Yasser Alaa Mobarak: Not Your Typical Street Photographer

All images by Yasser Alaa Mobarak. Used with permission.

Photographer Yasser Alaa Mobarak is a 24-year-old, award-winning Egyptian photographer based in Delhi, India. He is not your typical street photographer. He’s one of the winners of the highly coveted Sony World Photography Awards. He’s also won prizes from The International Federation of Photographic Art, National Geographic Egypt, Photographic Society of America and Prix De La Photographie Paris. Of course, for such a young age, he’s quite decorated.

In fact, he’s achieved a whole lot in under 10 years. He started shooting when he was 18 when the Egyptian Revolution took place. “I saw strange events happening in my country for the first time so I decided to buy camera and start documenting these events,” he tells us. “This was the starting point of my photographic journey.” Along this journey, he drew influences from photographers Ashraf Talaat and Steve McCurry. For Yasser, photography became his creative tool for documentation, art, self-expression, and sharing his vision.

Continue reading…

Gene Altman’s Vintage Street Photography Showcases Candid NYC in the 1960s

All images by Gene Altman. Used with permission. 

“What drew me to street photography was the thrill of candid photography,” explains photographer Gene Altman about his candid street photography from the 1960s in NYC. “I was drawn to it because I soon found that giving people time to pose usually masked their truth.” Gene’s images are part of his book called Cityscapes: Intimate Strangers which brings many of these beautiful candid moments to the fore. Gene moved to NYC a long time ago in pursuit of becoming a full time photographer. There were bouts in between where he went without work and sometimes got depressed. So in order to cope, he went out and photographed the people in the streets.

Continue reading…

If You’re Not Close Enough, Then Go Telephoto in Street Photography

“I want to be the fly on the wall.” is the mantra of so many street photographers out there. For the most part, it’s possible these days. All you need to do is find a way to get close to your subject, use the silent shutter, click, and you’ve got your photo. It’s part of the old adage that if your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough. Many photographers these days tend to use wide angle lenses and go up to the 50mm field of view simply because they feel that it’s important. Gear mongering aside, let’s more address the fact that the point of getting close to a subject is to actually, you know, have some sort of connection with them.

But in most cases, there really isn’t one. So what that mantra becomes is this really, really terribly old idea that in order to get the best street photos you need to be close to your subjects, and you need to use that specific gear. But if Instagram and the iPhone have taught us anything, that’s not true at all.

Continue reading…

Christian Stoll’s A New York Split Second Perfectly Exhibits the Chaos of the City

All images by Christian Stoll. Used with a Creative Commons License

There have been lots of attempts to try to capture the chaos that is always happening in NYC; and Christian Stoll’s latest attempt puts it all into details that we can look at and observe with great detail. While many photographers try to do things like long exposures to show the trail of people and vehicles, Christian resorted to multiple exposure photography instead. There are a number of photographers who have done this, but none that have combined aspects of contemporary street photography and fine art in just the right way.

Continue reading…

Four Low Profile Pancake Lenses That Are Perfect for Candid and Street Photography

One of the best things about pancake lenses isn’t necessarily just their low profile, but the fact that they encourage you to carry your camera everywhere with you. That mean that at all times, you can be ready to capture candid moments as they happen in front of you. They’re not going to stick out in a crowd and the performance of many of them are really terrific.

So with that said, we’ve gone through our reviews index and looked at a number of great pancake lenses that we’ve tested.

Continue reading…

My Job is to Make People Hungry (As a Food Photographer)

I don’t think black and white makes a picture better like a guitar solo doesn’t make a song better. If all the elements of a photograph are right for a black and white photo, then it will work. I used to be a big defender of black and white portraiture and street photography but one day I looked at my work and thought it was all crap and decided to try colour; the effect and power of a colour photograph was so intense that decided to turn everything back to colour.

If you look closely, on my portraiture portfolio, there’s a phrase that says “my job is to make people hungry” at first, it might look a bit out of place but when you think about it, It’s an analogy of what chefs do vs what I do; it’s the link that brings both crafts together. As part of the constant evolution of my website, I’ve improved my design by having a vertical scroll portfolio and chose break the monotonous pattern by throwing a few catchphrases/calls to action here and there.

Continue reading…

Jonathan Higbee: This is What NYC Street Photographers Sometimes Experience

All words and images by Jonathan Higbee. Used with permission.

Let me tell you about my day. It was odd and saturated with adrenaline thanks to an ambitious group of security personnel who are now schooled in civil rights!

A gang of security guards outside the Time Warner Center decided it was a good use of their time and mine to harass, intimidate and threaten me. I was photo-waiting (like I do) at a beautiful scene with filtered afternoon light combined with gorgeous bounced light that Midtown and its skyscrapers so generously afford sometimes. I was on the sidewalk, photographing urban geometry-type work. The first guard to approach me came up and told me I had to leave, that I was a threat to national security. You know how Manhattan has pretty much become an open air psychiatric hospital in recent years? Well, yeah, I thought he was insane and ignored him.

He persevered (bless his heart), so I realized he was serious and removed my ear buds one by one (modern day equivalent of taking off earrings) to play ball.

Continue reading…

Vince Alongi: Capturing Street Photography Scenes in Black and White

All images and words by Vince Alongi. Used with permission.

On black and white photography, I feel you can create a timeless view of a scene that strips away the unnecessary such as coloring of clothing, mute styles and really capture the players in the story. In a landscape or cityscape, that will put a focus on the structures and mood. To express your vision in black, white and shadows it can really leave an impact on feeling rather than getting caught up in tones of colors.

Though I don’t approach a situation looking to render this in b/w, it comes out in the processing stage. I’m starting to train myself, however, to view the world as if I’m colorblind. I enjoy the noirish feel in visual arts- there’s a romantic, edgy, classical feel when someone can capture and create a vision without color being the focal point. I strive to be part of that, hopefully produce images that will give people pause.

Editor’s Note: in a previous version of this article, we misspelled Vince’s name. We apologize for this.

Continue reading…