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Street Photography Escapism: How to enjoy shooting the streets

Street photography is an excellent form of escapism. Many street shooters find solace and relaxation when roaming the streets and searching for a decisive moment. Street photography escapism soothes my spirit and helps me enjoy life without focusing too much on my problems.   The … Continue reading Street Photography Escapism: How to enjoy shooting the streets

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Street Photography South Africa: How To Shoot In The Townships

The Street Photography South Africa Project   Welcome to the Street Photography South Africa project. This project is about Street Photography In The Townships Of South Africa. Using Mhluzi Township as a model of all townships in this country, it will feature images taken exclusively in Mhluzi … Continue reading Street Photography South Africa: How To Shoot In The Townships

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How to shoot candid street photography and avoid trouble

Shoot candid street photography without getting into trouble   When I first read about candid street photography in magazines I asked myself three questions:    ‘How did the photographer manage to capture these images without getting into trouble?’    ‘How can I shoot candidly without inviting verbal … Continue reading How to shoot candid street photography and avoid trouble

Street Shooters Shoot Street Photography Because…

 

 Street Shooters Shoot Street Photography For Different Reasons

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Street shooters shoot street photography for personal reasons.

Shooting street photography is a personal pursuit. Street shooters shoot street photography for different reasons. As a street shooter, why do you shoot street photography?

Reading about why people shoot street photography always fascinates me. What I find even more fascinating is listening to practising street photographers explain why they shoot street photography.

That’s why I am so eager to find out why you shoot street photography.

In this blog post I’m going to share with you my reasons for shooting street photography. And I’m hoping this will motivate you to share with me your own reasons for doing the same. Deal?

Right.

But let me first tell you why Ross Wilson, Tyler Newcomb, Ryzzal Ali and Michael Ballai shoot street photography. 

 

Street Shooters Shoot For The Following Reasons:

 

“Why do you shoot street photography?”

I asked this question on Quora and these are the answers I got:

Ross Wilson:

“A good street photograph reveals a wonderful choreography that existence weaves into every moment and that seems to connote meaning in the most fleeting of otherwise unnoticed tenths of a second”

Ryzzal Ali:

“I do street photography because it captures the everyday scenes that is happening around us.”

Tyler Newcomb:

“When I do street photography I get this indescribable feeling of satisfaction. The diversity in street photography fascinates me and inspires me. Street photography opens my eyes to the world. Street photography is very intimate and personal to me. For me street photography is the only place I don’t have to please anyone or live up to expectations.”

Michael Ballai:

“It’s kind of like being on a hunt with no guarantees. You still hope to find some particular juxtaposition of people and objects. Sometimes there’s nothing more than some arrangement of objects. I’m a beggar and take what I find.”

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Why do you shoot street photography?

As A Street Shooter, I Shoot Street Photography Because…

There are many reasons why I shoot street photography.

FREEDOM

Freedom to shoot what I like without worrying about pleasing anyone. The number one client in my street photography is no one but myself. That’s why I can afford to go out and shoot when I feel like it. No deadlines to meet. No client requirements to satisfy.

Freedom to shoot in Black and White. Freedom to shoot in Colour. Freedom to shoot in RAW or JPEG. Freedom to combine both formats and then decide later whether I want to spend more time in post processing or just a few minutes on my jpgs.

Freedom to shoot with any device I have. I can shoot street photography with a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex). I can do so with a Point-and-shoot or with a Smartphone. No one will say to me: ‘But I don’t like the quality of your smart phone photos’. If I’m happy with what my phone is capable of, that’s what I’ll use to do street photography.

My advice to new street photographers is: Take your time. There’s no need to rush. Learn street photography at your own pace.

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I shoot street photography because it makes me feel good

This is why I shoot street photography

ARTISTIC LICENCE

I love street photography because it gives me a licence to shoot. To shoot anything and everything. I’m not restricted to shoot only street photography. Being a street photographer doesn’t stop me from shooting other genres.

In addition to street photography I also enjoy shooting Abstracts, and Urban Landscapes.

And I love shooting inanimate or still objects.

ON-GOING LEARNING

As a street photographer I love people. I love the human race. I love life and spend most of my time observing people as they go about their lives. Humanity never ceases to fascinate me.

Street photography gives me the chance to learn more about people. This learning never stops. Everytime I go out to shoot I learn something new. Even when I’m not shooting I still learn a lot by just observing people.

Sometimes I feel like an undercover police officer or a spy. I see things most people take for granted. I can spot a mugger before he sees me. I can predict people’s actions or movements without them noticing or being aware of my presence.

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Street shooters shoot to immortalize mundane activities

Street shooters shoot to immortalise mundane activities

FULFILMENT

Last but definitely not least, I shoot street photography because it brings me immense pleasure. The feeling I get each time I capture a great image is almost indescribable. It is a soul-soothing feeling that fills me with a sense of accomplishment.

The hallmark of a great street shot is that it’s unique in the sense that it cannot be replicated. Not even by the author.

Street photography is both an art and a craft. It makes me an artist and a craftsman all rolled into one. But I prefer to describe myself as an Observer of Human Behaviour.

There you are. I nailed my colours to the mast.

Now it’s your turn to tell me why you shoot street photography.

Use the comment section below and keep this conversation going.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and ask me any question about street photography.

I want to close this blog post with a BIG THANK YOU to these street shooters: Ross Wilson, Ryzzal Ali, Tyler Newcomb and Michael Ballai for inspiring me to write it. This they did by answering my question on Quora:

“Why Do You Shoot Street Photography?”

Thank you guys. Much appreciated.

Till next time.

Cheers.

Shoot street photography: “Can you teach me how to shoot street photography?”

Can you teach me how to shoot street photography?

 

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How to shoot street photography

Let me put it this way: Can I teach you how to shoot street photography? Can anyone teach you how to shoot street photography?

There is a school of thought that says street photography cannot be taught.

For example, Bogdan Neagu believes that photography CAN be taught. But NOT street photography. Photography in this instance refers to how cameras work, composition etc. Bogdan reckons that street photography is the product of one’s “own experience and style + skills that get developed with experience.” His answer to this question is: “No, it couldn’t be taught on its own.” Source: Quora

Bogdan is not the only person who believes that street photography cannot be taught.

For example, Ellis Vener says: “No, it cannot be taught.But it can be learned but only by doing it and learning to edit (choosing good photos and tossing bad ones)” Source: Quora

 

How to shoot street photography

How would you answer this question? Do you think that street photography can be taught? Is it possible that I can teach you how to shoot street photography? And if I can teach you how to shoot street photography then you or someone else can teach me how to shoot street photography.

Right?

Here’s what Mathew Mehta thinks about this topic: “Who says street photography can’t be taught? It’s true that you cannot teach someone your own or someone else’s style… but you can certainly help people figure out their own style, and their own methods.”

Source: Quora

 

Can Street Photography be taught?

 

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Can you teach me how to shoot street photography?

This topic is inspired by Eric Kim. Eric complains that he’s being criticised for charging a lot of money for his street photography workshops. His critics claim that street photography cannot be taught. I know one such critic who devoted a podcast episode to critiquing Eric Kim. Among other things this critic accused Eric of being a lousy teacher anyway. Now most of you know how much Eric has contributed to the street photography community. I for one have learned a lot from his writing. It’s not my intention or wish to either defend or support Eric on this criticism.

I’m only interested in discussing the topic: Can street photography be taught?’ And I’m looking forward to read your answer to this question in the comment section. I know you have your own take on this topic.

 

What’s your take?

 

Since Twitter limits you to only 140 characters, please use the comment section on this blog to teach me. Yes, educate me on this topic.

Share your views.

There’s no need to attack anyone. Just discuss the topic and share your wisdom with the street photography community.

 

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Can street photography be taught?

Let me close by quoting Michael Ballai, also from Quora: “People who do (street photography) well aren’t necessarily able to teach it. The problem isn’t that one cannot teach but rather that they cannot verbalize what they do.”

Do you agree with Michael?

I share the views of Greg Blomberg: “Anything can be taught. If you have an interest in Street Photography as many people do, there are Online Tutorials, Workshops, etc.” Source: Quora

If you can teach me how to shoot street photography, that’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life. But is that possible?

Please connect with me on Twitter and keep this conversation going.

I’ll appreciate it very much if you can also share this blog post on Twitter. Thank you in advance for your generous spirit.

Till next time.

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimize fear of shooting strangers: Follow these 3 easy steps

Minimize fear of shooting strangers: Follow these 3 easy steps…

 

 

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Minimize  Fear of Shooting Strangers –  step #1: Analyse your fears.

 

Are you scared of photographing people in public spaces like streets, parks, and beaches?

If so, you’re not alone. And you’re in good company.

 

When I started shooting street photography with my DSLR I was constantly afraid. I worried that people will think I’m a voyeur or a paedophile. But I just wanted to shoot innocuous images of people going about their lives and thus turn their sometimes miserable existence into something remarkable.

The fear of shooting street photography is the one thing that all street hunters have in common. We are all afraid to a certain degree.

But some of us have managed to reduce this fear.

How can you minimize your fear of photographing complete strangers without asking for their permission?

Follow these 3 easy steps and see your fear of shooting street photography disappear into thin air.

 

3 Easy Steps To Minimize Fear of Shooting Strangers

Step #1: Analyse Your Fears

Ask yourself why you’re afraid to photograph people you don’t know. What exactly is the cause of your own personal fear? For example, what are the possible consequences of your actions?

If someone sees you taking their picture without asking for permission, how will they react? One possible answer to this question is that you don’t know how they’ll react. You don’t know what will happen.

Is it possible then to assume that you’re afraid of the unknown?

You assume that something bad might happen. For instance, your camera might be confiscated. Or you might be attacked. Perhaps you’re afraid that people will swear at you. Or give you funny looks.

Which one of these three scenarios are you more scared of?

  • Damage to, or confiscation of your equipment

  • Physical harm

  • Being sworn at, or shouted at.

Minimize fear by first shooting at places where most of the people know you. Such as at social gatherings like weddings, parties, family reunions or get-together.

Remember that the subjects of your street photography do not have to be strangers. The only criterion in street photography is that they should be unaware that you’re taking their photo.

Do you really think that a relative of yours or a friend will smash your camera into smithereens?

Can any of your colleagues or acquaintances physically harm you for having taken their photo without permission? Will they swear or shout at you?

I doubt it very much.

 

So practice with the people you know and hone your skills of shooting candidly without being spotted.

Step #2: Know The Law

Another reason you’re scared of shooting street photography might be that you don’t want to be in trouble with the law. You don’t want to be arrested or detained for whatever reason.

This kind of fear is based on your ignorance of the law as it pertains to street photography in your area.

In most countries street photography is not prohibited.

Read up on what the law in your specific city or town says about street photography.

As long as you are civil in your approach and do not act in a suspicious way, no police officer is going to stop you from taking pictures of strangers.

 

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Minimize fear of shooting strangers – step #2: Know the law.

 

Street photography is perfectly legal in most countries. So stop worrying that you might get arrested for doing what you love. Do it respectfully and enjoy!

 

Step #3: Choose Your Hunting Ground Carefully

 

 

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Minimize fear of shooting strangers – step #3: Choose your spot.

 

 

 

 

There is just one place in your city or town where you can shoot street photography without being noticed. It is your duty to find that place and make it your own favourite shooting spot.

The point here is: Know your area very well. And select  a spot that will help you produce the results that you’ll be proud of, without having to worry about your personal safety or the safety of your equipment.

Conclusion

I have followed the 3 steps outlined above to reduce my fear of photographing strangers.

Can you add just one more step that helped you reduce your fear of shooting street photography?

Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter and keep this conversation going.

And, just before you go, can you please share this blog post on Twitter?

Thank you for your generosity. I really appreciate it.

Till next time.

Cheers.

 

 

 

Street Photography Style: How To Stand Out As An Artist

 

How To Discover Your Own Street Photography Style

 

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How to discover your own street photography style.

 

Your street photography style reflects your true personality.

Street photography is about self-expression. Your work as a street photographer tells us more about you than it does about your subjects.

When I started shooting street photography I did not understand this fundamental truth. I would take my camera out and start shooting randomly hoping to get something interesting. I did not know what or how to shoot.

 

Most of my photos were useless.

I thought long and hard about how I could improve my street photography. And then it dawned on me.

The secret to street photography style was to shoot how I feel. How I feel about my past. How I feel about my aspirations. About my prejudice, fears and world view.

 

So I started to shoot how I feel about any given subject.

Anything that I see when roaming the streets in search of images might remind me of something about myself. It might also trigger an emotion in me. Love. Hatred. Desire. Longing. Loneliness. Dread. Despair.

 

Personal Street Photography Style

This approach to street photography will help define your work. No two people feel exactly the same way about things. As people we also see things differently. It is this difference that will make your work stand out. Embrace your uniqueness.

A case in point is this photo above.

At first glance it may not tick all the boxes to qualify as street photography.

But a closer look and a little background may help change your perception of what street photography is or what it means to the photographer. The shooter’s personal approach to street photography is reflected in his or her work. Their style.

Ons Koffiehuis

The place where this photo was taken is as important (if not more so) as the people depicted in the image. This was a Coffee House or Cafe at the corner of Market and Joubert streets in Middelburg. Older folks in this town will recognise it as the building opposite the Barclay’s Bank.

Today  most of these names have changed. Market or Mark street is now called OR Tambo, Joubert has become Bhimy Dhamane and the Barclay’s Bank is known as FNB.

And Ons Koffiehuis (Afrikaans for Our Coffee House) is barely recognisable with its new name: Goofy.

This was the only place in town where one could buy the ultra right-wing newspaper called Die Patrioot or The Patriot. I loved to hate this mouthpiece of Dr Andries Treurnicht’s Conservative Party.

I was mystified by the logic behind the Apartheid Policy so much that I wanted to understand it from the horses’ mouth, so to speak. So I bought this journal and read it to find out what they were saying about Black people in general. It was an excruciating experience.

That was in the heydays of Apartheid in South Africa. And the Ons in the name refered to White people only. Black people were not allowed to enjoy coffee or anything here. For example, even though we could buy anything in this café, we would not be allowed to sit at the table and eat. That was reserved for Whites.

Seeing these two gentlemen sitting and enjoying a conversation here triggered a sense of déjà vu in me. It reminded me how I felt about this place in those days.

Today South Africa is a cultural melting pot. There’s no more segregation based on race or skin colour.

 

But my memories of Ons Koffiehuis will always be with me. This photo sums up my feelings about this place.

 

Bicycle

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Shoot Your Own Memories

What are your earliest memories of a bicycle ride? When you see kids riding on their bicycles today, are you reminded of your own childhood?

I was attending a wedding in the Free States the other day when someone said to the groom: “I remember you when you were a little boy riding on your Tri-cycle. I can’t believe that today you’re a married man!”

There’s a picture right there in those words. Can you see it?

My earliest memory of a bike ride was when I was much older as a boy. I think I was about 12 or 13 years old. There were these men at a ‘watering hole‘ and they had parked their bicycles outside a shebeen. It was in the evening and the moon shone brightly.

I stole one of the bicycles and rode around a block or two before returning it to where I had taken it. Nobody noticed anything.

A bicycle features prominently in our lives. These two cyclists made me think of the role played by bicycles in my life. And of what a bicycle means to poor Black men in rural areas.

The picture of a bicycle therefore triggers mixed feelings in me. Photographing these feelings somehow soothes my soul. And I think this also dictates my style of street photography.

Look deeper into your own psyche and see if you can come up with a unique approach to shooting your own feelings. This might  be a turning point for your street photography style.

 

Conclusion

Street photography style is a vast topic. I only managed to talk about one aspect of this topic in this blog post. My next blog post will cover  a different approach to street photography style.

How did you uncover your own street photography style? Or, are you still searching for it?

Drop me a line in the comment section below and keep the conversation going.

You can also follow me on Twitter and engage.

For further reading on  style in street photography please check the following resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Take On Street Photography Workshops?

 

10 Street Photography Workshops To Consider In 2017

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Street Photography Workshops – Do you Like or Hate them?

I prefer to learn street photography at my own pace. I mean, I don’t like to be rushed. I want to take my time when learning. You might say that I’m a slow learner.

As an avid reader, I peruse online resources such as ebooks, blog posts, articles and videos courses to learn as much as I can. I also read hard copy books and photography magazines.

I’ve never taken, nor am I planning to take any street photography workshop with anyone.

My first encounter with photography was through a correspondence course in the early 1980s. I enrolled for what was called Expert Photography course and received lectures by snail mail. It took me ages to complete that course. But I did get my diploma eventually.

Perhaps this explains why I prefer to learn by reading.

How did you learn photography? What is your most preferred way of learning? For example, do you like audio, like podcasts? Or do you feel more comfortable watching videos, as in video tutorials?

 

I’m told that nothing beats one-to-one learning when it comes to photography. Especially Street Photography.

Which brings me to street photography workshops.

 

What’s your take on street photography workshops?

Have you attended any or are you planning to do so soon?

 

Street Photography Workshops in 2017

I decided to compile the following information because I thought it might be useful to those of you who are planning to take street photography workshops this year or in 2018.

If you’re one of those who prefer one-to-one mentoring, as in workshops, I hope you’ll like this blog post.

 

10 Top Street Photographers To Learn From in 2017

 

Depending on your budget, place or subject, you can learn from any of the following top street photographers:

 

  1. Spyros Papaspyropoulus

  2. Eric Kim

  3. Valerie Jardin

  4. James Maher

  5. John Free

  6. Ian MacDonald

  7. Linda Wisdom

  8. Dirty Harry

  9. Steve Simon

  10. Rinzi Ruiz

 

Spyros Papaspyropoulus

 

Spyros is offering a Flash Street Photography Workshop in Athens, Greece during March and April 2017. “Driven, creative, most of the times on the street in search for that perfect shot. Spyros Papaspyropoulos is a Street Photographer from Greece” – StreetHunters.net

Eric Kim

If you want to Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography, Eric Kim will be happy to teach you how to do that in New York during the weekend of 4-5 October 2017. I respect Eric for his generosity and vast knowledge of street photography.

Valerie Jardin

Valerie might be able to squeeze you in for a photo walk in Paris during the weekend of 29 September and 1 October.

“My passion for humankind drives me to shoot mostly street photography. I thrive on searching and waiting for just the right moment when a story unfolds in a single frame.” – Valerie Jardin

James Maher

For a 3-hour private NYC Photo Tour and Street Photography Workshop contact James Maher and choose your preferred date. 

“While I finished my degree, I spent my summers and the few years after graduation studying at the International Center for Photography and assisting for commercial photographers – until I decided to start my own photography business in 2006.” – James Maher

John Free

If I ever take a street photography workshop with anyone at all, it will be with this grandfather of street photography. I love his passion and knowledge of photography in general. John is, for me, simply the best.

For a private, one-to-one workshop with John in Los Angeles, contact him and indicate your preferred date.

“I am a social documentary photographer. I have taught classes and workshops at USC, UCLA, Pasadena City College, Newport Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.” – John Free

Ian MacDonald 

If you’re concerned about the Legalities Of Street Photography you should consider taking a 20-hour workshop with Ian. He will be running this workshop on the weekend of 11th – 13th August 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.

Linda Wisdom

For those of you who want to learn to Shoot From The Heart and Mind, Linda offers 2-hour personalised workshops on the streets of London. Indicate your preferred date and this self-taught West Londoner will organise a 1-2-1 with you.

Dirty Harry (Charalampos Kydonakis)

This one is for intermediate to advanced street photographers who are prepared to Agree/Disagree about Taking/Making and Hunting/Gathering poetic story telling in street photography. It’s an In-Public street photography workshop planned for the weekend of 28 -30 April 2017. It will take place in New York where Dirty Harry will be working with Gus Powell.

 

Steve Simon

If you want to Live And Breath Photography in Tokyo, Japan, join “The Passionate Photographer” and Soichi Hayashi in Tokyo for an 8-day street photography Masterclass workshop on 23 March – 03 April 2017. Steve has been “capturing life as he encounters it in not less than 40 countries.

“Mostly deliberate, sometimes reckless
More physical, less cerebral
Love’s outdoors, hate’s cheese” – Soichi Hayashi

 

Rinzi Ruiz

“The one-on-one workshops are catered to you and what you specifically want to learn. After you register, I start by asking you a few questions by email that will help me learn a little about you and plan the topics and aspects of street photography that you would like to learn and focus on. On the day of the one-on-one, we’ll meet in Downtown Los Angeles and start by discussing the topics of the day and then go for a photo walk so I can walk you through and apply the lessons for the day.” – Rinzi Ruiz

Choose a date that suits you and Rinzi will teach you How To See the Light in Los Angeles.

 

Conclusion

As I pointed out at the beginning of this blog post, I learn photography differently. I guess you too have your own preferred way of learning. I’m just curious to find out what that is. Do you like street photography workshops? Or do you enjoy listening to podcasts.

Please let me know how you feel about street photography workshops.

You can DM me on Twitter or leave a comment below.

Till next time, Cheers.

 

 

 

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Why Confrontation Is Not Synonymous With Street Photography

  [clickToTweet tweet=”Confrontation Is Not Synonymous With Street Photography. Your Camera Attracts Confrontation.” quote=”Confrontation Is Not Synonymous With Street Photography”]      Confrontation Is Not Synonymous With Street Photography Confrontation can happen to anyone with a camera. You don’t have to be a street photographer … Continue reading Why Confrontation Is Not Synonymous With Street Photography