In a search for methods to read the city, a street photographer goes hunting regularly, hoping to get that perfect shot.
Like a writer, a street photographer builds the story and often leaves the reader with a happy or sad ending, sometimes with a mystery.
Poets often use symbols to indirectly lead readers to another meaning (There are many similarities between poetry and street photography). Symbols add another dimension, they offer a new angle to read the scene which you are invited to see but not necessarily asked to buy. Symbols tend to move on a deeper level and bring a subconscious connection to the poem when done well. Photographer’s often try to do the same, and come out with beautiful results when done well.
Street photography is more of a challenge, because of the uncertainty… the joy of capturing that perfect unrehearsed moment… perfect in terms of light, texture, and elements all perfectly in place. It’s not a work of fiction.
Street photography is a “get it right” process, not a “fix it later” process.
Street photography is one of the most difficult forms of photography. It’s difficult because the photographer usually doesn’t have much control over the environment, well at least as much as he/she might like.
A photograph is a slice of time, captured by the photographer from a particular place. Viewer only sees what the photographer wants to show. One of the ways to keep the viewer involved in our photographs is to have them complete an image, a form, or an idea. It’s for the exact same reason that photographs can lie, a graphic lie. Photographers often use tools to direct the viewer to the subject and leading lines is a good example of that.
What becomes most important in the scene is “what’s your angle”, where do you stand? The camera angle instantly affects the perception of the viewer for the subject. Nothing will impact the photograph more than the angle.
Trust your visual instincts and they will often guide you if you need to go in closer or bend down, to make the subject look stronger and powerful. Angle is important, both physically and metaphorically, choose it wisely.
The proximity will play a big role in creating a physical illusion of the subject being closer to someone at the back. If you want two, or more, objects to be conceived as a group, then place them close to each other (by moving in a particular angle). The human mind does the finishing work for you, grouping them. Things that are similar tends to be grouped together. They band together.
While you place yourself in a particulate spot, your subjects and everything around them will either be in constant motion or likely, it will move without warning. The light will constantly change from one moment to the next. Second chances are rare in street photography.
When you press the shutter make sure everything in the frame has something to say and let serendipity play it’s part.
In January this year(2016), we had this beautiful photograph posted in the group by Alison Adcock. The link to the original post is Here.
It surely is an intriguing photograph, a photograph that asks a lot of questions. It’s beautiful (unfortunately a lot of street photographs I see today aren’t) and it’s a photograph you instantly fall in love with.
We spoke with Alison last month about the photograph and the circumstances behind the image. Hope it helps you look beyond the f-stops, shutter speeds, lenses and understand the true language of photography.
Alison says, “Over last summer I was working on a street photography project (inspired by Martin Parr of course!) about the English and how they enjoy the seaside for my website. One Saturday in July I was on the pier in Brighton on the south coast, which was one of my strategic points for collecting funny scenes, and I came across a seagull eating some ice cream on a pier post. The pier is quite a bit higher than the beach and so with the wheel in the distance, the point of view is quite interesting plus there is always a lot of activity on the pier itself. The sunshine was super and the gull was reflecting light as if I was using studio lighting. Plus the colour of the summer sky for me really enhances the scene. The gull was mostly interested in the ice cream and so I was able to take a few shots while it was moving around. To start with I was trying to make a disproportionate head in the frame. Then I thought about making the seagull as big as I could in the frame with the view of Brighton beach and the wheel behind. Eventually though the seagull got a bit fed up with me and turned to walk away. When he raised his foot, I had my opportunity: Gullzilla was born!”
We asked her to share a few frames, before and after the photograph, as the scene was involving. The selected image is the last one that she shot.
Total of 4,088 photographs from all over the world were posted for this award.
Fill The Frame refers to shooting photographs that are generally complex in composition and layered with multiple subjects. The thought process behind this technique is to simply fill as much of the picture with subjects and elements as possible. Photographer tries to freeze a moment in time where all present in the scene are bound together in some invisible symphony.
You can see the top entires on the slider above.
The results will be declared on the 10th of March 2016, do watch out.