we are there is always something to shoot, even if it's an abstract....

Lights, Camera, Action!

Lots of film titles lend themselves to a photographic representation, such as Reservoir Dogs, Brief Encounter, Notting Hill, and The Italian Job. Choose one of your favourite films and imagine that you have been asked to shoot a poster to promote the film. You need to produce a striking image that is not only attention-grabbing, but can also immediately communicate what the film is about. ...

Out of the Shadows

Stylish? Sinister? Seductive? Shadows are loved by street photographers and have an important part to play in our art. Sometimes the shadow can be the main feature or purpose of a picture, and sometimes it can add na important graphic or compositional element. Occasionally, a shadow can be represented simply in abstract form....

Just Ask!

Street photography is not just about shooting candid shots when nobody is looking. Taking portraits with people's permission (usually referred to as "Street Portraiture") has been around for a long time and there are some stunning examples out there....

In The News

Be a photojournalist for a day and cover a local (or national) event with a street photography twist. Imagine that you are working for a current affairs magazine or newspaper and your picture editor has briefed you to produce a set of six images to accompany a feature about the event; this could be an election, a protest or a demonstration, a political rally, or even a disaster of some sort....

Do Not Pass Go!

There are versions of the board game Monopoly representing cities around the world, and the presents street photographers with a great challenge; to take a photograph at the location of every square on the board. Spend a little time getting a feel for each location and seeking out the best street photography spots. That way you will have plenty of options when it comes rot selecting your final images....

No Shades of Grey

Forget about the "full tonal range" that camera club judges like to see; this assignment is all about producing punchy, high-contrast images made up of bright whites and intense blacks. This is where you can really experiment and throw all the rules out of the window. Be open-minded and allow you're frame to contain large areas of light and dark - it might go against the grain but the results can be stunning. ...

Layer Up!

Using layers can add volume and depth to your street images, enabling the viewer to find interest throughout the frame and keeping them involved with the image for longer. Layering usually means having a number of separate 'scenes' located on different planes within the frame....

Going Underground

With around 150 Metro systems around the world there is plenty of opportunity to shoot an interesting street photography assignment in stations, ticket halls and platforms, and on the trains too....

The Decisive Moment

Henri Cartier-Bresson's book, 'The Decisive Moment', is said to have changed photography forever and that phrase has become part of street photography lore. The phrase 'the decisive moment' refers to that very brief moment when all the elements come together to make the perfect frame; you're in the right place at the right time and manage to fire the shutter at just the right moment. It can be exhilarating and many would say this is the purest form of street photography....

Pick a Colour

Using the relationship between similar colours as a visual anchors a useful technique to engage with the viewer and to keep them looking at an image for longer. This is a really simple assignment, designed to make you think about the colours you see and to develop your powers of observation....

After Dark

Some of your best street photography can be done during the hours of darkness and you should aim to complete at least one night shooting assignment....

No Finder Day

American photographer Mark Cohen adopted a 'no-finder' approach to street photography, where he would shoot instinctively, without looking through the viewfinder. As Cohen shot at very close range this often cut off heads and limbs and usually resulted in pictures with a sense of chaos and urgency....

Rules? What Rules?

As street photographers we are the anarchists of the art, the rebels, the rule-breakers. Our art is often an immediate, passionate and creative pursuit that reflects a sense of urgency; there is little time to think about the rules, never mind apply them....

Apocalypse Now

Imagine that you are in a dystopian sci-fi world and that the town you live in will not exist this time next week - pretty easy to do when you are in the middle of a global Coronavirus pandemic. If it wasn't a viral outbreak it could be an invasion from space or a zombie apocalypse, but I had just seven days to record the essence of where I live in a set of 12 images so that future generations can see what life was like in the 21st century, before disaster struck....

Sign of the Times

In every town and city we are surrounded by signs; street signs, posters, banners, store windows, advertising on buses, public information notices, and so on. And it's all great material for street photographers....