The internet is great. It has allowed us to easily access information and develop our skills. And there’s no bigger provider of free education than YouTube. Nick Turpin, a street photographer with over 20 years of experience has jumped on the digital bandwagon and started a new channel. A polarizing personality, Nick has decided to share his experience, without asking for a fee. He says, “For decades people have paid to spend a weekend on a workshop with me. YouTube offers a way to teach globally…it’s a new way of doing things for me.” Is this new channel worth your precious time? And will it benefit your street photography skills?
Editor’s Note: Yes we know this is new. But we’re trying it.
Pros And Cons
- Free tutorials from an experienced street photographer
- Overall nicely produced content
- A good range of topics and information
- In camera point of view perspective
- Still a new channel so only seven uploads so far
- Some of the content could have been more engaging
- No post-production content
A New Born Street Photography Channel
The YouTube channel is still very much in its infancy. At the time of writing this, Nick has uploaded seven videos, totalling to almost two hours of content. This includes live point of view street photography walks, reviews of his subscribers’ images and tips on selling your work. The average length of the videos is roughly 18 minutes – long enough to provide good information and not too long to lose your interest.
Intro and Production
For a YouTuber to be successful, they must think about the details. Arriving on Nick’s home page, there’s something missing – a landing video. Landing videos are important because they tend to be a short overview of what people can expect from the channel. It’s also a great way to instantly start a connection with possible subscribers. On the homepage, you will just see a basic overview, that includes six of the seven uploads. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but without a killer intro video, it kind of weakens the production value.
Getting to the content, let’s focus on the video’s introduction. Nick has created an 18-second well-produced introduction that plays prior to the main content of the upload. It’s very well edited with a catchy backing track. It explains what the channel provides and has a professional feel to it. For me, it got me gripped to what was to follow, giving me an expectation of quality – rather than something your Dad asked you to upload to “The YouTube.” For his studio videos, Nick has gone for a very basic setup. Simply, it’s him sitting in front of a white background with his head and shoulders framed in the scene. This is okay, I guess. Whilst what he says is more important, I would have liked to have seen something a little more sophisticated. Maybe some street photos in the background, out of focus but with enough detail to give his set up more depth, and importantly, more character.
Point of View Street Photography Walks
For his photo walk, Nick gave us a viewpoint through his view finder. This gave us a literal perspective of what the eye could see. I much prefer this approach compared to the use of GoPro. Although not a completely new concept, this was the first time I’ve seen this done for street photography tutorials. It provided a much more true-to-life experience and was a nice touch. What I really liked about the photo walk video was the pace of it. For whatever reason, it has become cool to just make quick choppy edits on YouTube – usually with the presenter making a random cup of coffee in between. Nick had a more controlled pace and was clear when describing what he was doing. Throughout the video, he explains clearly how to build a scene and to create relationships between all the core elements of a frame. The great learning in this is how Nick looks beyond his subject. He’s constantly looking into the background and foreground, trying to see if he can latch on to a detail worth capturing or adding to the frame. That’s something all new street photographers should learn as soon as possible. To finish the video Nick did a recap of his photo walk. Personally, I would have liked to see him take it into the editing room, or at the very least, made that something for the immediate follow-up video, showing how he picks his final frames.
Street Photo Review
As part of his channel, Nick has decided to review images from people who have sent them to him via Instagram. A nice touch and a good way to get people involved, but honestly, I don’t want to sit for 30 minutes looking at him talk about other photographers’ work. This would have been the perfect opportunity to pick up the pace of his content. Something more along the lines of “This week’s 10 best street photographs,” with a five minute rundown of why he likes his selection. Also, why do we always have to pat each other on the back? Do a video with the “5 worst images,” giving some constructive criticisms of why they are lacking in quality and what needs to be done to improve them. In short; a nice addition to the channel but went on for way too long.
Making Money From Street Photography
In this game, you have to think beyond the practice in order to make some dollars. One of the best ways to make money is to sell prints. However, for the newbie, they may not know where to start. Nick has earnt a buck or two over the years. And in one of his tutorials, he explains how to sell limited-edition prints. I was worried this was going to be a long drawn out affair. But to his credit, this was an eight-minute video in which he got straight to the point and avoided any unnecessary filler to make the video longer. From collectors to corporate, Nick explains who is in the market for street photography prints. He also encourages the viewer to really ask themselves if their work is worthy of people shelling out their cash of it. The tutorial moves onto covering sizing your images, creating a customer database, what platform to sell images on and which companies can print your work. All important information and something even the more experienced photographer can learn from.
In this channel, we have some quality foundations to build on. What’s important to emphasize is that this is not some young YouTuber who has been shooting street photography for two years. It’s a guy who has paid his dues and earnt the right to have is knowledge respected and taken seriously. It’s great to have him share it on a free platform. He could be pick up the production value a little and make some of his videos slightly more engaging. It’s clear, however, this will be a solid source of education to all levels of street photographer. I’m also told we can expect 80 videos over the coming months. I’m sure there will be some vital education amongst them.
For effort, trusted knowledge and content quality, I give Street Photography with Nick Turpin 4 out of 5 stars.