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street photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 15mm f1.7 review product photos (2 of 6)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

Street photographers generally need a few things when they go shooting. First and foremost, their camera bag (or bag of any sort) needs to be low profile and not attract any attention to them. In fact, they need to blend in as much as they possibly can. But they also need quick access to their gear and they need to be able to move quickly. While moving quickly can depend on the photographer’s specific speed, they no doubt will be able to move master if they have less weight on them. So with that in mind, a photographer needs a small, lightweight bag that won’t make them want to bring too much with them.

If this sounds like you, we’ve compiled a list of low profile camera bags that you’ll want to take a look at.

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Andreas Ott Street Photography 2All images by Andreas Ott. Used with permission.

“I am a street photographer based in Bonn, Germany.” says photographer Andreas Ott in his original pitch email to us. Andreas works in IT and has been a photographer for 15 years. He became a street photographer in 2013 after discovering the work of Thomas Leuthard. However, balancing a job, a family and a personal love of art can be very tough to do.

He recently shot a series about street life in Cuba and was amazed by the friendliness of the Cuban people whom he photographed. But Andreas’ true strength is with his sense of composition. Andreas shoots in black and white sometimes and much of this work is high contrast–emphasizing shapes and the way that he composes scenes.


We talked to Andreas about his sense of composition with what he sees on the streets.

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The other day, Julius and I were going through images and submissions the site when we stumbled upon a submission who had a couple of impeccable images that were plagued by one big problem. The pillars of street photography tell you things like “F8 and be there”, “Get closer”, or “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.” Yes, it’s true, rules are meant to be broken but not when it comes to capturing emotion and intimacy in an image.

But as we kept sifting through the images, we felt the same thing: the photographer wasn’t close enough to their subject. We both feel this often for many photographers we come across.

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julius motal the phoblographer street photographers getting over fear eric kim image 05 Suits-8

In this episode of ISO 400, we talk with Eric Kim. While he may need no introduction for some, he is an international street photographer and educator. He’s known for the Eric Kim Street Photography Blog, which has been a tremendous resource for anyone looking to get their start in street photography. Kim started the blog when he realized that there were hardly any resources for street photography.

The blog has been somewhat of a journey for him. As he learns things about the craft, he turns them into blog posts. He interviews and features the work of other photographers, and he teaches workshops all over the world.

Here, he tells us more about what got him into the craft, what it means to be a street photographers, thoughts on his own work, and much more.

For more of Eric’s work, head on over to his website, check out his Facebook page, and visit the blog. Some examples of his work are down below.

As always, our music is provided by Yuki Futami, a New York-based jazz musician.

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“What matters is what turns out in front of you” states Sydney based street photographer Markus Andersen who is the focus of a short documentary called “Belly of the Beast” by Rob Norton. He says this about using film, digital, Leica or phone cameras. Markus shoots film personally because he likes it, but again he states that it’s just a personal preference. However, he’s much more interested in the world around him in black and white.

The documentary explores the way he works and sees the world to capture the images that he does by chasing the light, finding the right contrast, shapes, and so much more. But unlike other photographers, Markus doesn’t care if he wastes a single frame of film. He figures that it’s much better to attempt to take the shot and be pleasantly surprised than be disappointed.

More than anything though, he talks about his passion for street photography and how it isn’t the goal to become famous. Instead, you should aim to get the best images that you possibly can.

The documentary is after the jump and well worth checking out during a lunch break today.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer GM5 Panasonic hand (1 of 1)ISO 4001-320 sec at f - 2.8

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

While many street photographers tend to shoot with their cameras in shutter or aperture priority, lots of street photographers shoot in manual mode. If you’re looking to give this a shot, then we recommend a very handy trick (literally) to make metering a scene and people in the scene even easier.

When you point your camera at someone, it’s bound to try to meter for skin or for the person. In that case, a good place to start is to point the camera and lens at your hand, take a meter reading and adjust the shutter speed, ISO and aperture based on this. Then depending on if your scene is more dominated by shadows or highlights, you fine tune the exposure from there before even putting the camera up to your eye to shoot.

By metering off your hand, you’re exposing for a similar subject in most likely similar lighting and you’re that much more likely to get the exposure correct the first time around. Plus, folks don’t think that you’re posing a threat to them.

Go ahead, try it out the next time you go to shoot street photography.