=Capture a stranger street style=

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This is part 1
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Hi Folks...
I know there are many folks who have never done any street shooting and in particular capturing a stranger or strangers...
For those of you that have, you know the rush and excitement in doing so...In capturing that very cool moment.. For those that have not, you don't know what you’re missing...

These are my opinions and what works for ‘’me’’. These should not be considered Gospel... The biggest problem I see with street photography is that there does not seem to be a solid definition of what it is. ''My definition'' of Street photography is not simply a ''snap shot'' but it is photograph. It is well framed, well composed and tells a story. It will contain a stranger or a candid image of a person or a very cool building…...Of course there are plenty of acceptations as sometimes there is no time and a quick grab shot is all there is…I have these as well and I am glad I have them…Portraits are another type of street shot that I enjoy…Is there a wrong way to do street shooting? Personally, I don’t think so…Though I have seen some really bad ones…Many of those bad ones I have taken myself..

I would say that the most important thing to have when shooting strangers, candids or scenes that define a moment is not equipment, but confidence…For some it comes easy and for others it is a struggle…As for me, I do not have a problem with confidence, but still I do get into ruts and when I do, I call it a day and try again another day…Go to the same places over and over again as being familiar with certain places will boost your confidence. The locals will get to know you and not even notice you after a while. The scenes are always different as people are always different…Blend in. Be a Chameleon..
Look like you belong…

When looking for shots, if I come back with ‘’one’’ good capture, I am happy as a clam. When I come back with a few and by a few I mean 4 or 5, I have had a very good day. There are many times when I go out and come back with nothing worth keeping. I am in the club that deletes 90% of my images and this is not to say that I have a 10% keeper rate. It is more like 4-5%. With the majority of my keepers being film. Go figure. I am also not a machine gun shooter. I don’t use burst mode. Personal preference. I try and get the shot. I suppose if I used burst mode, I would have more keepers, but that is simply not my style.

Equipment. I get asked this allot and also read about this allot. It seems that people can get real dogmatic about this…Well, I to have my opinions and can only share what works for me…One of the biggest things that comes up is film VS digital. I would say to use what ever it is that makes you more comfortable. Comfort is king when street shooting as it goes hand in hand with confidence. I myself use a variety of tools.

My favorite tool for street shooting is my Pentax ME SUPER with the Pentax M40F/2.8 lens. I love this combo because it is a really small and light SLR. With its fast 1/2000 shutter speed, I can take advantage of ASA 400-800 speed films at F/8 to F16..This is important to me because I use hyper focal or zone focusing making it a true point and shoot with exceptional sharpness from 5 feet to about 25 feet…I also use a 50F/1.4 or 55F/1.2 lens…There are times when I use a 28 or 35mm lens as well, but not to often…By using film, I am also forced to really pick my shot and try and nail it because every picture I take cost me money..I literally approach shooting film with the mindset ‘’is it a picture I would buy’’…Silly? ..Maybe, but it works for me. My keeper rate with film is far better than with digital.

When I use my DSLR’s, I have found that my Tamron 28-75F/2.8 lens is my favorite, though I find myself mostly in the 28-50mm range.. I have started to use my Sigma 10-20mm and 31 limited more often now. These seem to be working better for me as I can get really close, personal and I get better shots..

Surprisingly, many of my best captures have been caught with my G9 or G10. Yep ..Point and shoots. They are the easiest things to use in many situations…I considered an SD880IS for a long time, though I never bought one. I am currently pondering the LX-3..

Things that I do and don’t do…First, avoid eye contact with your subject most of the time unless your trying to get their attention.. Don’t think to much, just shoot. If you think, you will likely miss the moment and or chicken out. Don’t hide, but be obvious. If you hide, you will let out creepy vibes and peoples senses will be directed at you...be friendly and smile allot. Talk to people..The most common thing I hear when taking folks pictures is ..’’sorry, I got in your shot’’..I just smile and chuckle…I have found that when people ask me why did I take their picture, I am honest with my reason most of the time. Lying does not work well for me as I am a lousy liar. I always get caught so I avoid it. Most people are happy to have their picture taken, especially the ladies. There are times when I will ask a stranger if I can take their picture..Not often, because I prefer the true candid…When I shoot street performers, I try and catch them candidly, but I pay them afterwards. They are out to make a living and I can appreciate that…When I shoot people that are down on their luck, I will not walk away and leave them empty handed..This of course is me…

I don’t even take telephoto lenses with me anymore as they are simply to big, heavy and bulky and scream….’’look at me’’..This of course is a personal preference, but each person has to decide what he/she is more comfortable with…Well, I wrote more than I wanted to, so time to get off my soap box. 







Here are various examples of my street shooting…Lets see yours…Post a stranger…
 
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Lets see yours…Post a stranger…
Some here.

For me, a lot of these don't work. I see a shop, some people having coffee, some nice architecture and the person is barely even noticeble, a girl taking a photo and another girl sitting down. I'm not really seeing that street magic. The people seem more like an after thought as they're so lost in the frame. The grafitti artist is hard to spot. Its just some guys in an alley. The bubbleman looks interesting but perhaps too far away.

''My definition'' of Street photography is not simply a ''snap shot'' but it is photograph. It is well framed, well composed and tells a story.
I completely agree but for me most of your photos seem more like snap shots, sorry. Have a look through the link I put up there and this one too.
 

Forbiddenbiker

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These are my opinions and should not be considered Gospel... ''My definition'' of Street photography is not simply a ''snap shot'' but it is photograph. It is well framed, well composed and tells a story....
Hiya.

I agree with you on these points, but like Pete I too don't find your shots hit the mark.

There’s been a great deal of chat about the definition of street on this forum recently, so excuse me for getting defensive of the definitions we've all recently been discussing. I like others are rather passionate about getting it right.
Its just my opinion but I, like many I think, don't want to see our much loved arty street aims smeared into general candid or meaningless shots of people wandering down a street.. as you suggest.

It is just candid photography, but yes, it must also be composed and tell a story....one of the ways in which street works to this aim is by getting in close and personal, without the close and personal feel, a street shot will fail to take the viewer into the street kinda thing. :thinking::puke:

These shots below all fail my personal photography aims street wise; and haven't been up to my mark for showing on this forum for crit either I felt, but I'd like to use then to suggest what I feel each one does or doesn't do well, in conveying what street is to me.

The first is good street, Its has nice composition and its in close. but I failed to nail the exposure and the shot its oof on the foreground as a result. Other poor stuff too..


This second is okay street,comps okay, but the story isn't that interesting, maybe slightly amusing, a sign of the times type street shot. ..



This third one, just scratches in as street, it is a nice comp, he is interesting and your eye is drawn to what he’s doing and the mood of the moment is caught. But other than that its simply a street portrait.



(y)
 
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Some here.

For me, a lot of these don't work. I see a shop, some people having coffee, some nice architecture and the person is barely even noticeble, a girl taking a photo and another girl sitting down. I'm not really seeing that street magic. The people seem more like an after thought as they're so lost in the frame. The grafitti artist is hard to spot. Its just some guys in an alley. The bubbleman looks interesting but perhaps too far away.



I completely agree but for me most of your photos seem more like snap shots, sorry. Have a look through the link I put up there and this one too.


'Street' is definitely not my thing and to some extent I still just don't 'get it'

However, over the past year my interest in it has gone from nothing to a bit, and my appreciation from nothing to quite a bit more

So while not even trying to offer any authoritative commentary here, I have to totally agree with Pete; these look just like snapshots to me as done by any holidaymaker who'd probably curse that some people got in the way - rather than your assertion that they are intentionally there as a specific part of the image

You appear to understand what Street photography is about, just haven't captured it here IMHO

:shake:

DD
 
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They don't quite hit the spot for me - although they are all well processed and you've clearly got the nerve to get your camera out for any interesting situation! Overall though I feel a bit 'removed' from the action, or what makes the scene interesting and - entirely subjectively - I think they'd be stronger if the viewpoint was closer in.
 
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Santa Monica pier. Awesome :)

Had a holiday there in 2004 and I was right at the back of that picture for a couple of days in the 2 weeks I was there. Gorgeous place (apart from the bums). And shopping on the third street promenade (I think it is) was awesome!

You could get some awesome shots of all the talent that comes out on the night on that street. I've seen the bubbleman in action :)
 
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For me, a lot of these don't work. I see a shop, some people having coffee, some nice architecture and the person is barely even noticeble, a girl taking a photo and another girl sitting down. I'm not really seeing that street magic. The people seem more like an after thought as they're so lost in the frame. The grafitti artist is hard to spot. Its just some guys in an alley. The bubbleman looks interesting but perhaps too far away.
Hey that's cool. This is why I said ''my opinions'' These are but just a few samples of what I have done over the years. By the standards in the other boards I participate in, these are considered pretty good by most (not all)..


I completely agree but for me most of your photos seem more like snap shots, sorry. Have a look through the link I put up there and this one too.
I will take a closer look. But for the record, these shots i posted where thought out. Maybe not to your high standard, but I am not a pro like you. I am simply an amateur who likes to take photos.
 
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Excellent timing, you have unil midnight if you want to take part here:
http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=99758

Clock is ticking, so be quick! And new images only, nothing from your current collection unless taken on or after 17th December, when the challenge was presented..

Gary.
While I do have a few, I missed the deadline. I will certainly participate on the next. For now I will read and follow the thread with great enjoyment.
 
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Hiya.

I agree with you on these points, but like Pete I too don't find your shots hit the mark.
Hey, and that is OK. I learned a long time ago that you can't please everyone.

There’s been a great deal of chat about the definition of street on this forum recently, so excuse me for getting defensive of the definitions we've all recently been discussing. I like others are rather passionate about getting it right.
But whos right is right? You obviously believe your right is right and my right is wrong, so who is right?

Its just my opinion but I, like many I think, don't want to see our much loved arty street aims smeared into general candid or meaningless shots of people wandering down a street.. as you suggest.
Actually, if you go back and read my OP more closely, you will see what I do and don't do. Please express your opinion, but don't put words in my mouth.
It is just candid photography, but yes, it must also be composed and tell a story....one of the ways in which street works to this aim is by getting in close and personal, without the close and personal feel, a street shot will fail to take the viewer into the street kinda thing. :thinking::puke:
Well this is YOUR opinion and while I disagree with it, I would not tell you it is wrong. What may be right for you is wrong for me and visa versa.

These shots below all fail my personal photography aims street wise; and haven't been up to my mark for showing on this forum for crit either I felt, but I'd like to use then to suggest what I feel each one does or doesn't do well, in conveying what street is to me.
Then you are a true artist and frankly I feel sorry for you. If you can't even enjoy your own photography, why do it?

The first is good street, Its has nice composition and its in close. but I failed to nail the exposure and the shot its oof on the foreground as a result. Other poor stuff too..
See, to me this skate board shot is a ''snap shot'' and nothing more. This kind of stuff is available 24/7 all the time and these people will ham up for there picture to be taken.

This second is okay street,comps okay, but the story isn't that interesting, maybe slightly amusing, a sign of the times type street shot. ..
This one Is excellent. I like everything about it and have quite a few similar to this...

This third one, just scratches in as street, it is a nice comp, he is interesting and your eye is drawn to what he’s doing and the mood of the moment is caught. But other than that its simply a street portrait.
This one to is excellent, but I would not have shot it. I do not like to shoot people who are down on their luck.. This is just me and to each his own.
 
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Santa Monica pier. Awesome :)

Had a holiday there in 2004 and I was right at the back of that picture for a couple of days in the 2 weeks I was there. Gorgeous place (apart from the bums). And shopping on the third street promenade (I think it is) was awesome!

You could get some awesome shots of all the talent that comes out on the night on that street. I've seen the bubbleman in action :)
Yep, I love SANTA MONICA all of southbay. It is always good to see pictures of places you have been to through different eyes. ;)
 

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Ok, and my midnight is a behind yours. I will look through the threads as clearly or not so much, there are obvious differences in what street shooting is. :)
Of course, hugely subjective. No one will tell you "your street" is wrong, just that its not "their street".

"My street" for example, seems to focus on faces. I enjoy a photo of a random, walking down any old street, just for the "looK". Its not about the street as such, I am learning, but about the people "in the street", and at the moment, the faces of said people, fascinate me.

Some examples, which I will post in the street comp later:

1:


2:


People probably won't enjoy those two photos. However, I do, so I will keep em and post em. They are just random people, whom I don't know, walking down the road. Nothing to it, just snaps. But to me, they are more. Dunno why. As I said, subjective :)

Gary.
 
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Of course, hugely subjective. No one will tell you "your street" is wrong, just that its not "their street".

"My street" for example, seems to focus on faces. I enjoy a photo of a random, walking down any old street, just for the "looK". Its not about the street as such, I am learning, but about the people "in the street", and at the moment, the faces of said people, fascinate me.

Some examples, which I will post in the street comp later:

1:


2:


People probably won't enjoy those two photos. However, I do, so I will keep em and post em. They are just random people, whom I don't know, walking down the road. Nothing to it, just snaps. But to me, they are more. Dunno why. As I said, subjective :)

Gary.
Actually, That first is stunning and this is what I would call street photography. This is very much a part of my style as well...Agree with your post 100%

This is well worth repeating...as I could already see where potential participants would be reluctant to participate for the fear of getting lynched.
Of course, hugely subjective. No one will tell you "your street" is wrong, just that its not "their street".
 

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Actually, That first is stunning and this is what I would call street photography. This is very much a part of my style as well...Agree with your post 100%

This is well worth repeating...as I could already see where potential participants would be reluctant to participate for the fear of getting lynched.


We don't do Lynching on this forum, its probably the friendliest forum on the planet. However, if I am going to be super honest, people don't like "defensive replies" to offered criticism. It's one of the things that creeps up all the time, and continues to cause problems.

I don't think you were overly defensive, just a little. The effect, the same though.

Gary.
 
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We don't do Lynching on this forum, its probably the friendliest forum on the planet. However, if I am going to be super honest, people don't like "defensive replies" to offered criticism. It's one of the things that creeps up all the time, and continues to cause problems.

I don't think you were overly defensive, just a little. The effect, the same though.

Gary.
Gary, I offer my apologies. The word Lynching was over the top for this forum, yet around here, it is not so strong. I do agree that there are some very friendly folks here.
As far as getting defensive, I was merely addressing the issues that where brought up. Sorry to get defensive. :)
I will post some other street shots to see if I am getting closer to what is considered street ''here.''
 
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I'm kind of with Dave on street photography. I'm not sure if it's something I don't get or what. I love portraits of interesting faces and interesting people but people sat down reading the paper on a park bench or walking down the street or whatever, I just don't get it. If there's some humour in the photo, then absolutely - more of that, but I find a lot of street photography doesn't have it. That said, I really like Gary's street photos, but less for their content and more for how he processes them (or doesn't process them), which I think is fantastic.
 
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I'm kind of with Dave on street photography. I'm not sure if it's something I don't get or what. I love portraits of interesting faces and interesting people but people sat down reading the paper on a park bench or walking down the street or whatever, I just don't get it. If there's some humour in the photo, then absolutely - more of that, but I find a lot of street photography doesn't have it. That said, I really like Gary's street photos, but less for their content and more for how he processes them (or doesn't process them), which I think is fantastic.
Yep, This crowd over here at talk photography has a different definition of what street photography seems to be compared to the states or atleast in the crowds I usually travel with. Having said that, it is great as it allows ''me'' to expand my vision and learn some new techniques. So here I am trying to see what fits the mold here.

Street shooting is NOT for everyone and it is not even my first love. I love to shoot wildlife first and foremost
 

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Gary, I offer my apologies. The word Lynching was over the top for this forum, yet around here, it is not so strong. I do agree that there are some very friendly folks here.
As far as getting defensive, I was merely addressing the issues that where brought up. Sorry to get defensive. :)
Actually maybe you shouldn’t be offering it. I posted my reply yesterday in a rush off passion before disappearing off to work, then realised I said nothing about some of the superb shots you put up, and allowed no credibility for you having your say on what street is, especially as you come from over the water where styles differ etc.

Apologies for that. :)



I will post some other street shots to see if I am getting closer to what is considered street ''here.''
I like the set from the jetty, those are closer to street for me, particularly the music man ... The two distant people shots (one against the stair, the other the river) ... I like those, good photographs rather than street for me.

The shot above those has me in a pickle, (the mother and woman on the sidewalk) it not close in, but it is all steet to me with its hot mood and it kinda freezes that moment in time nicely for me ... sorry about my hypocrisy all of a sudden … . :thinking: :puke: ;)
 
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Actually maybe you shouldn’t be offering it. I posted my reply yesterday in a rush off passion before disappearing off to work, then realised I said nothing about some of the superb shots you put up, and allowed no credibility for you having your say on what street is, especially as you come from over the water where styles differ etc.

Apologies for that. :)





I like the set from the jetty, those are closer to street for me, particularly the music man ... The two distant people shots (one against the stair, the other the river) ... I like those, good photographs rather than street for me.

The shot above those has me in a pickle, (the mother and woman on the sidewalk) it not close in, but it is all steet to me with its hot mood and it kinda freezes that moment in time nicely for me ... sorry about my hypocrisy all of a sudden … . :thinking: :puke: ;)
Thanks for the reply and no need to apologize. No harm no foul. After spending a couple of hours yesterday in the street threads going on, indeed, what I / we consider street is different over hear on my side of the pond. I think it is really cool though as it will broaden my style a bit. Goodness, there is some great stuff in those threads and some that is ok at best, but it is different. Thanks again!
javier
 
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Godd effing pics. I have been to most of these places & I could not have caught the same shots. The B&Ws are all awesome.
 
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