Missing Street Photography? Here Are 5 Things You Can Do Indoors

If you love street photography, being quarantined is likely to be your worst nightmare. Here are some things you can do.

Street photography doesn’t exist unless you have streets full of people. Right now, those streets are empty, as all of us remain indoors during the current epidemic. If you practice street photography, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a little forlorn right now. But you shouldn’t. At this moment, you have the opportunity to focus on other areas of the photographic practice while keeping it linked to the genre of photography you love the most.

Create a Street Photography Photobook

Phil Penman, STREET

One of the best ways to go through your archives and current street photography is to create a photobook. In the digital world, there are no limits to the number of images you can share. The same rule doesn’t apply to a photobook. They cost a pretty penny to create — especially quality photobooks. Because of this, you have to limit yourself to a certain number of pages (unless you’re rich, of course). Due to the page limitations of designing your photobook, you’ll think a little longer and harder about which images deserve to go to print. The whole process is a great way to learn more about your style and what matters to you in a good street photograph.

Shoot Candid Moments at Home

Although the environment is different, the behavior is pretty much the same. That means candid moments are happening all the time, even in your home. Unless you live alone, your roommates and/or family will be doing off the cuff stuff every day: document it. At first, they’ll be more aware of your presence, which may impact their behavior when they know a camera is focused on them. But, in time (and right now you have plenty), they’ll forget you’re there. You can then shoot freely, capturing their moments just like you would out on the streets.

Stand at Your Front Door

While social distancing, nothing is stopping you from standing at your front door. Sure, you may not be able to step six feet outside of it, but you can see enough from your doorstep to create some images. You may not see any people, but right now, you have to be comfortable with that. At least you can take some images of the world outside, and hopefully feel like you’re doing something productive.

Edit Old Street Photography

Your editing style can change over time, especially if you’re still finding your photographic voice. Your approach to editing three years ago could be completely different to the way you approach editing in the present day. Images from yesteryear may look old and tired. But you can give them a new lease on life by pulling them up in an editing tool, like Capture One, and giving them a 2020 makeover. It’s very refreshing to give new value to a photograph you thought was dead in the water.

Play Red Dead Redemption 2

Image by Nico Froehlich

It’s time to turn to virtual reality to get your fix of street photography. Many street photographers are doing it already — and doing it well. Because it’s an open world (virtual, at least) and the game has Photo Mode, players can create true-to-life candid moments from a video game. While it’s of course not the same as the real deal, it still keeps your brain thinking like a street photographer. It also keeps your eyes sharp, and hopefully you won’t be too rusty when you’re eventually allowed back in the real world!

Make the Best of a Bad Situation

None of this is ideal, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom right now. Doing something is better than doing nothing, as the latter only manifests negativity and low mood. It’s much more rewarding if you keep active in any way that you can, and try a make something good of this challenging time.

Street photography will be back in full force one day. Until then, let’s keep positive and active.