Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Trade Tricks: Street Life
Create beautiful photographs in your own community
While I usually work with an SLR, increasingly I'm using a compact digital camera. They're far less obtrusive than a huge SLR, and I find that people who I approach are more agreeable to the idea of being photographed when I'm holding a camera that fits in the palm of my hand. The most important feature is a camera with minimal shutter lag. To reduce any potential delay, I focus on the area where I expect to take the photograph and depress the shutter release halfway, locking focus and exposure. Then I fully depress the button to take the shot.
Although I take many of my people pictures surreptitiously, other times I approach someone about taking their photo. If I was drawn to them because of an article of clothing they were wearing or an activity in which they were involved, I begin the conversation by focusing on that, rather than jumping in and asking to take their photograph. If I feel a degree of comfort, I ask them. If they decline, I continue speaking to them for a little while before moving on. Several times, because I continued to engage someone in conversation, they changed their mind and asked me to take their photograph.
Street photography can be high art, but it also can be an ideal way to discover the beauty of the world outside your door and improve your photo skills.
Never be satisfied with only a single shot of a scene. Fully explore your subject by shooting numerous frames at different focal lengths and perspectives.
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