Sunday, July 17, 2011

Takin' It To The Streets


I’m talking street photography, also known as photojournalism or candid street shots. 

New Socks


Street photography is considered a form of documentary photography. It features subjects in candid situations in public places like streets, parks, political conventions, cities and other settings. 



Thank you kk for use of your photo

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP15 - CopenhagenDenmark



Thank you kk for use of your photo

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP15 - Copenhagen, Denmark



Thank you kk for use of your photo

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP15 - CopenhagenDenmark


Street photography shows a single human moment, caught in a specific or touching way. It can also show a very personal image of the subject matter, giving the viewer a more factual experience of walks of life they might only be vaguely familiar with. 



I love street photography and capturing a spontaneous moment in time.




There’s lots of discussion and argument on just how to accomplish dynamic street images. Discussions include the type of camera and lens to use and whether or not to ask permission of the subject to snap his or her image. Asking permission takes you out of the realm of candid however.

Here are some thoughts by various street photographers about camera types to use. Experiment and chose which work best for you. 

Some street photographers prefer a small Point and Shoot camera with the lens fully extended. A Point and Shoot is small and less noticeable than a dSLR.







iPhones have become popular for street photography and are less obtrusive than a Point and Shoot or large dSLR camera.

Some suggest using a dSLR camera and a wide angle lens. The wide angle lens is small and not intimidating. A wide angle lens lets you capture more of the subject and their surroundings giving you an environmental portrait.

The most popular lens and camera combo is a dSLR with a 50mm prime lens. With a prime lens you must get close to your subject for focusing.

And of course there’s always reason to use a dSLR and zoom lens. With a zoom lens you can stand back from the subject and capture the action from a safe distance.







My next several posts will include more tips on street photography. 

Next week I will summarize my 6 posts on photographic composition. I have several guest photographers submitting photos. If you'd like to join in, below are the links to review, then email your photos to me at mariwilbur@gmail.com. You will get a photo credit and a link to your blog. Let's have some fun!

Composition: Leading Lines
Composition: Frame Your Subject
Composition - Cropping
Composition: Rule of Thirds



Recommended reading on street photography:














68 comments:

Linda Della Donna said...

Great information. I love my Nikon and taking pictures with it. After reading your article, I'm better prepared for my next "photo" outing.

Best wishes,

Linda Della Donna
www.bookorbust.blogpsot.com
www.griefcase.net

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I love my Nikon too. I've never settled on any one type of photography but street photography is definitely a fave.

Jan Neel said...

Thank you for this. I was reprimanded and threatened with police so I have shy'd away from street shooting. Maybe this will help some.

Bec Owen said...

I love these kinds of shots, Mari...real moments in real life! I've always been kind of curious, though...do you ask permission after you've taken the shot?  Or, is it okay to not have permission, at all?

Thank you for a great post!

Raven Myth said...

Capturing Truth in the moment...very powerful...I think my fav is the first photo...makes me want to sit down and share stories ..or not...but then the Police on the Horse has a sense of humour playing out...( who is fed up with who)...another wonderful tutorial Mari...another aspect of these types of photo's is the element of mystery...we could weave a story for each shot...

AJ said...

I've always wanted to take photos of strangers on the street cuz, you're right, they give a glimpse of the way of life of a place or a moment in time of someone. But I always worry about getting caught taking someone's photo. I know I'd feel uncomfortable, at the very least, if I saw someone taking mine.

So yeah, a compact P&S would be ideal. But because I take the photo quickly, they can be un-composed and sometimes blurry. They really are snapshots. But I guess that gives them a gritty, realistic feel too.

Sailor said...

Very beautiful! Lots of emotions I can see in the street.

Jimshu said...

I haven't got into street photography yet. Would like to for the reasons already expressed- capturing real people and their moment in time.
But yes there is the intruding, voyeuristic element that needs to be considered. Ethics of taking someone's picture...and it is just that- taking... need to be discussed.

David Smith said...

I love the street pics, there's something about the untouched raw setting with average folks that's appealing. The photo with the cop on the horse is great, that candid shot captures a moment in time which  can't be duplicated in a studio setting. Many emotions come through in those pics and they are so moving. Thanks for sharing the pics and the wonderful tips which you explained so well. This is a great subject matter and I look forward to future post!!

Rogueartist said...

Great post, Mari!  I love taking street photos.  Yours are outstanding!

Dangerous Linda said...

interesting & timely subject -- everyone's a flâneur photographer today, right?

i think it's good for the world when people look around with a discerning eye.  reminds me of my favorite photography quote from Dorothea Lange, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

as we learn to become better street photographers we also learn to see a more beautiful world!  

cooking varieties- wan maznah said...

hi mari, very interesting to watch street happenings like the ones spontaneously  captured here.
you have multi talent..have a nice day

Debra Elramey said...

“Asking permission
takes you out of the realm of candid however.”   A great quote for photography students.  

 This is exactly what I tried to tell a friend
of mine one evening when we were at a concert. 
There was an old black lady with a cane dancing with abandon and I
begged her to get a shot.  But she said, “I
just feel so strange walking up and taking a picture of a stranger.  I need to ask permission first.”  

I just love the posts
on street photography or photojournalism and am saving this and the following
for when my daughter returns from her trip. 
This is a MUST.  Excellent work
Mari. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I do love this style of photography. I wish your friend had snapped the photo - it would have been priceless!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thank you. I do enjoy a variety of photo styles.

Sulekha Rawat said...

Enjoyed your pictures as usual but I do have a question for you, What if some day a person from your candid pictures comes across your blog and demands an explanation? I would not feel very comfortable in a candid shot, it's just my opinion. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

You are so right. I love Dorothea Lange's work. I have a book with photos of her work from the Depression-era.  I've learned so much from it about capturing people and getting a natural look. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I'd love to see some of your photos! You can add photos in your comment box. :D

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thanks, David. Your photos of Erin are so beautiful - I'd love to see more photos from you. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thank you. I'd also love to see some photos from you or your wife - that would be wonderful.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Practice, practice, practice. You'll be surprised at how quickly you get the knack for snapping off great photos. Look at lots of other photographer's work too. I'll be doing more posts and explaining ways to catch good images.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I like the idea of weaving a story for each shot. That would be fun! In that last photo I posted I think the dog wanted to eat me. :D

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I don't ask permission because I like the spontaneity of a candid shot. The photos can be published but not for commercial use without a model's release signed by the person in the photo. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Where were you taking photos? I'm very curious. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

That's an excellent point, Sulekha, and one that is often discussed among photographers. I will address that in my next post about street photography. Some photographer's don't care for street photography at all and stay away from it. If someone contacted me about a photo I posted on the internet and wanted it taken off I would certainly oblige. 

Sonali Desai said...

nice pictures ,Enjoyed your pictures.
Excellent work

http://shonadesai.blogspot.com

Mary said...

Mari, I love these photos!  There is so much that is captured on film that would otherwise be missed in the heat of the moment.  Great work!!

Jpbrandanophoto said...

Like the tips as usual a really good idea!!! Liked all the images but especially the last three!!! The man on the park bench is great and shows that you don't need to follow all the rules of composition to get a really great image!! Sometime you need to break them




http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-i-photograph-silhouettes.html

whatstruckme said...

Interesting info on street photography! Although it's one of my favorites, I fear I am breaking into someone's privacy. But so far it's been a wonderful experiment * sheepish smile*.

bod for tea said...

I love candid photography. So much so that we had a formal AND candid photographer at our wedding (many moons ago). Another great post Mari :D

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thank you, Sonali. Glad you enjoyed.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

It's like building a time capsule. I love looking at my street photography film prints from the 60s through the 80s - they are really fun with the clothing and hair styles and the political unrest.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I did a post on breaking the "rules" of composition. It's important to know them and when and how to break them.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I bet your wedding photos are beautiful. I've always love candid wedding shots and the interaction between bride and groom on their special day. The father/daughter dance at weddings is so touching. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

That's an excellent point, Jim, and one that is often discussed among photographers. I will address that in my next post about street photography. Some photographer's don't care for street photography at all and stay away from it because they feel it is an intrusion. It's a matter of opinion.  I love photographing flowers and many photographers feel that's not "real" photography. We all have our likes and dislikes.

Nelieta said...

Loved these photos Mari! My kind of style :)

Nelieta said...

Sorry I forgot to upload one of my photos :)

Sarah-Jane Klemis said...

I love these candids, I only just realised what they were - I took a load of shots of what I call just at the moment and someone commented on them being candid's.  I love these especially the one of the officer on his horse.  You can almost caption the horse's thinking - quick check yep he's not going anywhere - hi ho silver!!! fantastic shots.

Jpbrandanophoto said...

I agree completely I think it becomes our "style " lol

FAYE said...

I really adore those street photos ! It's like there are a lot of stories to tell .. ^^

Jenni said...

Street photography is great, well all photography can be great but, there is something so touching to see images of ordinary people on the street in their natural environment. I especially liked the man sitting with the socks and the drummer in the background of the woman walking. I could hear her shoes clicking to the beat. This was a great post Mari, I enjoyed it.

Aaron Offord said...

One point to make with street photography is a zoom lens will keep you away from your subject which is good for when you are starting out but you are not part of the scene you are photographing and this will reflect in your images as they will be very flat and compressed.  You are always better to use 50mm or less to capture great impactful images.  This will give you a great depth of field, and help keep everything in focus. 
If you are new to this form don't be ashamed to use the longer lens but as you get comfortable and adapt your style begin to slowly move closer and closer to your subject. 

Another benefit of a prime lens is the more you use one single focal length you will begin to be able to frame potential photos before you bring the camera to your eye.  Also they are much lighter, usually extremely sharp, and have wide aperatures that helps you keep your shutter speed fast (I always keep mine above 1/400 when shooting street with my min being 1/250)

Aaron

lakwatsera de primera said...

I'm torn between my zoom and 50mm lens for street photography. Both have their own advantages. I like the flexibility of the zoom lens and the quality of image of my 50mm.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

This is a great candid shot! I love it!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I love your comment - lots of humor for a humorous photo!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I agree!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I'm glad for your comment! I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately not every one has a prime lens so I think it's important to know all types of camera and lenses can work. But a purist in this art would certainly want either a prime or wide angle.  A wide angle obviously captures more of the action if you're shooting a riot, convention or other action packed event. My friends who shoot in more of a street documentary style of use wide angle. Glad to get your comment and have you back!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I agree. I like both and switch off depending on the situation and location. If I don't want to put myself in harms way but want to capture gritty action, people and scenes I use my zoom.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Loved your comment about the drummer with the woman walking by - "I could hear her shoes clicking to the beat". Wow! And this is why I love to read your work.

Sonali Desai said...

i love the pics & Like the tips.
great post !

Nelsonlanka said...

Excellent candid shots, well done.

Jewell said...

I absolutely adore the picture of the policeman on the horse.  That is the perfect caption contest picture.  =)  Looks like the horse is saying, "Wake up, dude!  Don't we have a bad guy to chase?  Or grain to eat?"  =)

Great post as always!  =)  xo

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Cute rhyme and thank you!

Eileen3600 said...

I love your street photos, great photography!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Thank you!

Carmen Barriuso said...

Me encantan las fotos de reportaje de la calle. Gracias por seguirme en mi blog. 
Besos

Team g square said...

Should try street photography someday , thanks for info .

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Me alegro de que hayan disfrutado el post. Voy a disfrutar de tu blog. Tal vez en algún momento le gustaría contribuir con algunasfotos de uno de mis mensajes. : d

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Wow! Thank is an excellent photo! You captured a great image. I will be doing more posts on street photography. I'll email you and perhaps you'd be a guest photographer again. 

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I love your photos and you blog. I am now following you. The attached photo is a wonderful image. I hope you will be a guest photographer on one of my posts in the future :D

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

At first I thought the policeman was asleep on his horse but as I walked around I realized he was actually talking to his horse lol. I love your comment.

Jewell said...

LOL...too funny because I certainly would have guessed that he was asleep up there!  =)  Wonderful as always!  =)

Aaron Offord said...

leave the zoom at home, take only the 50...your images will be so much more powerful and resonate with viewers.
http://streetogroffy.blogspot.com

Aaron Offord said...

hey mari,
no not everyone has a prime lens but for all DSLR's the 50f1.8 can be got for 100 bucks used...not a very large outlay to start out.....zooms don't just do street photos justice, there is too much compression and the viewer feels like a voyeur...but using a prime and getting close there is something special in the images because the viewer feels like they are part of the scene

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I'm glad the 50mm works so well for You. It really shows in your photos.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Aaron, I'm glad the 50mm works so well for You. It really shows in your photos.

mayankpandey said...

Hello Mari, my first visit to your blog. I am a great fan of street photography, still not calling myself a street photographer because i am still learning the tricks of trade. Street photography is a rush - shooting in environment not in control, the need for speed since the moment exists only for a second. Its there and then its gone. A genre thats becoming more popular and deserves more coverage. I also feel that photojournalism /street has slight differences. As someone beautiful said, in streetphotography, the photographer notices things which people normally walk by, infact even if they were to stand there at same spot it may be easy for them to miss the moment :-)

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Welcome to my blog. Your comment is excellent and much appreciated.