Tag Archives: street photography

Video Introduction and my Camera

Hey guys!

Just wanted to say thanks for the follows and reading my posts. I hope that they keep you interested and that you guys learn something each post.

Here is my first video post! Just introducing myself and my gear. Also, I talk a little bit about prefocusing. Enjoy!

 

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[Update] Straight Photography

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Wall Street by Paul Strand 1915

In the early 1900s, a photographer by the name of Paul Strand will coin the term “straight photography.” Basically this mindset was photographing an image for the sake of what it was. Not for some greater meaning or concept, but just for the image itself.

For me, I’m greatly attracted to this principle of just taking an image for what it is. I think too many times we photographers as artists try to make things so conceptual and deep that our images lose visual interest and the image can’t stand on its own without an explanation. I find it perfectly fine to just go out and take pictures and enjoy the moment of doing it. You’re bound to find something interesting to photograph. It’s almost like an adventure for me. Don’t get me wrong though, I think conceptual ideas can make a work of art much stronger. You just got to remember that the work itself should be enjoyable or moving too and not have the words or ideas take over the art itself.

Here are some of my recent images that I’ve taken regarding this idea.

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Also, be sure to follow me on 500px and Twitter! I’ll be sure to follow back.

-Peter

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Challenges of Shooting in Atlanta

 

Hello everyone again!

I apologize for not posting for such a long time. I’ve been trying to commit to posting every week, but I’ve been swamped with school and church work.

I wanted to share with you guys the challenges I face when I shoot street photography in Atlanta, but I also hope to give you guys some possible solutions. Again, this is only my personal opinion and you might find other ways of handling these challenges.

1. Lack of people walking the streets

Atlanta is known to be one of the most car dependent cities in America which equates to a large lack of people walking around the streets. Unlike New York City, there aren’t large crowds of people to cover or hide you when photographing, so of course, this makes it hard to be confrontational or get pictures of people’s faces.

solution: I found that shooting around universities really help. Universities such as Georgia Tech and Emory bring students from all over the country, so there are lots of different kinds of people who have different styles and cultures. Also, try shooting during rush hours or lunch and dinner times. Atlanta is a big corporate city so there are many office workers who go out to eat lunch and commute back and forth from the suburbs.

2. Finding interesting things to shoot

When people think of street photography, they think of interesting subjects around the streets. Maybe street performers or protests. I find that generally Atlanta is a peaceful city apart from the insane traffic we get.

solution: Shoot in the more interesting or different parts of the city. Atlanta can be divided up into several districts like Midtown, Downtown, Little Five, Highland, Buckhead, etc etc. Try shooting in the more diverse and emerging areas rather than sticking to the main street of Peachtree St. Perhaps there are absolutely no people where you are. I went to downtown Orlando last summer, and literally, there were no people walking in the streets. My suggestion would be to find interesting objects or buildings that catch your eye. Maybe take on a modernist approach and look at the line, shape, and form of things.

3. Courage to confront people

I struggle with this too. Often I hear people say how if a professional street photographer from NY shot in a city like Detroit or St. Louis, somewhere where crime is a lot more common, that the photographer would instantly get punched in the face. True, cities like NY and LA have pretty liberal and lenient people living there. They’re used to crazy and unique things happening on a day to day basis.

solution: I encourage everyone to practice shooting people confrontationally without asking for their permission. Asking for permission ruins the moment. Shoot more. The more you shoot, the more experienced and comfortable you’ll be at doing it. I won’t say you won’t have altercations, but chances are it’ll only be a few rude words thrown at you and you’ll be on your way. Know your rights! As a citizen, you are allowed to shoot other people in public areas such as sidewalks and parks. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

 

I hope these tips help. I’m no professional myself, but look on Youtube at photographers like Eric Kim and see their approach. Take memory notes and adapt it to your liking. Good luck shooting. I hope to make a new posts on my equipment that I use and why I shoot film soon!

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Street Photography in Atlanta

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 🙂

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