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For this first article I will talk about street photography and especially give you 6 tips to improve your street pictures skills, whatever your camera. I like the street photo because it sends us back to reality, we see things as they appear before us.
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The funny thing is that there are thousands of ways to approach street photography, we all have different stories. Stories but also minds, some have their smartphone, others a compact, or a professional SLR. But whatever the camera used, we are all sensitive to these street photos.
When doing street photography we have to be focused on taking photos, and nothing else, when your arrive to an unknown city what's attract me ? what is my inspiration ?
If you are in a city with a lot of people, you can increase your ISOs and slow the speed shutter, you will see the world differently, the colors will be more saturated, the faces of people seems different.
But in a rather calm and well-lit city by day, focus on the visible things, the light embracing the walls, what people lay in front of their houses, or people talking in the street.
Street portraits :
Depending on where you are, it will be more or less easy to take people pictures. You have several choices:
- To turn your camera in front of people, which will make him look quite surprised or unpleasantly surprised.
- Do not look in the viewfinder and take the picture blindly, which will offer you another dynamic.
- Use reflective surfaces, from transport (bus, car, subway), or hide your device to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Hold the camera below waist/knee height, it is a pretty difficult exercise because the focus will be impredictable, but will bring some magic to your photos.
Think different :
If you want to differentiate yourself from the others photographers, think different, if you see that most people are going somewhere, turn your head and change the path.
You can take your smartphone's map to see the different paths available to you. The feeling to be alone in a place will offer you a kind of exclusivity of the place and you must honor it.
The techniques :
I did not speak about "technique" strictly speaking, because I have a very wide vision of the photography, the good photo is the one that seems nice to you.
The settings must become natural, when you take out your camera, focus on your subjet and don't think about the settings, use your instincts !
At the beginning you will have some misfires, pictures over or underexposed, but it is not really a problem, play later on the editing with your favorite software.
But if you know exactly the picture you want to, take your time, take your tripod and make a nice long pose.
Look at other photographers works :
A good way to sharpen your street photographer's eye, is to look at photographers' books, go to exhibitions or check on Instagram.
Watching the work of others will inspire you, I really like the way of doing of Daido Moriyama, a Japanese photographer I saw an exhibition one day, and the photos were printed giant ! which immediately made me feel like walking in the streets of Shinjuku.
You can also look at Vivian Maier's photos, she has a very special way of taking pictures that make them really unique.
While walking I saw a pot filled with water because of the rain, I leaned down, lowered my speed shutter, increase the ISO and played with the reflections. I have a frozen version but this one seems more phantomatic.
Here are 3 pictures taken vertically, I saw repetitive elements, a nice contrast and beautiful colors due to artificial lights.
For this one I was waiting for a friend, I was lying on a bench the camera on the knees, I lowered my speed and shot randomly when people passed in front of me.
I did not want to annoy this gentleman by taking him from the front, so I took his reflection from the window behind me.
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