Street photography composition and cropping.

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#1
Been out with the compact this afternoon, taking a few photos in the City Centre. The visit to the City was not for photography, but for a Hospital appointment. After finding somewhere to park, and purposely walking briskly to the appointment. I took photos as I was walking, set to wide angle and a fast shutter speed. No view finder only rear screen, so bringing camera to chest height and took the photos.

Even after cropping, things look messy. There is so much street furniture, my images look really messy.
 

Fuji Dave

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#2
When I`m shooting any street stuff I use the viewfinder but not all the time though, try and read a shot like a story and practice.
 

Fuji Dave

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#3
Using the Ricoh GRII no viewfinder at all.
Delivery
by Dave, on Flickr

X-T2 + XF35mm f2 also using just the back screen.


The Kiss
by Dave, on Flickr
 
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jonbeeza
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When I`m shooting any street stuff I use the viewfinder but not all the time though, try and read a shot like a story and practice.
When I view my images there is nothing, no story or connection, just a jumbled mess.
 
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Fuji Dave

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#5
When I view the images there is nothing, no story or connection, just a jumbled mess.

For me in any street shots you have to have a point of main focus.
 
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Fuji Dave

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#9
Yes you have interesting subjects there. (y)



I think my problem is, I am only seeing the whole street, and not isolating a subject. Maybe I need to set the camera to 85mm, or get in closer. :thinking:

The two cameras I`ve used in the past for get up close in street are the X100F and a Ricoh GRII, the GRII is a great one for street as set it to Snap focus and your laughing.
 

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jonbeeza
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#13
That does match your description of how they were taken.

There’s no easy way of saying this but street photography isn’t for the meek. (Not saying I can do it!)

a good read. https://petapixel.com/2019/07/06/a-guide-to-overcoming-fear-in-street-photography-and-in-life/
Thanks for the link just read it. An interesting read it is too. Yes, that is me. I don't like to be noticed, I don't like confrontation. I am simply walking quickly and snapping the whole street quickly, and trying to do it unnoticed. But it is not working, I am seeing where I am going wrong.
 

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#15
I'm no street photographer but one piece of advice I read somewhere and which I use when I do a bit of street (usually when dragged out shopping :) ) is to just be very obvious, pick a spot with a good backgound or whatever, get the camera out and look like you mean it. People can then either avoid you or walk in front of you and the camera and run the "risk" of being snapped.
 

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#16
Sometimes what I do is, just sit and watch folk getting on with their daily lives. Then I might start to shoot and find a scene that tells a story, even if it`s folk at the bus stop.
 
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#17
So instead of capturing the whole street, I should be capturing a scene within the street.
You should be, as with all photography, working out what you're trying to say and then capturing an image which says it. In street photography you often don't have very long to do that. If you just shoot photographs of streets full of people you may well eventually find something interesting, but you should be looking for something interesting and then photographing it.
 
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#18
A few things this useless street photographer has picked up.

Mostly there is nothing to photograph on the streets. The smaller the town the less there is. Walking slowly lets you see what is happening and get close to it. Don't be shy if you see something that might make a picture.



Loitering in a spot that might make a picture and waiting for something to happen can work if you have the patience.

_1030300.jpg

Hang around busy areas or places where people are distracted. With a wide angle lens (35mm equivalent or wider) you can be close to people and they don't imagine you are photographing them. Use misdirection before and after taking a shot. Don't make sudden movements. Look like you are confident even if you're not.

P7800319.jpg

Most of all, don't think 'street photography', think 'pictures' just like any other kind of photography. It can help to set yourself a theme as a starting point if nothing else - people wearing hats, for example. The main thing is the looking, observation and getting ideas.

Some days I can do it. Others I can't. Because it's like everything - the more you do it the easier it gets.
 

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#20
Even though I have a viewfinder on nearly all my cameras I hardly use them, as I will have the camera on silent shooting and while holding it up as though I`m doing something else but I`m taking a shot.
 
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#21
When I started out, I photographed people I thought were interesting, and over time I changed to photograph scenes I thought were interesting and had people in them. Interesting people only gets you so far, and gets you a hard disk full of very, very similar shots.

Find a place that looks interesting and then exploit the hell out of it. I've shot so many photographs in front of one wall in Nottingham it's crazy, but eventually one of the will be just awesome. Eventually.
 

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#22
How I started in street was taking images of the buskers and put some money down for them, as taking shots of buskers is very easy and it will help build up confidence too.
 
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jonbeeza
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#23
You should be, as with all photography, working out what you're trying to say and then capturing an image which says it. In street photography you often don't have very long to do that. If you just shoot photographs of streets full of people you may well eventually find something interesting, but you should be looking for something interesting and then photographing it.
Most of my photos that I tend to take is of the family, and our pets. I don't tend to think about story telling, but more of what they looked like at the time. So I look back at photos in a few years time, it does make me happy.
 
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#24
Most of my photos that I tend to take is of the family, and our pets. I don't tend to think about story telling, but more of what they looked like at the time. So I look back at photos in a few years time, it does make me happy.
I suggest then you're enjoying the emotional attachment to the subjects of those images, and you'll never have that with street photographs if the scene at the time didn't evoke an emotion.

There's no emotional engagement for me in the subject of this shot.

Red Black Red Black
by Tony Evans, on Flickr

However, I do feel pride in the image, and I know how long I waited for it. I think it's pleasing to look at.

This moment evokes an emotional response in me even though I don't know the two people, because it tells a story of good news and joy, that I find infectious.

Great news at the Post Office
by Tony Evans, on Flickr

This is a shot from my early street stuff, which is 'interesting people', which holds neither any emotional response, nor any real ascetically pleasing elements,

Sunday Read
by Tony Evans, on Flickr

But it is documentary, and shows life at a point in time and so ultimately has value.

Street photography that documents every day life as a jumble is still photography, but you're not going to look at it and see an emotional response. In a hundred years though, it'll be a different story.
 
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jonbeeza
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#25
A few things this useless street photographer has picked up.

Mostly there is nothing to photograph on the streets. The smaller the town the less there is. Walking slowly lets you see what is happening and get close to it. Don't be shy if you see something that might make a picture.



Loitering in a spot that might make a picture and waiting for something to happen can work if you have the patience.

View attachment 268525

Hang around busy areas or places where people are distracted. With a wide angle lens (35mm equivalent or wider) you can be close to people and they don't imagine you are photographing them. Use misdirection before and after taking a shot. Don't make sudden movements. Look like you are confident even if you're not.

View attachment 268527

Most of all, don't think 'street photography', think 'pictures' just like any other kind of photography. It can help to set yourself a theme as a starting point if nothing else - people wearing hats, for example. The main thing is the looking, observation and getting ideas.

Some days I can do it. Others I can't. Because it's like everything - the more you do it the easier it gets.
I like the last photo, all those lovely cameras.



I thought too wide might get too much street furniture in the scene, I was thinking of trying 50mm or 85mm. I have the sort of face that is not suited for loitering about, I look very shifty. I would end up getting arrested, loitering with intent. lol
 
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#26
I like the last photo, all those lovely cameras.
:D

I thought too wide might get too much street furniture in the scene, I was thinking of trying 50mm or 85mm.
Wide is for getting in close. A few feet close.

_DL33464.jpg


I have the sort of face that is not suited for loitering about, I look very shifty. I would end up getting arrested, loitering with intent. lol
I can pass for Harold Shimpan! :LOL:
 

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#28
If you look like you are taking a photo of something in the distance, people tend to ignore you, especially if you keep the camera up as if you are waiting for them to pass...
The above 100%, keep your eye to the viewfinder take the shot but still keep your eye to the viewfinder.
 
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#30
Thanks for the link just read it. An interesting read it is too. Yes, that is me. I don't like to be noticed, I don't like confrontation. I am simply walking quickly and snapping the whole street quickly, and trying to do it unnoticed. But it is not working, I am seeing where I am going wrong.
It also can help to stay in one place and become part of that scene, people tend to ignore you more than if you turn up to their 'scene' and start snapping.

A few from me..







 

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#31
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I do the opposite of many here and use longer lenses so I can stand back and isolate the things that interest me. I suppose it's because I come from a generation that was raised on the "documentary candid photography" of the 1950s and 1960s...

Bearded man in wool cap at Exeter bus station IMG_3554.JPG

Bus driver talking to colleague while stuck in traffic Exeter DSC00682.JPG

Feeding the birds at Hyde Park Corner.jpg
 
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#33
It's important to remember that we see a very small number of photographs (relatively) from the 'masters' but hundreds or thousands of our own. I'm not saying I have any masters in my collection, but I'm sure even Fan Ho had some stinkers too.
 

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#34
Yes of course. That's a given, isn't it?
 
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#35
Yes of course. That's a given, isn't it?
Depends what you mean (assuming you're responding to my post). It's only a given for people who know it's true, many people forget or don't think about it, and it's easy to fall in to the trap of thinking the masters take those shots all in a short space of time. Some people forget it took 40 years to fill out those portfolios. So no, I don't think it's a given, I think it's something beginners (in a particular genre) at the very least need to remind themselves of.
 
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#36
DSC_3216_01.jpg

This is just a quick street snap, this was a good few years ago. This was when I had the Nikon D80, I used the Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens. I don't seem to be able to create the same sort of images with my compact. I think I need to set the lens to possibly 50mm or 85mm on the compact, to get in closer, and get more subject isolation.
 
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#38
Been reading up on candid street photography, they are like Ninjas. They silently move in to take the shot, and they are gone before anyone realises what has happened. Or you could be a clumsy oaf like me, and make everyone aware of what you are doing, so you get eyed up with suspicion.
 
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#39
Threads about street photography always pique my interest, particularly when modern street photography is concerned. 200mm lenses and subject isolation rarely provide great images, IMO. If we study the greats pf street photography, and we don't have to go back very far to do this, they often used 35mm lenses or wider (sometimes 50mm perhaps) but they would use them pre focussed and with typically narrower apertures. Moments, light, people, interesting scenes, getting closer and being in the moment rather than standing off from afar.
I actually started watching Everybody Street again last night and have several books from the likes of Elliott Erwitt, Vivian Maier, Magnum, Fred Herzog etc. What people shoot and call street so much these days is boring, unengaging and easy to forget and dismiss and often contain s the same subjects which include but are not limited to.....
People on mobile phones, homeless people, people walking doing nothing particularly interesting. I am guilty of shooting things like this myself of course but I think part of the problem is a lot of the places I have seen and been to locally are just devoid of anything good or interesting.

The most alive I have felt when doing street phototgraphy was last year in Vietnam wherre I used either 35mm or 50mm and was amongst so much activitiy. I yearn to go back to that kind of atmosphere and get smongts it but it's not that easy unfortunately to take three weeks off the day job and spend a couple of grand. Even then, I didn't get anything that I call particularly good, hence I have only made a couple public on my social media. 'Street' is one of the most participated in areas of photography yet one of the hardest to get any good images at.
 
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#40
Threads about street photography always pique my interest, particularly when modern street photography is concerned. 200mm lenses and subject isolation rarely provide great images, IMO. If we study the greats pf street photography, and we don't have to go back very far to do this, they often used 35mm lenses or wider (sometimes 50mm perhaps) but they would use them pre focussed and with typically narrower apertures. Moments, light, people, interesting scenes, getting closer and being in the moment rather than standing off from afar.
I actually started watching Everybody Street again last night and have several books from the likes of Elliott Erwitt, Vivian Maier, Magnum, Fred Herzog etc. What people shoot and call street so much these days is boring, unengaging and easy to forget and dismiss and often contain s the same subjects which include but are not limited to.....
People on mobile phones, homeless people, people walking doing nothing particularly interesting. I am guilty of shooting things like this myself of course but I think part of the problem is a lot of the places I have seen and been to locally are just devoid of anything good or interesting.

The most alive I have felt when doing street phototgraphy was last year in Vietnam wherre I used either 35mm or 50mm and was amongst so much activitiy. I yearn to go back to that kind of atmosphere and get smongts it but it's not that easy unfortunately to take three weeks off the day job and spend a couple of grand. Even then, I didn't get anything that I call particularly good, hence I have only made a couple public on my social media. 'Street' is one of the most participated in areas of photography yet one of the hardest to get any good images at.
Yes true, the lens of choice was 35mm or 50mm, and it worked. But today there is personal space, and a lot of people do not like it being invaded. When you see photographs from way back in the day, in some photos you can see lots of people looking at the camera with interest. When word got out there was a photographer in the street, people would come out in their hordes, trying to get in the photos, or just general interest.
 
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