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street photography

julius motal the phoblographer weekend project phone 01

It’s the weekend, and this time, we urge you to go shoot with your phone. It may seem like a tall your order, but your phone’s capable of more than you realize. Get out there and shoot.

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julius motal the phoblographer understanding awareness street photography

A friend asked me recently, “How do you get photos of people without creeping them out?” The short answer is that it lies in awareness. The photo she inquired about was one I shot in a bookstore, and while that doesn’t fall in the loose tenets of street photography (candid photos in public spaces), the principles in making that image are the same. Ask any street photographer about their craft, and you’re bound to hear about how essential awareness is.

In street photography, there is little control. The polar opposite is studio photography, in which you can control every element of the image making process: from your subject’s pose to the direction and intensity of light. In street photography, you have to be able to let go and give yourself up to the ever-shifting dynamic outside. What you can control, however, is your awareness, and that comes in several forms.

On the street, you need to have spatial awareness. That is to say, you need to be aware of everything and everyone around you, and that changes with every step you take, as well as the steps everyone else takes. Everything is a part of the frame, and where those elements are determines the type of image you make. When everything falls into place, then you click the shutter.

An extension of spatial awareness is situational awareness. It’s not just about the physical position of elements in a three-dimensional space, it’s about what’s happening. Of course, not all street photographs have people in them, but for those that do, the person (or people) in them are in the midst of doing something.

The street photographs that leave a lasting impression capture emotion. If you can properly gauge emotions in your subjects, your photos will be better for it. Emotional awareness comes with constant practice in observing people, with and without your camera. The visual cues are there in body language.

Awareness and anticipation exist symbiotically in street photography, and you can hone those skills by getting out there and photographing as much as you can.


The Phoblographer Fujifilm X30 review images product shots (2 of 10)ISO 2001-200 sec at f - 2.8

The Fujifilm X30 is a camera that has gone through incredible changes since the original X10 and the X20. For starters, Fujifilm decided to remove the OVF completely and work with just an EVF. Additionally, there have been modifications to the autofocus and how it works amongst many ergonomic changes to make the camera feel better to use. One of the bigger changes is the addition of WiFi connectivity to transfer your images to a smart device.

Otherwise, the camera has a 1/2″ sensor coming in at 12MP with a 28-112mm equivalent lens that starts at 2.0 and ends at f2.8 at the more telephoto side. The lens’s minimum aperture is f11–which makes sense for such a small sensor. Then there are additions to the video features, but Fujifilm has never been known for the video in their X series models and many photographers that use them really do so just for stills. Indeed, Fujifilm has been known for creating cameras for photographers.

The X30 has a lot going for it, and in many ways, it could be the company’s best camera yet for street photography.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm x pro 1 street photography test revisited (1 of 5)ISO 800

Is it possible at all to take photos of children in public without being creepy? As it is, taking photos of people in public can sometimes be a touchy subject. Absolutely no photographer that reads this site (I hope) wants to be known as the creep. And in all of our teachings, we have always only preached respect of your subjects. As it is, taking someone’s photograph isn’t disrespect. It’s simply an act. What could be disrespectful instead are the intentions of taking the pictures to begin with–but this connotation is usually associated with men more than women (though creeps come in all shapes, sizes and genders). If your intentions are simply to document the human condition, then depending on the situation, you should always approach with a sense of caution. But if you approach it in a way that doesn’t creep anyone out (no matter what gender you are) then you shouldn’t at all feel ashamed.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X30 first image samples (1 of 28)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

The title of this piece can almost make you say, “Duh” depending on what school of thought you’re coming from. Whether we choose to believe it or not, the iPhone is one of the most popular street photography cameras not only due to its small size and reliability, but for the fact that it has such a small sensor that it’s tough to not get a subject in focus. The sensor is indeed so small that it is tough to get something not in focus–so the photographer is forced to have compelling subject matter without relying on tricks like bokeh.

And by going on a similar train of thought, one can argue that smaller sensors indeed make street photography easier.

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julius motal the phoblographer project street 11

It’s the weekend, everyone. Get up and get out on the street. Here are some things to try this weekend when you’re out and about. [click to continue…]