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Thread: First attempt at Street Photography

  1. #1
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    First attempt at Street Photography

    Hello all

    Yesterday I took my first attempt at street photography. It was far harder than I imagined. I am not sure if I will do it again, I found I made lots of basic mistakes due to being and feeling incredibly intimdeated and uncomfortable.

    That being said once I had my shots int eh computer and admittedly heavilt eidited them I actually like some of the shots.

    I was using a 35mm 1.8g nion on a D3100 body. Personally I would have preffered a longer lens. I had several instances that were uncomfortable. Any way. here are some shots please let be critical:

    First attempt at Street Photography
    Open for business by Darren Joseph Gregory, on Flickr

    First attempt at Street Photography
    Where the **** is my bin!!!! by Darren Joseph Gregory, on Flickr

    First attempt at Street Photography
    Preparation by Darren Joseph Gregory, on Flickr

    First attempt at Street Photography
    Alcoholic Friends by Darren Joseph Gregory, on Flickr

    First attempt at Street Photography
    Drunk and alone by Darren Joseph Gregory, on Flickr

    More at http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenjosephgregory/

  2. #2
    Fstop Manalo's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Darren, good photos. Judgement: 1st, 2nd and 3rd photo. I get distracted by the reflections of the glass especially on no.3 where the main subject is the chef/cook. No. 4 is alright for me. No. 5 Im not getting the point of the picture, sorry.
    You have a great lens Darren. A 35 1.8 is a great lens. I'd wish I could have one but too bad Im still trying to get some money.
    Keep up the pictures. Just go for less B&W or go for pictures with more emotion and such. My opinion ok? So listen or dont listen, its your choice

  3. #3
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Definitely a good start, Darren - stick with it. You do feel very exposed when you start with street photography and personally I would have not bothered the drunks, but that is not something I come across in the Middle East!

    One of the best things to do is just look like a tourist or look as if you don't know what you're doing. If you are shooting a situation that is edgy or possibly confrontational then look as if you are waiting for the scene to clear rather than shooting the subjects, of better still avoid all eye contact and move to a different position to make it look as if you're shooting something else. Most people won't bother you if you do that.

    Compositionally for number 1, I'd crop slightly to remove the edge of the pillared door frame on the right and clone out the bollard.

    And reflections can be a good thing - look out for them and try to use them to your advantage.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Like Phil suggests, if you want to make a go of street photography, don't give up. I'd say the evidence shows that you can do it.

    I suppose it's a case of going with it until you build up more resistance and the feeling of intimidation lessens.

  5. #5
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Thank you all for the comments. Just to add a bit more to the "tale" as I posted these late last night. The first three shots were taken in China Town, London and the last two near the London Eye. I found the two drunk gentlemen interesting as they kind of stuck out in amongst the street performers and tourists but only if you were paying attention.

    I always wonder how people have got to a posiotion were they are drunk and (possibly in this case) living on the street. Do they have family, if so do they know where they are, do they worry about them?
    Last edited by gredawarha; 16th September 2012 at 08:46 AM.

  6. #6
    jjbacoomba's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Fantastic shots Darren. I havent tried street photography yet. Hopefully soon. I feel its just like any other kind of photography. Just gotta get out there and shot more. Very well done!

  7. #7
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Wonderful images Darren. I really like the cook one. I think reflections add rather than distract. We expect to see such a scene behind a window when walking on a street.

    (@ Phil: so that's how you do it!!)

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Looking like I don't know what I'm doing comes naturally to me, and there's a reason for it

    I'm like you Darren, very self conscious.
    The D5000 does have a "quiet" shutter mode, which can help, plus the tilty LCD with Live View, which means you can sit at a bench and shoot pasers by, which is how I took most of the close silhouettes here

    Good series, I like the first three, although I'd suggest setting #3 so it is vertical (i.e. without the lean)
    #4 almost works; I'd like to see more face on the chap on right
    #5 doesn't for me I'm afraid; subject is dark and < half the frame, plus the light background is sharp with lots of distracting text to read.

    I think the reflections contribute to #1 and #3, less so in #2 because there's not enough to work out what they are.

    Hope that helps,

  9. #9
    wmoore's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Hi Darren

    Good first attempt at street photography. The first three are good showing action or interaction. The last two don't really do any thing for me. The background in the last one is bright and distracting.
    Street Photography can be scary at first but the more you do it the more relaxed you become.
    There are some well known street photographers like Bruce Gilden, who is very much in your face when it takes shots.
    Have a look at this YouTube clip of Bruce in Action. Now I couldn't do what he does.


    There where other Street/people photographers like Henri cartier bresson who liked to make himself invisible while capturing the shot. So you need to find were you are comfortable, for me and my street photography is half way between those two.
    Check out Eric Kim's website for interviews and tips.

    Warrick.

  10. #10
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    I dont know how Bruce Gilden lived to be 61! I much prefer Jay Maisel's approach and work.

  11. #11
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Definitely a good start, Darren - stick with it. You do feel very exposed when you start with street photography and personally I would have not bothered the drunks, but that is not something I come across in the Middle East!

    One of the best things to do is just look like a tourist or look as if you don't know what you're doing. If you are shooting a situation that is edgy or possibly confrontational then look as if you are waiting for the scene to clear rather than shooting the subjects, of better still avoid all eye contact and move to a different position to make it look as if you're shooting something else. Most people won't bother you if you do that.

    Compositionally for number 1, I'd crop slightly to remove the edge of the pillared door frame on the right and clone out the bollard.

    And reflections can be a good thing - look out for them and try to use them to your advantage.
    I'm getting better at using photoshop so cloned out the bollard:

    [IMG]First attempt at Street Photography open for business by Darren Joseph Gregory, on Flickr[/IMG]

  12. #12
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Darren,

    Unfortunately your original isnt showing up for me. But as a testimony to your improved cloning skills, I cant even tell where the bollard was. Well done

  13. #13

    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Hi Darren,
    I am going to echo the comments above, you have some really good shots here.

    I did a photo course a year ago which required us to go out into the streets and shoot. Like you I was intimidated and uncomfortable but also found that I really enjoyed the challenge of capturing interesting/unposed images that had a little more meaning for me than a shot of a flower. A year and a half later I find myself a lot less intimidated, to the point where a friend asked me to take him out shooting because he was nervous and didn't really know how to go about street photography.

  14. #14
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    Darren,

    Unfortunately your original isnt showing up for me. But as a testimony to your improved cloning skills, I cant even tell where the bollard was. Well done
    Hi Kevin

    Thank you for the compliement. Cloning is one of those useful tools that I am slowly learning. For what it is worth the bollard was below the shop window.

  15. #15
    gredawarha's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Hi Dan

    I would imagine your friend apprecaited the guidance. The other thing I found and in fact often find is that when I am out shooting I feel the shots are not great. It's only when I get them home, processed on a nice big screen that they come alive.

  16. #16

    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    I know what you mean. I think this is in large part because the small details are what make or break a street shot. The subjects expression, small details in the environment etc. The camera LCD is fine for seeing if you framed the subject but not really ideal for seeing if you captured the important details.

  17. #17
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Darren, i love all of them. I want to get into street photography to. Any tips/advice?

  18. #18
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    I dont know how Bruce Gilden lived to be 61! I much prefer Jay Maisel's approach and work.
    +1 to that! I'll give him kudos for what he does, but that wouldn't be my approach if I were a street photographer!! Jay Maisel has taken some remarkable images, and is a little lower-key than Bruce.

  19. #19
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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    H Darren and Allen,

    I recently came across this site:

    http://www.thomasleuthard.com/Book/GoingCandid.pdf

    Is it of any help to you?

    Charles

  20. #20

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    Re: First attempt at Street Photography

    I really like "Where's my bin?" and "Preparation". They both capture the emotions of the subject well and have a sense of movement. Open for Business seems a bit dark to me and wonder how the shot would have changed had he been looking in your direction?

    Overall I say keep at it as these are very nice shots for your first foray into street photography.

    Aloha,

    Shane

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