Photographer's Guide to the Fujifilm FinePix X Getting the Most from FinePix X book for more information, or to order the PDF version. The Fuji Finepix X is a complex camera with the potential to take really great photographs. Unfortunately, this camera comes with a manual that tells you. Photographer s Guide to the Fujifilm XS: Getting the Most from Fujifilm s Advanced Digital Camera (Paperback) PDF, please refer to the hyperlink below and.
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DIGITAL CAMERA. XS. Owner's Manual. Thank you for your download of this product. This .. Before taking photographs on important occasions (such as. PHOTOGRAPHERS GUIDE TO THE FUJIFILM FINEPIX X photographers guide to the pdf. The Photographer's Guide to The Yorkshire Dales. Discover the . White Knight Press has just released the Photographer's Guide to the Fujifilm FinePix X, a page guidebook available as a PDF or a.
And you can try it risk-free - read on for details! A full-color. Currently only the. You will automatically receive the. Click here to order. The color version is a little more expensive than your typical book, but as some readers have reported, significantly cheaper than printing the. As a bonus hey! Find out how in the book. What others are saying about this and Tony's other ebooks: I've gotten a bit into the eBook and very much enjoy the writing style and content, especially the tips.
This book is the perfect resource for me. And, I love your writing style too. Love your high level of detail and you have definitely left no stone unturned. This book should come bundled with every X-T2 camera!!! Many thanks! I'm a fan! I have already read your recent interview on the Fujifilm blog btw. Thomas Gamstaetter. Peter R. It's helping me a lot!!!! There are some amazing tricks so helpful, one that I most like until now is the trick to change ISO quickly page , thank you for that!
Very useful indeed. I am impressed by the level of details. This is a very complete document, that is extremely useful. Or scenes with only cool colors blue, green, purple. One of the best ways to study color is to study painting.
Because the painters could create their own colors at their own will, whereas as photographers we are slaves to the scene. Look at how painters use different colors to bring your eyes around the frame. See what colors and shades they use to create different emotions and moods into their images. When it comes to street photography, you need to be more brutal when it comes to editing your photos choosing your best photos. Because you might have a great photograph that works in black and white , but it might not work in color.
Our eyes are generally drawn to the areas of the greatest contrast in an image. The color red reminds me of blood and death always catches our attention. For example, if you see just a simple blue background, try to get someone wearing a bright red something to pass by. Start with very basic colors, and nothing too fancy or complex. Then try to make them the focus of your scene.
A flash will add contrast to your scene, the colors will look more bright and vibrant and saturated. There is nothing more blissful than seeing golden light. But whenever it is near sunset, I try to shoot like a madman. This is when the shadows become very long longer than the height of your subjects , when there is dramatic contrast, and you feel the day coming to an end. So if you want to make better color street photos, try to shoot sunrise or sunset. When I first started to study color photography, I studied the work of the masters and pioneers of color photography, which include some of the following:.
It very rarely happens the opposite way. I suspect because a lot of these photographers started to shoot in color, because it was more difficult, challenging, and complex. And we all need a challenge to push ourselves in our photography, to grow, evolve, and improve. Both have the pros and cons. If I started shooting street portraits all over again, this is the advice I would give myself:.
Avoid all regrets. If you see someone even moderately interesting that you want to photograph, approach them and ask for permission. It is better to ask and get rejected, than to never ask. As an assignment, go out into the streets with your camera, and try to intentionally get 10 strangers to reject you. Tell them what you find interesting about them, and ask to make their portrait.
As human beings, we are naturally suspicious of one another. In prehistoric times, one wrong look could have meant life or death. For the most part, street photography is tame. What is the best way to make your subject feel more comfortable? Simple — just smile. The concept is that as humans, we mimic the behavior of others. Therefore, if someone smiles at you, you are genetically pre-wired to smile back.
A smile will elevate your mood, make you feel more confident, and connected with society. Most people it seems walk around with a frown on their face by default myself included. But whenever I encounter people, I try to give them a huge smile whenever possible.
And that shifts their perception of me. What was initially a suspicious look, turns into an equally-enthusiastic smile. The benefit of this approach: It sounds more creative, open, and collaborative. Artists paint portraits.
I feel the most beautiful part of shooting street portraits is how you can collaborate with your subjects. You can make them part of the portrait-making session. I learned this assignment from Sara Lando — if you want to learn how to make your subjects feel more comfortable, learn how to be on the other side of the camera. Learn how they make you feel comfortable. Figure out what makes you feel uncomfortable.
I love complimenting others— because it is free. And it uplifts, encourages, and makes people happy. People have a good B. But the key is to tell your subject why you want to photograph them. The reason you approach a subject is because you find something unique or interesting about them. For an entire day, compliment each person you meet. It can be small — compliment them on their earrings, their tattoos, their haircut, their outfit, their smile, their friendliness, or something else.
Make it a habit to compliment others. It will uplift them, uplift you, and help you build a stronger bond with them. Most people are lonely, and lacking human contact.
Even in big cities— we are constantly surrounded by people, but we feel alienated. Most of us just want someone to talk to, and share our life story with. Yet we make the mistake of thinking that everyone else is always busy, and hates to talk.
The truth is, we love to talk, socialize, and be human. The mistake we also make in street photography is that when we approach a stranger, we want to quickly take their portrait, and move on. Shift your perception. Think that you are adding value to their lives— that you are making their mundane days more interesting.
Think about it— if you approach a stranger to make their portrait, compliment them, and chat with them — you will not only make their day, but you will have a great story for them to tell their friends and family. For example, I was once making a portrait of this amazing woman, and someone called her. I was just walking in the streets, and this strangers approached me to take my photo!
There are millions of people out there — by singling out one individual — you are telling them that they are unique, special, and one-of-a-kind. Also when possible, try to stick around with your subject as long as possible. When shooting street portraits, try to take at least 10 photos.
Some of my best photos required me to take nearly photos of them. As a default answer, I will tell them: And when they do, they forget about you. You disappear into the background. And this causes your subject look more natural. Try to capture their mouth moving, their hand gestures, or body language.
Try to get photos of them with eye contact and without. Often when you make photos while people are talking, they are more fluid, vibrant, and dynamic.
One of the photographers who have inspired me the most is Richard Avedon. He was famous for photographing his subjects against a simple white backdrop. One of the mistakes a lot of us make in street portraits is that the background is distracting or messy. You might find someone interesting in the streets, and just quickly snap a photo of them. But you might have a distracting pole sticking out of their head or shoulder, messy trees, or power lines.
Do you mind standing in front of this simple white background here on the left? It will make a better photo. Then just wait for your subjects to come to you. I generally find street portraits of just faces a bit boring. For me, my favorite street portraits is when you get an interesting hand-gesture or body-language. To get your subject to make an interesting hand-gesture, comment on something near their face.
You can try the following:. You can also ask them to just pose for you a certain way, and ask them to mimic you. Some interesting hand gestures:. To build upon this, you can also ask your subject to look in different directions ask them to look up, down, left, and right. And to top it off, you can even try to provoke a funny reaction from them.
For example, ask them to give you a big laugh and start laughing really loud yourself. It takes great courage. You need to step outside of your comfort zone, and put yourself out there.
The last piece of advice I have you when it comes to shooting street portraits is to shoot with your heart. Also know that the skills of approaching strangers and making their portrait will help you in all forms of your life.
You will become more confident, more courageous, and hesitate less in personal life, in business, and with your relationships. Lastly, are you comfortable in your own skin — and being on the other side of the lens? Learn to first be comfortable with who you are, before you decide to go out and photograph others. Shooting in layers is more challenging than single-subjects, and requires more visual gymnastics, and luck.
Below is a brief guide on how to shoot layers in street photography — and why you might want to try it out:. The reason why you should try to shoot layers in your street photography is because you want to take your work to the next level.
I think it is a fun challenge, where you can create images that are more complex and interesting. I personally am drawn to single-subjects in photos. I like minimalist photos, but being here in Vietnam at the moment— I want to capture more layers to show more of the chaos of the streets. Some of the best street photographers to study for layers include Constantine Manos and Alex Webb for color. First of all, you need to find the right setup.
Meaning— you need to be in an environment where there is a decent amount of foot traffic— that will allow you to create layers in your street photography. Find a sidewalk with enough space and depth— so you can practice shooting layers. To make an effective layered street photograph, you want something interesting to be happening in each of these layers.
Also by adding negative space around the subjects and objects in your frame, you will add more depth. You want to try to avoid over-lapping figures.
In terms of technical settings, I recommend to focus on the subject the furthest away, which will give your photos a deeper illusion of depth. This setup works well with manual-focusing lenses, especially rangefinders. Or with Fujifilm cameras, or any other camera that has a poor autofocusing system. For example, in the background you can see a guy smoking a cigarette. Then you want to identify a second anchor another person a bit closer to you in the foreground.
This second anchor might be someone checking their phone. Lastly, you want to add someone to the foreground closest to you. Therefore the subject in the extreme foreground tends to be someone walking into and out of the frame.
For the person in the foreground, you want them to be out-of-focus. This gives you an illusion of depth. Newbies tend to always focus on whats closest to them in the frame in the foreground. But the more advanced you become as a photographer, you spend more time focusing on things in the background furthest away from you. But of course, it is personal preference at the end of the day. Try both, and see what works better for you.
This is because you can create more black shadows, dramatic contrast, and the light really brings your images to life. Another thing you can experiment with is shooting with a flash. This works especially well when you are shooting during the day, and the light is harsh and flat.
The flash creates more contrast in your images, and more separation between your subjects especially when you are shooting in the shade. As you get more advanced and experienced with shooting layers, you will try to fill the frame and avoid over-lapping subjects. As a fun assignment, try to fill the frame to the brim without it becoming too chaotic.
Always play that line between having enough people in the frame and not being too busy. Also as a tip, try to focus on filling the edges of the frame.
As photographers, we tend to tunnel-vision too much in the center of the frame. If you focus on the edges, you will get cleaner compositions, better framing, and more interest. Well, it is to have a subject or element in the extreme left or right of the frame, which draws the energy of the frame closer together. The good thing about this technique is that it removes distractions from the background.
Lastly, shooting layers is hard. A lot of capturing the right layers in a street photograph is luck. So you need to shoot a lot. Alex Webb says street photography is I agree with him, especially when it comes to shooting layers.
Overlapping figures: You want to have a little separation between the subjects and elements of your photograph. Extremely bright objects: Avoid white cars, white plastic bags, and other distractions in the background. They tend to draw attention away from the subjects in your frame. Not shooting close enough: If you want good layers, you need to be pretty close to your subjects in the 1.
Anyone can add multiple subjects in a frame and not have them overlapping. But ultimately you want a photograph with depth of emotion. Try to capture multiple-subjects where you have multiple gestures, body-languages, and emotions.
See if you can create a layered street photograph with some people who are happy, and some who are sad. Try to photograph in one frame— both old and the young. Big and small. Juxtapose different elements in a layered photograph both compositionally and emotionally — and you will make a great street photograph.
In this guide, I will try to offer some tips, and deconstruct how to shoot more emotional, memorable, and powerful urban landscapes:. We think of landscapes as generally pretty sunsets, mountains, and the such. Yet I find it fascinating to photograph the urban environment. The fake environment that humans have created. To me, urban landscapes are more interesting than natural landscapes— because they offer more of a social commentary, critique, or reflection of society. Many urban landscapes are alienating and unnatural.
I think to start off, a great urban landscape needs to have emotion. This is the only way we can relate to a building, an urban environment, or a scene with some sort of empathy or feeling. For example, look for buildings that are worn down. That have character. That have history. That have peeling paint, bricks falling off the side, or a small detail somewhere that evokes emotion.
Of course, buildings have no emotions. However as humans, we can add or impute our emotions to buildings. The mistake a lot of photographers make when shooting urban landscapes is to just click once, and move on.
Rather, try to take a lot of photos of the urban landscape you find interesting. Photograph it from different angles and perspectives. Shoot really close, then take a step back. Shoot from the left, the right. Crouch down. Perhaps try to get to a higher perspective and shoot at eye-level or down. Take as many photos as you can, and realize afterwards that a subtle difference in terms of framing or exposure will totally change the impact of the image.
Or it can be a single crack in a window. Or it can be a person walking by the urban landscape. Or it can be a certain color in the frame. Rather, you want your viewer to know that you intended to take a photograph a certain way.
That you found something unique about a certain urban landscape. This is what I found interesting — and this is why you should take a closer look at this image. Perhaps there is an abandoned bicycle close-by. Then try to take a step back, and figure out how you can include the bicycle into your frame.
But what about moving things around in a scene? Honestly, just do what feels right to you. Just follow your own gut and rule of ethics. To the best of your ability, try to make a perfect composition.
I recommend perfecting your composition by taking your time, and by focusing on the edges of the frame. Think of how you can avoid distracting elements, or overlapping figures in your background.
I feel the best way to have a better composition is to remove or subtract clutter, distractions, or complexity from your frame. See how you can make your urban landscapes as simple as possible, yet still have that emotional impact.
Also try to separate the different elements in your frame by avoiding over-lapping figures. Add some negative-space in between things in the background, which will add more depth to your frame. Or on the flip side, try to see how you can make different elements in your background stack on top of one another. Try to flatten the perspective. The light affects the emotion of a scene. If you shoot an urban landscape, try to do it during sunrise or sunset.
Flat light usually means flat emotions. Sometimes the harshness of a flash can affect the mood of an urban landscape to make it feel more alienating, anxious, or depressing.
When you see a good urban landscape, try to shoot it in different lighting situations. Return over and over again. Shoot it during sunrise, sunset, or in the middle of the day.
Shoot it with a flash. Try to also experiment shooting your urban landscape in black and white and color. See which aesthetic changes the emotion and mood of a scene. Shooting urban landscapes is harder than shooting people — because generally buildings are boring, and just look like snapshots that any tourist could have photographed. As street photographers, we are usually focused on documenting people.
But realize that the urban environment is equally important — because photographs of our urban cities is a reflection of who we are as humans, and a society. Not only that, but think about how your photos of urban landscapes will look 20, 50, , years from now. You are documenting history in the making. To the best extent of my abilities, I have outlined my top street photography tips below. A decisive moment might be the moment when your subject makes eye contact with you.
A decisive moment might be the moment when your subject throws back his head in frustration. A decisive moment might be the moment your subject jumps on the train before it speeds off. However, if you sit and observe a person or a situation, be patient. I feel in street photography, your social skills are more important than your photographic skills. Meaning, as a street photographer— you need to have the right social communication tools. You need to have the confidence to approach a stranger to approach them with or without permission.
You need to be able to interact with your subjects to calm them down in-case they get upset, are confused, or just need an explanation. I feel that when you shoot street photography, you should feel an affirmation for life.
You should feel more connected with people on the street. You should feel more empathy for people on the streets, and feel connected with them on a deeper emotional level. I then end up making a new friend, rather than just snapping a photo and running away.
A lot of aspiring street photographers I meet are very socially shy and awkward.
As photographers, we filter reality through our own perception and eyes. We decide what to photograph, and what not to photograph. Therefore the street photos you shoot are self-portraits of yourself.
It is merely a reflection of your own inner-mental state. It sounds like a collaboration between you and your subject to make art. The change of terminology will change how you approach your street photography. You engage with your subjects, and bond with them on a deeper emotional level. Do you mind if I make a portrait of you? As a street photographer, your most important asset are your legs.
You will probably walk and trek for miles, hours on end, and the strength of your legs will determine how likely you are to get good street photographs. Some of the best street photographers I know can walk for nearly hours straight in a day. I take my car everywhere. And when I do shoot street photography, my feet and legs get sore after just an hour. So as a practice, try to keep your body fit. Not just your legs, but your upper-body too.
Do pushups, chin-ups, go to the gym and try other strength-training exercises bench-press, dips, etc. How many potential street photographs did you not photograph, because you felt nervous about the consequences?
Did you ever get worried that your subject might yell at you, call the cops, or even worse— punch you in the face? They have taught me mental exercises to always imagine the worst case-scenario, to not fear the future, and to always think about death. I usually read stoic philosophy once or twice a day — in the morning to prime my mind to stay strong, or to relax me in the evenings before I sleep. Train yourself to be a little less fearful everyday.
Everyday, try to push yourself a little outside of your comfort zone. As a tip, I recommend trying to remove clutter from your background, by walking on the side of the curb and shooting towards the storefronts on the sidewalk a tip I learned from my friend Charlie Kirk.
However by walking on the curb-side of the sidewalk and shooting towards the store-fronts, you are more likely to have a simple and minimalist background.
It looks more dynamic, as their legs make 2-diagonal lines, or a little triangle. In terms of camera settings, either use burst mode of single-shot. I know some people who have more success in burst mode, while other street photographers prefer the precision of the single-shot mode. Of course, it also depends on your camera. For example, you might capture a pretty good street scene. Much of street photography is luck — being at the right place at the right time. Street photography is the most difficult genre of photography out there.
You need skills in terms of composition, timing, physical endurance, mental courage, and assertiveness. To make a great street photograph is really hard. But still, my suggestion is to only show your best work. People will judge you by your worst photo. Less is more. However I have found for most street photographers, a 35mm lens full-frame equivalent is ideal.
It is wide enough to capture most things in the scene, and yet close enough for portraits. It is the ultimate versatile focal length. However I still encourage you to experiment with different focal lengths. But realize the wider your lens is, the more difficult your street photography is. For example, with a 28mm lens, you are more likely to get more clutter in the scene.
How about a 50mm lens, like what Henri Cartier-Bresson used to shoot with? I find it is generally too close for most situations in the streets, but if you find it a focal length you like, stick with it. I generally find the two types of street photos that are the most interesting are the ones which are shot at two different distances:. If you shoot very close to your subject, you feel physically and emotionally intimate with your subject.
This also conveys similar emotions to your viewer. When you shoot very far from your subject, it looks intentional. You get more of a sense of the background, context, and scene. For me, a middle-distance is around 5 meters. I find a good close distance to be from. I got this tip from my friend Satoki Nagata — if you want to overcome your fear of shooting street photography, pre-focus your lens manually to.
It will force you to get unusually close to your subjects. And you can ask for permission, or shoot candidly. Most of us are uncomfortable with close distances in street photography. But the more we practice shooting at this close distance. I now realize that is all a bunch of B.
You want to photograph according to your personality, not how other photographers have shot in the past. For example, Henri Cartier-Bresson was an introvert. He shot according to his personality. Do you prefer to have nice compositions in your street photography and focus on layers, depth, and geometry? Or do you prefer faces, gestures, and emotion? There are many different technical ways to shoot street photography. It allows you to focus on fewer technical settings, and more about you framing, overcoming your fears of shooting street photography, and capturing the right moment.
Many accomplished street photographers I know use similar settings. Nobody cares if you shoot fully-manual in your photography. The most important thing is your image, and whether you caught the right moment, emotion, energy, and dynamism in your frame. One of the best places to shoot street photography is at bus stops. People waiting at bus stops are generally stationary, not going anywhere, and you also get a good mix of people. You get subjects ranging from young to old, and people from all different walks of life — sitting together, patiently.
I generally try to walk into the street, and shoot towards the bus stop. This allows me to capture more faces in my street photography. The problem I made when I first started to shoot street photography was that all of my subjects were boring. If you want more engaging street photos, look for subjects who are doing something with their hands, or body language. Look for people walking in the bright sun, covering their eyes with their hands.
Look for people pointing in certain directions. Look for people putting their hands on their hips. Why capture hand-gestures? Because often hand-gestures show more emotion. Furthermore, gestures are more engaging than people walking with their hands by their sides. So for a street photograph that cannot talk, the hand gestures and bodily language in a photograph do all the talking. When I started street photography, I would always put a lengthy description of the back-story behind my photos.
The problem is that by doing so, it took away all the mystery and fun behind a street photograph. But that does nothing to prop up a weak street photo.
Rather, try this: Take a few photos, pause, take a few more photos, pause, and hold your camera up to your eye. If you wanted me to define street photography, I would say it is: I like to shoot street photos of urban landscapes— buildings made by humans that show emotion, decay, or some sort of personality.
I like to shoot street photos of things I see on the street— discarded gloves, trash, or other objects that reflect humanity. The problem most street photographers have is that they have too much clutter, subjects, and information in their frame.
With just one person in the frame. Try to make as simple of a background as possible, with no overlapping figures in the background. By starting off with a single-subject, you will be able to focus on one interesting person or moment in a frame. By starting off with simple compositions and mastering it, then you can work on creating more complex scenes— with more subjects, layers, and gestures.
Many street photographers crop their images too much, because their edges of their photos are too messy. A good solution: By focusing on the edges of your frame, you will frame your scenes tighter.
You will be able to get closer to your subjects, and have fewer distractions in your photo. Generally as street photographers we do a good job of identifying interesting subjects.
But we always disregard the background. I had the misconception in street photography that I was only allowed to take 1 photo, and had to move on. Because once you move on, you will never see that same exact scene ever again. Some photographed 5 photos, 10 photos, 20 photos, or even 36 photos for just one photo! By also taking multiple shots of a scene, you can later have more options to choose the best version of the scene.
Even a half step to the left, to the right, or a moment a second before or after can make all the difference. By not always showing the faces of your subject and instead, showing just their hands, bodies, and legs — you create a photo that is more open-ended, that has more mystery.
Experiment with this technique. Try to look only for hand-gestures, and focus on that. Think of other ways you can chop up the frame and your subjects, to make more dynamic and mysterious shots. The technique is this: Then the second they make eye contact with you, keep clicking.
Then choose to say hello, and chat with them, or avoid eye contact, and keep moving. That is the beauty of this technique— you can get both photos with and without eye-contact. And afterwards, you can choose the shot you prefer. My suggestion is to do the opposite— start off by looking at the background of your street photo and the edges, and then move inwards.
A great street photograph should have an interesting background and an interesting subject. Often we have the interesting subject, but no interesting background.
Or often our backgrounds are messy and cluttered. Therefore know that if you want to make good street photos, you want to be a good liar. The camera lies. It only captures a split-second of reality.
Not only that, but you decide what to include in the frame, and what to exclude from the frame. So be biased. Be personal. Be opinionated. But the photos of a blurry background just get boring after a while. Also technically speaking, if you always shoot wide-open and your subject is moving , you will be less likely to capture your subject in-focus.
Okay this is going to sound a bit counter-intuitive, and this is kind of a more advanced street photography tip. The idea is that as you want to build more layers and depth in your street photographs, focus on the subject furthest away from you not closest to you. Put your focus all the way in the background, and intentionally have the person in the extreme foreground out-of-focus.
This will give your eyes the illusion of depth— and lead your eyes through the frame from the closest subject, to the one furthest away. A simple technique: For a multiple-subject photograph, 3 subjects tends to make a nicely-balanced frame. And there is enough interest, and subjects to take your eyes around the frame.
And 3 subjects tend to balance a frame. Triangles are tricky to capture in the streets, but with enough practice and diligence, you can get a few good ones. I know a lot of great street photos that have wonderful compositions, but no emotion. To me, these photos are dead. If you want to make a truly memorable street photograph, you need to imbue it with emotion, soul, character, and charm.
Emotional street photographs hit us in the heart, and embed themselves into our memories. Emotions are what make humans tick, and a lot of our memories are formed through emotions. Try to capture a wide-gamut of emotions. Look for misery, sadness, isolation, happiness, a sense of longing, joy, excitement, and euphoria.
Some of the best street photo opportunities happen indoors— in places such as malls, shopping centers, grocery markets, subways, and stores. I think shooting street photography indoors is more difficult, because it is scarier. But shooting street photography indoors is one of the most untapped places to shoot.
We see millions of photos shot in random streets and sidewalks, but how often do you see a compelling street photograph from inside a Costco or Walmart? It just matters how clever or inquisitive you are. A flash will fill in any disagreeable shadows, and also will saturate your photos and add contrast. Furthermore, black and white allows for more simplicity and minimalism. With black and white, you can focus on the mood, composition, framing, and emotion of the scene.
The solution is to add a generic black and white preset to your images upon import. You can download my free Lightroom presets to use. However one of the big issues when we shoot street portraits is that the photos look too posed when you ask for permission. What is your dream in life? What are you up to today? The more comfortable they feel around you, the more natural a moment you will capture.
Often this means photographing the tourists themselves. I think to build a good vision as a street photographer is to have a contrarian view of the world. To see what others do not see. So photograph in places that other people disdain. Whenever I travel to foreign countries, I avoid touristy landmarks like the plague. Instead, I try to figure out where the locals hang out, while also wandering in the city without a destination in mind. One of the most difficult things in street photography is to capture a simple and a clean background.
One of the benefits of crouching low in street photography is that you look smaller, and therefore are less threatening. There are a lot of famous street photographers who utilized flash in street photography, including Weegee, Bruce Gilden, and Garry Winogrand. Just point and click, and let the automatic settings do the trick. For example, I wear all black, and use a black camera. Therefore when I bring up my camera, my subject is less likely to notice me and my camera.
Realize how you dress will change how you are perceived by others. You can take two strategies: Some other street photographers I know intentionally try to stand out— wearing neon green shirts, and magenta-colored fanny-packs. You have empathy for your fellow human beings, the human condition, and you want to capture life as you see it. Perhaps you can make it more interesting by adding your own shadow in the foreground, or by tilting the horizon a bit, or even using a flash.
Photograph in-between the barbed wire fence, to photograph a subject in-between. There are many other different frame-in-frames you can find. Shoot through the backs of chairs. An easy one is photograph people in windows. But how do you shoot more head-on? Try to walk in crowded streets, and bring up your camera at the last section, while people are about to walk into you.
Realize this technique takes some finesse. And the second you are in front of them, take a photo very close head-on. When I started to shoot street photography, I was very timid. I know it is scary, but try to do it by walking around your subject, and waiting for them to come close to you. Then bring up your camera and photograph them moving towards you, and keep your camera up to your eye, and let them pass you. You keep doing this until you get a shot of them head-on.
When you capture more faces in your street photography, your photos will have more vigor, energy, and dynamism. You will show more emotions and expressions in the face of your subject, which will resonate more with your viewer. This is what usually happens: Going off the prior tip, compliment your subject. If you photograph a stranger, there is probably a good reason why you are deciding to photograph them. You probably find something unique, beautiful, or special about them. Sometimes when I see someone interesting I want to photograph with permission , I will approach them and tell them what I find interesting about them.
Then ask permission to photograph them. Why would they feel upset after you compliment them? The tricky thing is you want to compliment your subject in a genuine way. By camping out there, and waiting for your subjects come to you — you will conserve your energy, and also find a more interesting mix and combination of people. I learned this tip from the photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who would shoot the street corners of NYC, taking a step back, and capturing dramatic photos of the flow of street life.
Also as a general tip, I think it is better to go to where the action is, and let people come to you — rather than always running around the streets while wasting your energy. So try to make your camera as small as possible. I generally recommend using cameras that have non-interchangeable lenses, or small camera bodies with compact wide-angle prime lenses.
They are the best combination of compactness, image quality, and performance. If you want more dynamic compositions in your street photography, look for leading lines. You can find leading lines in alley-ways, from street signs, or curves in the road. By adding leading lines to your street photos, it will be easier for your viewer to find the subject in your photograph.
Furthermore, the lines will draw your eyes through the frame, and give the photo direction and energy. I have a rule for myself in street photography: I can walk for miles, and find nothing interesting or new to photograph. But every once in a while, I see a scene or a person which makes my heart thump.
I feel my heart rate raise, sweat go down my back, and I feel nervous. Therefore rather than exterminating my fears in street photography, I let my emotions channel my shooting process. I ry to channel my fears and anxieties in a positive and creative way. I let my fear point me into knowing what to photograph and what not to photograph. So try the same thing. And if you do that, you will learn to live with fear in a positive way.
If you start getting bored in street photography, it is because your photos are too simple for you. Try to add multiple subjects, layers, and emotional depth. Try to add different gestures in your frame, dramatic light, or the use of an external flash.
You can also build complexity in your street photography not just by focusing on single images— but working on longer-term street photography projects. Keep increasing the intensity of the challenge of your street photography, and you will constantly grow. I got this tip from Bruce Gilden. When I used to look through my street photographs, I would go through each photo one-by-one in full-screen mode. Nowadays I look at my photos quickly and scroll through them as thumbnails, and choose the ones that pop out to me.
There are many benefits to this method — you save time by not looking at all your photos. Also as a tip, Henri Cartier-Bresson used to flip his photos upside-down to better judge his compositions. You can do the same. No matter how skilled you are at fishing, there is a degree of luck. You want favorable weather, or you want the fish to be in one spot. Most fishermen go out for the thrill of the hunt, for the tranquility of the fishing-process, and to be at one with the water. Treat your street photography the same way.
Shoot street photography to be out on the streets, to enjoy your walk, and the excitement of the process. And that is okay. Just be patient, and enjoy the journey. For example, try to get a self-portrait of yourself in the scene via your shadow, your reflection, or presence. Try to get your shadow in the photograph in the bottom of the frame to fill your photo. It puts the viewer into your shoes. It gives your photographs more authorship, fills in dead spaces, and also adds a voyeuristic element to your image.
For street photographs who have done a great job putting themselves into the frame, I recommend looking the self-portraits of Lee Friedlander and Vivian Maier. One of the most difficult things is to make eye contact with strangers, and especially our subjects. You can start very simply by making more eye-contact with your friends and family when you talk to them. Then when you talk to a barista, a waiter, or someone in the service industry.
Just look at them gently, smile, and nod your head. Once you can master making eye-contact with strangers, you will be a lot more bold and fearless in your street photography, hesitate less, and your confidence will fill the streets. However I think that small talk is crucial, especially when you meet strangers. Because if you can master small talk, then you can have your subject warm up to you. Then you can ask them deeper, more personal questions, which allows you to connect deeper with them.
Practice making small talk with strangers at dinner parties or at bars. You can talk about the weather, about current events, or what they did that day. Try to practice transitioning into talking about more serious topics, or more personal topics.
Then once you are more comfortable with small-talk, then you will find you can apply the same technique to your street photography. You can take a photo of a stranger, then engage them afterwards with small talk, which will make them feel more comfortable. Or you can start off by doing small-talk with a stranger, and then ask them politely to make their portrait afterwards. Rather than panicking, you can learn how to simply apologize for taking a photo of someone without permission, and to calm them down.
Whenever he finds a place interesting that he wants to shoot, he visits there a few times first without a camera , and talks with the locals. Therefore they start to feel comfortable with him, and treat him more like a friend than a stranger. Then after several visits, he brings his camera, and when he wants to make photos, people feel comfortable around him, and just ignore him.
Similarly you can do this in your street photography. Visit the local cafe a lot, and talk to the baristas before you shoot the neighborhood.
Furthermore, if you get to know locals in a certain part of town, you will be able to photograph them candidly and without permission, without having them be upset at you or pose for you. Building a sense of trust with a local community is crucial, if you plan on shooting street photography in a certain neighborhood regularly. You might walk to a certain situation, and find interesting characters, and get a sense that something interesting is about to happen.
Instead of taking out your camera and start shooting senselessly, pause, and linger around. Mull around and blend in, by checking your smartphone, or just looking around. Then when you see something interesting about to happen, bring out your camera and start making photos. Because after you bring out your camera, you will probably give yourself away, and the magic might disappear.
I generally recommend small cameras, and either having a neck strap or a hand-strap. The secret is having your camera always on you, and ready to shoot.
I used to just give the recommendation of always having your camera with you.