There is a famous quote by Dorthea Lange that says, “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”. This applies to all kinds of photographs and all genres of photography as well. But to a majority, this is often related to street photography. And why shouldn’t it be? After all street photography does give you’re the rawness that is present in life, in the streets. It is the rawness of emotions, situations, the closer look at life and stories of total strangers and cities through a magnifying glass. Well, that is street photography. Where the rules are that you capture life and moments that make and comprise into a wonderful photo. It is that combination of all the elements that make the street of that city or that area come to life without any kind of choreography.
If you are still wondering and trying to define street photography then just know that it is the documentation of the everyday life of a society or everyday life and society. The basic ground rule is that it has to be raw, it’s not mandatory that it should be on the street. It can be at a mall, railway station, subway, or even children’s park. But the essence of street photography is in the originality of the moments that is organic. It is best when it is not just based on things alone but also has some kind of interaction with people in it.
So, are you wondering how to become a good street photographer? If there are any rules that you need to know about, a few helpful tips or guidelines that you need to keep in mind. Interested to find out? Then, continue to read on.
1. Best Camera for Street Photography:
There is nothing called as the best camera for street photography. In fact, one the most helpful tip you can receive is that the best camera for this is the one that has good image quality, it has to be small and compact that it can fit into your pocket. It should be lite that you can carry it with you everywhere you go. With the advancement in technology, all that can be said is your smartphone is good enough for street photography. Remember, your camera should not be expensive that you get conscious about it and feel constant anxiety as you have to carry it with you everywhere.
2. The Kodak Moment:
Whenever there is that perfect moment where all the elements come together with the emotion, the action, the lighting etc. it’s the perfect setting that every street photographer looks forward to. And it finally comes that moment which is called ‘the Kodak Moment’. Some photographers also call it ‘The Decisive Moment’. Always make sure to take as many shots in that moment as you can because when you are looking through those set of photos that you have taken in those few seconds, you will be able to pick the one you think is the best captured. When you take just one shot of that Kodak moment you might feel after looking at the photo that it did not come up to your level of expectation. Thus making sure to take many shots will guarantee at least one copy that is par excellence.
3. Graphics and Visual Elements:
Some of the most unique and attractive street photos are simply about visuals or visual images. It’s these visual images that are solely based on the effects of angles, light, shadow, leading and diagonal lines that get caught in the liking and appeal of our geometrical senses. It’s these images that show a simple street into a glamorous ramp when all these components come together in one image.
4. Attention to Details:
Some of the best work in any field is when you pay attention to details. The same principle applies to photography. You can have the best of photographs but if you are not able to see the details clearly in that picture sooner or later you will not appreciate it. A good photo is the one that not only captures your attention but also has you to stop and look at it for a while and appreciate its attention to details. It could be the captured image of two girls playing but it’s the attention to detail like the flower prints on their dress or the dimple in the face of the girl laughing or anxiety on the face of a parent standing close by. Its details like this that will get you to appreciate the photos much more.
5. Ethics in Street Photography:
While street photography is all about pictures captured with its rawness and spontaneity. The general rule about it is that there is no permission asked from the people whose pictures are being taken. Although there are exceptional times where you do need to be respectful of different cultures and values of the country and people whose photos you are taking. In such cases, you will have to ask their permission before you shoot. While most images are captured without knowledge of the people you need to pay special attention to make sure you do not cross the line of street photography. And that your profession or hobby is not hurting anyone’s sentiments or make them feel exploited. Especially, if you are doing a round of street photography to create social awareness on issues like poverty or child labor etc.
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