How to Get Out of a Rut with Street Photography and Continue Growing

Street Photography is as much about psychology as it is about skill and creativity.

There is a mental process that goes into making photographs of everyday people in the street. Confidence is a huge driving force in getting strong, compelling visual content. When confidence is high, so is your creative flair. However, there will be times when you’re not your best self, and a high level of creative productivity is not always sustainable. Almost unknowingly you fall deep into a rut and your photography suffers. You can all of sudden feel stuck, and find that you are asking yourself, “how do I get out of this?”

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Video: How to Become Henri Cartier Bresson (And Zone Focus with Your Fujifilm Camera)

Zone focusing with your Fujifilm camera is pretty easy, but there are two big ways to do this.

Recently on our Instagram TV channel, we showed how photographers can zone focus with their Fujifilm cameras. Believe it or not, it’s pretty simple. However, it depends a whole lot on the lenses you’ve got attached to your camera and can also depend partially on your EVF or screen.

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How to Get More From Your 85mm Lens for Portraiture

Using an 85mm lens is pretty much as simple as mounting it and shooting. But here’s how you can get more from it.

The 85mm lens is a darling of many photographers due to its design. It is a short telephoto focal length and one of the best options when it comes to portrait photography. Many photographers enjoy its versatility; an 85mm lens can shoot street photography, candids, portraits, and landscapes if you’re in the right place. And like most of photography, getting the most from your 85mm lens requires you to be in the right place at the right time while making the most of your subject matter. For example, did you know an 85mm lens can deliver a variety of looks even though it is arguably the best option for portraiture? Let’s dive in.

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The Noob Photographer’s Introduction to Wrap Around Lighting

Wrap around lighting is one of the best ways to do more with less when it comes to portraiture.

When I first learned about wrap around lighting many years ago, I discovered it by accident. Wrap around lighting is a technique used by many photographers to envelope their subject in a lighting that is both flattering and efficient. Lots of portrait photographers do it, and one of the aims is to try to mimic the look of the sun and clouds in certain situations. So today, we’re giving photographers a bit more of an introduction to how to do it.

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Sand on an ND Filter Made a Nice Bokeh Effect on This Long Exposure Photo

Who knew an accidental sprinkling of sand could work some bokeh magic on a long exposure shot?

During one of our routine rounds on Reddit’s photography threads, we spotted a post by Brandon Nguyen on r/photocritique asking for thoughts on one of his long exposures taken at Lake Tahoe. There doesn’t seem to anything out of the ordinary about that at first, except for the bit about sand making a “neato bokeh effect” on his shot.

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How to Take the Best Photos of Fireworks That You’ve Ever Made

Experiencing even a small fireworks show is a purely sensual delight.

For the eyes there is the synchronized bursts of color and lights arcing across the sky, compounded by the light reflecting off the smoke, nearby buildings, and low clouds, but there is more to it than visual spectacle. If you are close enough you can even feel the concussive whump of the shells exploding overhead, smell and taste the acridness of fire and burnt chemicals. For the ears there are the irregularly syncopated booms and bangs of launch and explosion accompanied by the sliding whistle and sizzle of individual stars, and at the end the sheer fusillade of sound followed by silence at the show’s end. It is this sort of whole body experience that makes the show exciting- that and the primal psychological yin-yang attraction to and fear of controlled danger. As a photographer, I see it as my job as trying to transmute that full range of experiences into a visual document which communicates the excitement I felt, across time to someone who was not there. That for me the great challenge.

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How to Shoot Fireworks with Film: An Analog Photography Tutorial

Photographing fireworks on film surely does require more work than when shooting digital.

With pyrotechnics, the stars of the show are quite literally shooting stars (“stars” being the fireworks industry’s term for those bits of flying sparkly fire). As in any performance, stars need a stage, and in a photograph the stage is everything else in the frame: the dark sky, buildings, or monuments, even your fellow audience members watching the show.

Although shooting on film eliminates digital photography’s near immediate feedback loop, it has other advantages. If you use color transparency film, you give up dynamic range with film and the ability to easily manipulate color in exchange for sensationally saturated color against a very dark background. The challenge is to get the exposure right while shooting without resorting to post-shoot processing manipulations. On the other hand, ISO 100 to 400 color negative films have an inherently large highlight range and lower contrast which is great for recording the color and details of the bright but short-lived streaks.

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Here’s the $60 Trick for Adding Fog or Haze to an Outdoor Shoot

With this cheap trick, you’ll be on your way to shooting moody foggy photos and videos in any outdoor location in no time.

Got a cool idea for a moody and misty outdoor shoot but keep putting it off because you haven’t found the perfect foggy location yet or can’t get your timing right for those foggy days? Here’s a cheap and easy trick from Shutterstock Tutorials that will let you get those dreamy foggy shots whenever you need to, in your outdoor location of choice!

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It’s the Little Things That Matter Most: An Intro to Shooting Macro Images

This is a syndicated blog post from Digital Photo Magazine. It is being republished here with permission.

My introduction to “real” macro photography came more than a decade ago when I was reviewing the Canon MP-E 65mm F/2.8 1-5x Macro lens and Canon’s macro strobe setup. I had shot macro before, but this was my first time shooting with a lens that captured images greater than life-size, and it was a mesmerizing experience.I remember buying flowers so that I’d have a steady object to practice with, and I set them out on the dining room table in a nice sunny spot. At first, I took some images at the least magnified setting, the 1x power, and the images were lovely. With the Canon strobe system and some tinkering, I could really control focus and background lighting, and I took some nice photos.

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A Visual Guide to How 35mm, 50mm and 85mm Lenses Differ For Portrait Photography

In case you were looking for a new lens for portrait photography, consider this.

Photographers who love taking portraits have most likely experimented with a variety of focal lengths, or they’re at least curious about what each does for the genre. Popular focal lengths include 85mm, but in the past few years 50mm and 35mm lenses have become better and better when it comes to portraiture. They have less distortion and overall just have a more pleasing look about them. Today, every manufacturer makes good lenses; and when it comes to portraiture the only thing to keep in mind is what sort of portrait you want to create.

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Here’s How You Prepare Metal Plates for Wet Plate Photography

Aside from preparing the chemicals, Markus Hofstaetter also has to make his own metal plates for his wet plate photography

Part of what catches the attention of would-be wet plate photographers and fans is the hands-on processes that come with the age-old medium. In a recent video, wedding and wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter tells us exactly how hands-on it gets by showing us how he makes his own metal plates for wet plate photography.

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20 Foolproof Tips on How to Take Better Candid Portraits

Candid portraits are much harder than you’d think they are. 

First and foremost, candid portraits often require one of two things: either a lot of trust in the photographer or a really stealthy photographer that absolutely cannot be seen or heard. This is what many aspire to be: the fly on the wall. But if you can’t be this type of photographer, here’s how you can become more like it.

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Street Photography Tip: Keep Working the Scene

Be bold and take as many photos of a scene from as many angles as possible

One of the most useful tricks we can learn and master when it comes to street photography is how to work scenes we come across. More often than not, these scenes offer more than one way to present a story to us, and we can say it’s our mission to capture as much these as possible. Eric Kim, while on a photo walk in Japan, explained how it’s done and why it’s a powerful tool for street photography.

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Tutorial: How to Shoot Portraits of Total Strangers

 Have you ever had the bizarre urge to walk up to a total stranger and say “can I take your picture?” ​Yeah? Then you’re in the right place.

You’re about to read over 3,000+ words on the art of creating street portraits, or what I like to call “the gentle art of photographing strangers.” My name is Michael Comeau. I’m a portrait photographer based in New York City. I’m also a textbook introvert. I spend more time alone than with other people. I suck at small talk. And I never, ever talk to strangers… unless I’m shooting ​their portrait. ​But you don’t have to be a social butterfly to shoot great street portraits. You just have to turn your camera on and your brain off.

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How to Escape Your Bubble in Street Photography

In street photography, paying close attention is fundamental.

An old tutor once told me, “Street Photography is not about just one good element in the frame. It is about bringing several elements together, and creating stories that are not necessarily obvious to the everyday eye.” Simply put, he was telling me my work was bland and boring, and that I needed to dig deeper if I was ever going to produce anything of any worth.

On the surface, street photography seems easy. You need a camera, a comfortable pair of shoes and somewhere of interest – then like magic you will make these wonderfully composed images to share with the world. However, the reality is that to produce top quality street work, you will have to go much further than shooting a homeless guy or capturing that humorous billboard advertisement. You must refrain from just point and shooting anything and everything (aka spraying and praying) in the hope you get at least and average photograph to post to your Instagram.

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How to Achieve Multiple Portrait Lighting Effects With One Flash Unit

Here’s a simple portrait lighting setup you can experiment with for your next shoot.

Having detailed or extensive portrait lighting can be easily achieved in the studio. But, what if you’re shooting on a budget or can’t bring all your equipment when shooting on location? Pennsylvania photographer Michael Henderson comes to the rescue with a portrait lighting hack: how to achieve the look of three lights with just a single flash unit.

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Try This if You Have Become Stagnant with Your Street Photography

Your street photography habits can always be stimulated in some way.

Ever find yourself feeling like you are hitting your head against brick wall with your street work? Feeling deflated, leading to something that is meant to be a source of enjoyment becoming a monotonous burden on your mind? Coming home with with an SD card full of images that look exactly like your previous session? The same brick walls, the same angles and sometimes, even the same people. Your relationship with street photography can start to feel like a job – tagging in and tagging out, without really being present during the process in between. You do the same walk, pit stop at the same coffee shops and get the same bus home. This isn’t what street photography is meant to be and the reason it is happening is because you are staying too close to home.

I get it. Constantly going to a place you know there is action and footfall is an easy trap to fall into. You may ask yourself, “What if I go somewhere new and nothing happens?” There is a good chance that may be the case, but it is no different to nothing happening in your own backyard. If you constantly see the same scene, your eye will stop seeing new things within it. Your brain will generate a pattern of thought and sight and that is why you become unmotivated and to a certain extent bored.

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Quick Tips for Shooting Portraits in Low Light with the iPhone X

Bring these quick tips with you for that low light portrait session with the iPhone X.

Got a shiny new iPhone X and thinking of shooting portraits with it? You must be wondering how you can get the best photos out of it even during low light conditions. Seattle-based photographer Sam Fu comes to the rescue with some quick tips in a video for mobile accessory maker Moment.

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The Creator Behind the Camera Matters More Than the Camera

We want to start this article off by saying that we live in a day and age where every camera is good if not great. It’s possible to create a fantastic photo with a DSLR. It’s pretty muc as possible to create an equally stellar photo with a mirrorless camera. Of course, that also means you can create an absolutely fantastic photo with film. And ultimately, it means you can create exceptional images with a phone. The outright problem though is so many marketing jargons and old school thought mentalities don’t believe a phone is capable of creating great photos. But indeed, it really is. And when it comes specifically to food photography, it’s all about the person creating the images.

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How to Rediscover Your Passion for Landscape Photography

Screenshot image from the video by Adam Karnacz

Feeling bored of shooting landscapes lately? Well, you’re not alone. While mostly enthusiastic about landscape photography, photographer and filmmaker Adam Karnacz found himself stuck in a rut and burnt out for some weeks. In his recent video, he talks about how he rediscovered his love for photographing landscapes during an early morning shoot in North Yorkshire.

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Making Your Landscape Photography Look Like Paintings In Camera

One of the artistic ways you can make your landscape photography stand out from the rest is to find a way to turn them into paintings. Not literally, but a method to get that look in camera is one fantastic way of doing things. You may ask yourself, “Why not just do this in post?” Well, the reason why is because everyone can find a way to do it in post, but not everyone has the specific talent to do things in camera and not everyone really wants that “photoshopped look”.

So let’s take a deeper delve into this amazingly simple tutorial.

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