Good afternoon everyone,
For all the new and budding street photography enthusiasts out there and even the more experienced ones I’m going to share with you today some thoughts on making what I believe to be one of the hardest genres of photography to master that little bit easier for you
“Tell me more” i hear you saying, OK I will
I was sitting on the plane flying from Seoul in South Korea (amazing city by the way) to the Philippines thinking of ways that can make street photography that bit easier.
I would get back to my hostel some days and say to myself “I’ve been out all day and not come back with a single shot of any substance”. This is hard to deal with sometimes and I’d then get a serious lack of inspiration to back out the next time. When reviewing these bad days I had realised I would be rushing around looking down every alleyway and every street searching for people to be doing something interesting. I realised that it hasn’t been working so the last few times I’ve gone on a photo walk I’ve changed my approach and mindset.
Today I will share my newfound approach I have had to street photography and what has made it easier for me and I’m sure it will for you.
If the paragraphs above sound anything like you then next time you go out taking photographs I suggest trying this out. Whether you have the whole day to shoot or just 45 minutes on your lunch break really take the time to just slow down. Slow down the pace you walk, instead of trying to cover as much ground as possible hang around a select few places only. Feel yourself taking deeper breathes when walking and enjoy the process of being lucky enough to be amongst it. The streets can be a beautiful place to be if you let it. I recommend being patient and letting things happen. When you rush around you are not letting situations marinate in front of you. I was the same, I’d be like “there’s nothing happening here” and I’d be off again, thinking I only had an hour left before I had to be back. Then onto the next block where the same process would happen. Yes occasionally I would happen to stumble across a worthwhile photo opportunity but this happens rarely.
The key thing to takeaway from all this is to learn patience. Not just in street photography but in all aspects of life. Rushing around won’t get you anywhere. Think about it though, (I will be referring to sports and animals in the wild) in sport and particularly golf, which happens to be another major hobby of mine, you rush your swing it results in a poor shot usually leaving you a difficult next shot. The same happens in football/soccer, somebody rushes a shot or pass the result more often than not misses the target.
You can liken this to street photography, You rush around looking at anything and everything you are bound to miss something or when you do see it you rush to bring your camera up, don’t frame it correctly and bam!! another bad street photograph. So from now on I urge you to take your time, be patient. The tribesman who went charging through the jungle with his bow and arrow would certainly not catch his and his families meal for that day. The same with the predators on NatGeo Wild or Animal Planet documentaries, we should all be more like the Lions and Crocodiles of the Serengeti in Africa. I know from watching many of these documentaries (I’m watching one now) that the lions and crocodiles take their time, if they are to eager they get caught, likewise if you are to eager, you look dodgy and get caught resulting in no meal (photo) for you. The crocodiles can be under 1 metre away from their prey and still not been seen, they are patient and only strike when the time is right. These animals make it easier for themselves and you should to. So next time your out be a lion, be a crocodile, be the huntsman that will get their meal (great photos), or at least have a better chance of it. It’s worked for me so far and I can’t see why it wouldn’t work for you.
I know all this sounds a bit crazy and a strange thing to say to be like a wild animal but that is the way it’s done in the wild. Treat the streets as your jungle and the subjects as your pray and you will get better photographs.
“Take your time, be patient and let the good times (photos) roll”
Also if you would like to try my 30 day street photography challenge please click this link #30daysofstreet
Currently sitting in the latest hotel on my round the world trip. Arrived in Manila, Philippines and it’s thunderstorms galore. I feel there may be plenty of time for writing these next two weeks as it’s the middle of the wet season here. I’ll be praying for sun. Need to get that tan back after spending over a month in city’s. Till next time.