At the start of the month I attended a street photography workshop that was being run by Jessops and Panasonic, I’m going to count it as being able to cross off my resolutions list as attending a photo meet up as essentially that’s what it was, a load of camera geeks in a room talking shop and playing with toys before heading out and using them in the real world. The workshop was taken by Damien Demolder, who was excellent, the right level of fun and informative you need from such a situation.
I won’t go through a huge amount of what we covered but I will cover some of the basic points as they are helpful for not just me but all street photographers or people looking to get into the genre. So first off a list of things that are good to look out for when shooting on the street;
- The Spotlight Effect (using light to draw the eye to a subject)
- Using depth of field
- Low angles
- Levels and Framing
Now I’m not saying you need to be looking out for everything all the time, however it’s surprisingly easy if you just pay attention to your surroundings how much you will notice that fits into those broad parameters above.
Another subject that was covered was technique, something which I have found myself learning a great deal from is simply suing back screen shutter modes and leaving the camera in aperture priority. This was you can concentrate on the scene around you as it develops rather than having your eye glued to the viewfinder and missing tons going on around you. This technique works great for street photography, you can scan the area looking for someone interesting to walk into your frame and snap away as they arrive, I’ve spent hours since just waiting next to a good patch of light and shadow for the right person to walk through using this and it’s been really successful.
Another good technique tip was very simple, and that was to just get into the thick of the action, get in people’s way, stand around and just shoot as people walk around you. Make the subjects come to you. I’ve started finding a spot where I will hang out and just not move, people can walk around me if they want to and that’s fine, I’m not bothering them and they’re not bothering me. This was I can concentrate on the scene around m as it develops for me, not try to find something and make it happen.
Perhaps the most important lesson of the day was one that I have told other people on numerous occasions myself but still found it helpful to have a professional emphasise the point. That is; nobody cares if you are photographing them. I know shock horror but he vast majority of people have better things to do than tell you off for taking pictures so don’t worry about it ever happening. A phrase came up that I’m so pleased it did, as I use it myself all the time, at the end of the day people just assume someone with a camera is a tourist, you can inconspicuous and no one is going to care.
Anyway below are some of the images I took on the day, I used my own Panasonic Leica 25mm Summilux lens but borrowed a Panasonic GX8 camera (which was really nice to use, if a little different to what I’m used to).
ISO 400, f1.4, 1/2500th sec.
ISO 400, f1.4, 1/2500th sec. ISO 400, f1.4, 1/2500th sec. ISO 400, f1.4, 1/4000th sec. ISO 400, f1.4, 1/2000th sec.
ISO 400, f1.4, 1/1600th sec.
ISO 400, f1.4, 1/2500th sec.