Street Photography.

Last year I discovered a love for street photography.  I can spend hours wandering the streets with a camera looking at people, maybe it helps to be an inveterate people watcher and I guess if you don’t like people watching it’s not going to hold much interest for you.  You can see some of my favorite results here

When I started photographing in the street I found it quite intimidating and I thought I would share some of the strategies that I found helpful.  First off you don’t need any special equipment, in fact the most important pieces of gear you own is your eyes.  So to start with if you want to shoot in the street, practice by spending time each day looking for situations, scenes that might make good images.

Equipment: you can use any camera, from a DSLR to a mobile phone.  Sometimes I shoot with an old Leica that is totally manual and it’s great, however, when I develop a roll of 36 exposure and have one or no good exposure it can be a very chastening experience.  If your camera has program modes such as aperture priority and auto focus then use them.  Things in the street happen fast and by the time you have your exposure setting right and your subject in focus the moment has passed.  Next I recommend traveling light, leave the tripod and the big camera bag at home, bring a camera and one lens.  Prime lens are best if you have them, they are smaller than a zoom lens.   I bring a spare battery or roll of film if it’s a film body.  Also I like to travel alone if I am going out to photograph on the street.

So what to shoot?  A lot of people think they could never photograph people in the street because they could never shove a camera in someone’s face.  Well either could I!  I prefer the stealth approach.   Here is one idea you could try:

Photograph reflections.

About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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