Seeing the street

Seeing the street

Street photography is an art of its own. It requires that the photographer be able to unfamiliarise the familiar, to make the everyday uncommon and unique. It requires eagle eyes and lightning reflexes.

I work in Fremantle and am as familiar with it as, well, the back of my hand. Yet, when I saw the images of Fremantle taken by Magnum workshop participants during FotoFreo 2010, I was agog. Here were streets, corners and localities that were very familiar, yet I was looking at them as if for the very first time!

In many respects, a street photographer is a photojournalist. The adage “shoot at f8 and be there”, often applied to photojournalism, is just as relevant to street photography. The street photographer needs to see and respond rapidly. The intersection of elements that creates meaning is often very fleeting; the photographer must see and respond in the same moment.

I have tremendous respect for good street photographers – those who can see patterns in the ordinary, and whose quick wits and reflexes means that they are able to catch seemingly random moments and frame them in such a way that they tell a story.

The following article  from Photo Radar presents 21 valuable tips for those with a passion for street photography. The tips range from logistics to the technical — how best to hold the camera for quick action street photography.

Fantastic street photographs are readily available in every public space, but over-familiarity with our environment means we often miss out on special moments and scenes unfolding in front of us. These tips will help you see those decisive moments and learn to trust your instincts. Once you’ve picked up the confidence to get close to your subjects and you’ll be able to use your camera as a mirror of society and come away with unreal, witty and dramatic-looking shots

Read the full article here.

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