Practicing made me more conscious about many things… content, light, composition and editing – composition comes natural to me when I’m able to ignore the patch in my, or the autofocus point in an SLR – focus, recompose is my mantra. Ultimately, storytelling is my goal with (street) photography – recently, I read a story about a someone (sorry, I don’t recall… I’m really bad with remembering names) who started out studying journalism to be a writer, but he figured out that he was a visual storyteller and turned to. Thinking about it, I’m sure I found it on f-stop mag, which is inspiring on so many levels.
I considered many times to try to go out and sell myself as an advertising photographer, I have the skills and experience in the industry to begin with, but I’m hesitant to turn something I do for the love of it into a bill paying endeavor, even though I was able to support myself with for the past couple of years without going all out.
Back to what I learned by shooting street… Light is a very important factor, I’m always trying to shoot when the sun is low and I always carry a flash, which I trigger with a small radio. Essentially when I need to squint, shooting at f11 or f16, I would not shoot at all, or use a flash for fill. Natural light is great when you can take advantage of it, but many times it is less than ideal and a fill flash is your best friend to improve the quality of light.
content… no way is it interesting to photograph a random stranger passing by – find something else interesting in the frame that supports your story and use everything available to you. Find a thread, create a story – even a one-liner that some people are opposed to… create a juxtaposition, find humor, exploit oddities, detect patterns and look out for repetition – many of these tricks turn out to work well for . If you’re working in color, try to integrate the colors into your composition and learn about color theory.
Now you have composition, a good subject, a great story and only one thing is missing… LIGHT. Watch out for good light, and if it’s not there – keep on observing, or dish out the fill flash.
Leica M9 / Leica ME colors are unsurpassed by anything else at the moment