Street photography tips (part 2)
Apart from when i’m lucky enough to take a holiday abroad, most of my Street photography takes place in and around central London as it’s where I work. I always aim to get in around an hour or so early and spend that time walking around searching for anything that takes my fancy. I normally stay around the same areas as I know where the best light will be at any given time of the day.
Work your area
Zack Arias – once advised me to stand and photograph on the same corner for a month and to look far more at layers. This initially sounded pretty boring but after a few days I began to see where he was coming from. I was taking more notice of the people in relation to the space.
It is important to take this into account and I had often overlooked it.
I strongly recommend you try it. Stand in the same place for an hour. Wait for something to happen around you rather than go searching for it. It will change the way you think about your surroundings.
Another bonus of staying put is that you become almost invisible to those around you. This will allow you to get quite close which is one of the hardest things to get used to in street photography.
There is a lot to be said for getting familiar with an area
1. You tend to feel more comfortable and are able to relax easier in an area you know well. As I have been photographing in the same area for many years I feel very much at ease in my surroundings.
2. You can quickly judge the best places to visit when it’s raining or the light isn’t so good.
3. You will build up knowledge of an area and the sort of shots you like to capture so are able to revisit known places in the hope that you might get a picture you missed earlier.
4. As you know where you’re going you can spend more time with your eye up to the camera.
Light and shade
Light and shade throw up endless possibilities. I love the contrast of solid blacks and light areas. Like most people it just appeals to my senses.
Remember – light is quite literally the conerstone of all photography regardless of genre!
Pay particular attention to where the shadows are falling and the light is shining. The results can be quite striking as seen in my shadows portfolio.
I am lucky as during the summer months one side of Oxford street is bathed in direct sunlight and as such the lighting is very dramatic. This also gives me the advantage of my subjects not being able to see me as I desend upon them with my 20mm Voigtlander.
Personally I don’t ask
Here’s the deal
I very rarely ask permission before I shoot as I just don’t like posed street photography pictures. I prefer the more natural candid look with the subject not noticing the camera. Sometimes they do notice and it works but generally I prefer them not to.
Stay safe and above all enjoy your street photography.