Street photography is something that I only recently picked up. I always had a knack for it. Sometimes I would take a stroll through the middle of the city on Peachtree St. with my D90 and 35mm 1.8 (equates to a 50mm normal lens), but my approach was very reserved and restricted. Another problem was I would ask people for their photographs and therefore ruin the moment that caught my attention in the first place.
By searching for various street photographers on Youtube, I came across International Street Photographer Eric Kim posting videos of him shooting in the streets of LA. Contrary to my technique, he was very bold, getting in people’s faces and even using a flash. I should also mention that he was very friendly, saying “thank you” after taking a picture and complimenting his subjects. Just watching his videos alone inspired me to be more brave, but to this day, I’m still working on it and growing in that area.
Since then, I’ve changed my technique. Instead of using my D90, I use my Nikon FG film camera with a 50mm 1.8 E Series lens. Granted, it’s no Leica like I wish it was, but it’s much smaller and less intimidating than my D90. Why film and not digital? It’s like what everyone else says: film helps you to slow down and pay more attention to the composition and subject matter instead of just rapid firing away hoping to get one shot. With that being said, I’ll shoot with Kodak Tri-X 400 or Kodak Portra 160VC. Sadly, the cost of film and developing has gone up, so I’ve been considering a Micro Four-Thirds camera lately. I’ve also tried to be more upfront with my subjects. Rather than hide around or sneek a snapshot, I simply show myself taking the picture of the person. I find this approach to be a lot less suspicious. Here are some images of my most recent walk.
This photo was taken on Luckie St. where all the restaurants are. This place is perfect for street photography as there’s a good traffic of people from nearby corporate buildings and Georgia State University. I shot this by pointing my camera at the door and waiting for the guy to pass by to shoot. Sort of a Bresson technique. Though the person isn’t in focus, I like how the subject’s movement makes him look ghostly.
This photo was shot not too far from the last photo. A square in the city where people will gather to lounge. They even have a place for people to play chess, though I think someone brings this huge chess set on their own.
This is probably my most favorite recent shot. After eating lunch with a few friends on Luckie St. I saw this guy around the corner eating alone. His solitude and humble posture caught my eye. Normally I stop down to F11-16 and pre focus, but there wasn’t enough light with the 160VC so I had to take time to actually point the camera at him. I crouched down and acted like I was shooting down the side walk. He glanced at me and I took the photo. *Whew* After that he just kept eating and we went our separate ways.
That’s it for now. More photos to come. Please comment, subscribe, give suggestions. I’m new to this whole blogging thing 🙂