In the last two months of my photography, I have been out with a number of excellent photographers, and have learnt many things in the process. One major thing that I picked up from watching all of them shoot is something that can’t actually be taught, but actually develops from within you. That thing in question is technique. By technique, I mean how you get your shots, what lens you use, and how you interact with your surroundings or subjects. The photographers I’ve been out with don’t just stick to one specific style while on the street, but 99% of the time, they will stick to one specific lens. Whether that lens is fisheye, wide angle, zoom, or ’normal’ (35mm-50mm), they have developed their own style using them and produce stunning work consistently. Of course their specific technique has developed over a course of time, by using their camera and lenses regularly, and learning how best to use them to achieve their vision. If you are just starting in photography, or are confident in using a camera, but new to street photography, I would suggest going out as much as you can and start finding out what works best for you.
Like myself and the photographers I've met up with, I’m sure any of you reading this have read photography magazines and books, watched YouTube videos, or possibly even studied how to shoot a particular genre of photography. Even now I can google ‘Photography Techniques’, and I’m given a plethora of results, stating a number of different techniques to help you become a better photographer. Now I’m certainly not going to say these techniques are wrong, not by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time, it’s important not to take them as written in stone. So many websites, books, and videos tell you you should use this lens, that particular mode or even a particular setting; but if everyone did this, most shots would look the same, with no creativity whatsoever. Two photographers, who are passionate about getting newcomers shooting more often, and encouraging them to be creative with their shots, are Bryan Peterson and Marius Vieth. And what I love about Bryan’s and Marius’s style of writing in their books and ebooks respectively, is the passion they have for you as an individual photographer; pushing you to discover your own unique skills, and then encouraging you into developing your own style of photography as you progress. Both of them inspired me to get out more, and to start shooting for myself instead of following particular rules of photography. Doing this enabled me to find a passion for street photography, and also helped improve my photography a lot. And look what’s happened on my journey since doing this. If you wanted to find out for yourself how much passion these two great photographers have, you can purchase Bryan's numerous books on Amazon here (book and Kindle versions), and sign up for Marius's free ebook here.
It’s also important to know that if past photographers hadn’t been creative in their own way, we would never have seen Bruce Gilden’s style of close up street photography with a flash (love it or loathe it). Nor would we have seen William Klein’s use of subjects out of focus, high contrast, and distortion in his superb work. And lastly, René Burri wouldn’t have captured my favourite ever photograph “Men on a Rooftop’ if he hadn’t decided to use a 150mm telephoto lens for street photography, even after his mentor Henri Cartier-Bresson told him not to shoot with anything other than lenses between 35mm-90mm!
So, if there was any more proof needed to go to out and discover what you can achieve with your own creative mind, go outside and discover for yourself. Because you never know, you just might be the next best thing in street photography.
And to finish off this weeks blog, I would like to share some shots that I captured over the last seven days.
There are more photos from the last seven days available in my colour and black & white galleries at the top of the page.
Thank you for reading, have a great weekend, and happy shooting.