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street photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 product images for review (4 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.2

When it comes to focusing in street photography, zone focusing is arguably the best way to ensure that you get your subject sharply in focus the first time and every time. The reason for this is because generally autofocusing algorithms won’t be able to keep up with you making a split second decision, lifting the camera to your eye, analyzing the scene to figure out what to focus on and then releasing the shutter. In the entire moment that it took you to read that sentence the moment is simply gone.

YouTube user Tim Heubeck recently did a video on how to zone focus a street scene by using his Fujifilm X Pro 1 and the 23mm f1.4. It more or less requires that you use the distance scale, depth of field scale, and aperture scale altogether in order to nail the photos sharply in focus. This is much better demonstrated in a video–which is after the jump.

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Alex Couture-Beil Unitog 16

All Photos by Alex Couture-Beil. Used with Permission.

Street photographers should very familiar with that look everyone gives them right after they take stealthy picture of them. There’s a mix of confusion with a tinge of aggression. When Alex Couture-Beil takes a photo of Vancouver denizens from the top of his unicycle there’s rarely a confrontation. Instead people will gaze up to see a man on a unicycle taking with a camera then smile and sometimes even laugh.

Alex says he likes to take street photos from the top of his 29-inch wheel unicycle because it lets him get around a faster. He takes photos for his Unitog Tumblr on the move with his trusty Ricoh GRset to an 1/1000 second shutter speed and rangefinder mode to pull focus quickly.

“Most often I’ll keep the camera slightly hidden in my hands and only reveal it at the last moment and smile back when I take a photo,” Alex says.”Even at 1/1000 I find it can be a challenge to avoid motion blur when I’m close to subjects.”

Hit past the jump to read the full story.

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julius motal the phoblographer tips night 06

It would be wonderful if we had the best possible light for each shot at any time of day. For better or worse, the golden hour is just that–a period of beautiful light that happens once before dusk and once after dawn, providing there are ideal conditions. There will be occasions when you’re photographing at night, when you’ll only have street lights, neon signs, headlights and similarly limited light sources. It can be somewhat daunting, but here are some tips for photographing at night. [click to continue…]

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review images (1 of 13)ISO 4001-800 sec at f - 3.5

When it comes to getting a first prime lens, many of us on the staff reached for the 50mm f1.8–otherwise known as the nifty 50. But as time progressed, almost the entire staff also moved onto the 35mm field of view. In fact, many of my personal friends have too because 35mm lenses could arguably be stated to have a field of view of what you actually see in a scene. But this is one of the biggest debates for prime lens owners: 35mm or 50mm. In a recent video, DigitalRev tried to solve this debate. Kai makes some great points stating that one is a great travel lens and street photography lens and great for working with tight spaces, but when it comes to getting bokeh you’ll want to go for the other (obviously the 50mm).

And just in case you’re curious, you should check out our Sigma 35mm vs 50mm Art comparison. The video on choosing a 35mm or a 50mm lens is after the jump.

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vivian maier

The efforts of a crusading lawyer could pull Vivian Maier’s from the public eye for years.

Maier was a nanny who spent her free time photographing on the streets of Chicago and elsewhere, and her negatives, which she never published, were sold at auction for about $400 to a guy named John Maloof several years before Maier died in 2009. Since then, Maloof and other have been hard at work developing her negatives, showing her work in galleries and making a profit off of her work.

Now, her work is in legal limbo, thanks to the efforts of a photographer-turned-lawyer, David C. Deal. Initially, Deal was bothered that people unrelated to Maier were profiting off of her work, and with that wrinkle, he decided to investigate. According to the NYTimes, Deal maintains that Maloof has not purchased the rights to Maier’s work from her closest living heir. Maier had no children of her own, and Maloof found a cousin of hers in France, from whom he purchased the rights for an unknown amount. Deal claims he has found a closer heir.

This could very well take a while, years at least, but Maier’s work is already disappearing from galleries. The reason that the case’ll take so long is that her relatives are not in the United States. It’s unclear what will happen to her work after the case is settled, but it’s certainly an interesting case to watch unfold.

Via PetaPixel


All photographs by Nicholas Goodden. Used with permission.

While most street photographers are sticking by their straightforward captures of urban life and bustle, London based urban photographer Nicholas Goodden, inspired by visual artist Kelly Goeller and his nostalgic love for video games, offers an unusual and quirky take on street photography with his ongoing Pixilated People series.

Known for his powerful street and urban landscape images, Nicholas explains how the project came about:

“The Pixelated People project in an ongoing urban photography project which came to life after I recalled a brilliant piece of NYC street art entitled Pixel Pour by Kelly Goeller. This was essentially a water pipe pouring out pixelated water made of blue tiles. Being a video game obsessed teenager in the eighties has had an influence as well I guess.”

In this cool, albeit short, series, Nicholas turns people into pixels as they go about their day in the city streets, which by contrast looks completely normal and un-video game like. Flanked by urban art, a recurrent subject in his work, in shabby spots in the city, the people in Pixilated People quite literally – at least in the photographs – transform into 80s video game characters.

Why, exactly? If you’re scratching your head on this one, don’t worry – it’s what Nicholas set out to do:

“I wanted to make sure the viewer ended up a bit confused and with unanswered questions after seeing my photos. It features people who feel slightly out of place in our gritty, street art / graffiti covered cities… something quite common actually.”

It’s probably not something today’s youth can understand without looking it up on Google, but the images in Pixelated People will most likely conjure familiarity and sentimental longing for those of us who have lived the 80s.

Itching to take out and dust off that old Atari sitting in your closet, yet?

To see more of Nicholas Goodden’s work, visit his website or follow him on Twitter for updates.


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