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Refining My Streetphotography -04879-20140829

On the surface, street photography can look easy. You go for a walk and take photos. But I have learned enough to know there is a lot more to it. Picking up your camera and going for a walk is only the beginning. Street photography is an art form that has been practiced for some time. A person can only get better through practice. Over this past summer, I took it upon myself to try to refine my street photography. There are many lessons to be learned from photo walking almost every day.

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dealing with police Geservo-0447-20140115

Due to the nature of the work that I do, I was recently asked how I stay out of trouble with the police. The question caught me off guard. The person asking the question brought up the fact that I’m always in New York with a camera. In my photography life, I have occasionally run across my share of bigots. But photographers are mostly a great community of people–and the issue some photographers have is their race and the law. Not everyone is treated equally 100% of the time. As an adult I have rarely, if ever, been singled out and stopped. I am not going to say I have never been harassed but when I was young–I quickly learned how not to make myself a target for police. As a photographer, I worried about that subject even more. So here is my answer.

Editor’s Note: Chris Gampat has co-authored this piece.

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IbarionexThePhoblographer3MinutePortraits01

When I approach a stranger to make a portrait, I don’t have a lot of time to work with. It’s not unusual for me to have as little as three minutes to get everything done and allow my subject to be on their way. So, my mind kicks into high gear and I consider not only what I’m doing with my camera, but also with my subject, the lighting, the background and so much more. It is a mental checklist that helps me to make the most of the time between my and my subject.Though it may not seem like a lot, the regular practice of it makes it an automatic and intuitive process for me today.

So, there are a lot of choices that I have to make.  Here are some of the things I do to ensure a good portrait in 180 seconds.

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NIkon Df GServo-20131231-0016

The internet is abuzz with professional photographers and enthusiasts who are dumping their DSLR to switch to mirrorless cameras such as the Fujifilm XT-1 or Sony A7s. The high performance and image quality provided by these small, compact cameras are convincing many photographers to switch not only models, but brands.

There are no shortage of articles that showcase that advantages of mirrorless over a DSLR and visa versa, but such comparisons alone are usually not enough to convince someone to make the change. The reality is that many photographers may not need to regardless of either the hype or the definitive advantages provided by mirrorless. Here are some reasons why you may want to stick with your DSLR.

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 Getting It Rite In Camera Is Important Now gservo-01946-20140708

Creating an image is similar to constructing a building. If you don’t get it right, you have to go back in and fix it. Some people like to say “I can fix it in post” and while this is true, it’s not always efficient. Sometimes if you take your time and get it right in the camera first you can shave hours off of your production time by taking a few extra minutes to get your exposure and composition correct. Sitting in front of your computer may not always be a choice depending on circumstances.

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IbarionexThePhoblographerDocumentaryPhotography01

Many associate the golden era of documentary photography with the heyday of picture magazines such as Life and Look magazine, but the practice of the photo story is still alive and well. Though such work may not find a home within the pages of most of today’s consumer magazines, there is still an interest in such bodies of work which can be frequently found online.

These photographers, many of whom I have had the opportunity to interview on my podcast, The Candid Frame, focus on more than just getting a nice-looking singular image. Instead, they show the power of a photo story where multiple images are used to convey facts, emotion and drama. These techniques can be used just as effectively by the rest of us whether we are focusing our lens on the lives of others or our own.

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