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street photography

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There are dozens of tricks you can use to stealthily take street photos like pretending to take an image of the sky and reviewing your photos to Zack Arias’ method of spending an uncomfortable amount of time in one spot. But one tried and true method has always seeing with your eyes.

Renowned New York street photographer Joe Wigfall explains and shows his method of shooting from the hip in a WNYC Street Shots interview. In the video Joe walks though the busy city with camera held at chest level simply taking images as he moves forward.

By not looking through the viewfinder, Joe can focus on observing his surroundings and look for scenes. What’s more, by removing the need to constantly look through the viewfinder Joe can shoot from all sorts of interesting angles such as overhead, under his arm, near his leg, and even from feet level.

It’s a technique that takes a while to figure out but learning the 35mm and 50mm can be done with time. After that, Joe says it’s just a matter of learning to trust your instincts. In a single trip during his lunch hour or walk to the train, Joe says he takes a hundred photos. This number eventually whittles down to five or three when he finally gets to Flickr, but the process is entirely worth it to get even a single image that really says something.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GH4 review images street (8 of 13)ISO 2001-1250 sec

This weekend, we’re giving you a couple of projects to do to help you get rid of your fear of shooting street photography. For starters, remember that everyone is only human and that you should never feel terrible about photographing someone in a public place.

Then start to think a bit differently.

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Image by Dylan and Sara. Used with permission

What does it take to create an iconic photograph that transmutes mundane everyday life into exquisite imagery? Profoto recently interviewed renowned street and documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark for that very answer.

There are many ways to create an image that attracts your audience. But to make a photo that transcends time and lingers in everyone’s memory it needs to be mysterious, beautiful yet strange, and overall just has to be an image that speaks to people. Mary goes onto say she specifically tries to take images that capture an emotion and feeling whether it’s humor, irony, or just plain old intensity.

The film versus digital discussion comes up during the course of the interview and Mary says that photographers should turn off the screen on the back of their camera. It raises the stakes for the shooter and it makes them reach harder when they can’t tell whether they got the shot until well after they’ve taken the exposure.

Mary gives one last piece of advice telling aspiring photographer to try and make a living out of their art even in spite of magazine shifting towards commercial solutions.

“If you love it and you really want to do it, then you must do it because you’ll never forgive yourself for not doing something you cared about or believed in,” Mary keyed off. The video is after the jump.

See the video after the jump

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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