This week’s assignment about shooting street life photos might be challenging for some. People might not be comfortable using a DSLR in crowds that might generate worry or confrontation but there is an easy way out of your troubles. Yes, there is a cat photo too!
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Street Photographers like to get close to the action and fill the frame with people, movement and objects.Adam Juniper
The easy answer is the visibility challenge is – Project 8 in the challenge book is the perfect project for getting in some smartphone practice. Regardless of how old your ‘phone might be. If it can take a photo it can be used for street life photos.
Your phone is so much a part of your life, and selfies so popular, that walking around with your device and taking photos is much easier and less stressful for you as a photographer. I even managed a pretty good photo of a cafe cat.
You can use your DSLR just remember that you need to respect others at all times and know the regulations of the country you are shooting in. In some parts of the world taking photographs of strangers is illegal. In some, it is plain dangerous. When in doubt lower your camera and forgo a shot.
Filling your frame with people means you either need to get close or use a lens like the 50 mm that brings everyone and everything closer to you. A photo that fills the frame with people or things like a shop front or patterns in the street is removing all of the instructions a photo might have because people are compelled to look where you tell them too.
Street Life Photos Take Patience
The photo of ‘Scooter Man’ in Wellington only happened because I stood on a busy street corner in Wellington when lots of people were heading home from work. Cyclists, pedestrians and motorists whizzed by but it took some time before I spotted a scooter approaching my field of vision and I was able to get into position and shoot.
The group of youngsters below took a bit less time to shoot but I wanted to make sure I gave the impression of an intense chat, where are they planning to go next? Is it the nearby scooter and skateboard park which is about ten minutes away. This wasn’t about faces but about negotiation, doing what everyone agreed was a cool idea.
Street Life Hashtags
You should add any location tags relevant to your area (remember the tips page) and then add tags that relate to your subject like #photography #streetphotography #blackandwhite #bnw #smartphonephoto
Cats and Street Life
I don’t usually find a lot of cats in Wellington’s CBD, so I am including a cat cafe snapshot that has a gritty realism appropriate for street photography and the cat is central enough for me to crop off the sides of the photo when I post this on our Instagram account later this week.