Advice For The Local Street Photographer

There is a simple truth: not everyone gets to travel as photographers. We have to make do with where we live and there is nothing wrong with that. With summer here you may find yourself asking, “How do I not get bored on my home turf?” You are either taking a staycation and doing things around home or you’re the type of person who keeps a camera with you everyday. It’s not about the amount of gear you have, it’s about how you use it. Your backyard can hold a lot to photograph.

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The Right Gear For The Day

Metabones adapter with Nikon 50mm f1.2

Metabones adapter with Nikon 50mm f1.2

You don’t need to carry all your gear everyday. Most times you can get away with carrying one lens like a 50mm. It’s a lens that can do almost anything. However if you choose to carry a different lens it is good to have a 50mm as a back up. It’s not just what you see but how you see it. You can go though the day with one lens. Working with one lens can help you see your local environment in different ways. A macro lens can help you discover the little things. A telephoto zoom can help you reach things you can not reach by foot. An ultra wide lens can help you get your local area all in one frame. The most important thing is to keep it simple. Don’t carry around a ton of gear. You may find shooting with a simple set up more satisfying.

Be A Passenger

It’s easy to just get in the car and go.This is true when you are near your home. When you just stay in the car or just walk around your house you limit your local perspective. Getting on mass transit allows you to let some one else be in control of driving. You are free to have your eyes open for new things. Yes, mass transportation is not always the most wonderful way to travel, but it does allow for new photographic opportunities. Not everyone has mass transit where they live, but don’t be afraid to let some one else drive. The idea is to get your mind off of being in charge of getting somewhere and enjoying a journey in a new way.

Know The Laws Governing Photography

It’s good to know the how police deal with photography where you live. Some times the law will get in the way of your photography. Either there is an actual law in  place or someone is just being rude. The easiest way to get this information is to ask your local officials. Don’t just take their word for it though. Officials are not always truthful, sad to say. Do some research as well. Look on the internet and see if there have been any issue where you live or if there are and place that are not allowed to be photographed. Photography is not illegal.

Observe Your Environment

When you live in a place for a long time, you can miss things. Life has a way of becoming routine. Sometimes you actually just need to go to local park bench, sit, look and listen. Sometimes the world has a way of changing without you noticing. You have to drink life in always. You can’t let your environment change around you.

Look For The Small Details

No matter where you live there are little details that you have to find. First you have to acknowledge that you have not seen everything. This is true no matter how long you lived in one location. There is always some thing small that you missed. These small things are where the great photographs are. If you have missed something, many other people where you lived have missed it as well. To see the small details you will have slow down. Maybe change your lens or walk out side and out side of your comfort zone. The night may hold wonders. The morning holds glory.

Walk Everywhere

Sometimes it’s easy to get in the car and go get coffee. If walking is not an issue, you should do it. You miss a lot in cars. When you walk you may notice a rare flower or an unusual scene. Walking is the way to explore where you live. You don’t have to go to a big city or foreign country to do street photography. Where you live has a lot to offer, you just have to take the time to look.

Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.