Tips: Street photography is mostly shooting from the hip

If you look at most of the street photographs, they are shot from the hip. The unusual perspective that you get by shooting from the hip, engages viewers. They feel they are part of the scene. I personally like to call it “Kids Eye View” or “Kids perspective”.

There are advantages of shooting from the hip in street. Firstly, you become invisible. When you pickup your camera at your eye level, start focusing the lens and point your camera at some one, people become aware of you and they start looking at you, giving unnatural poses. You loose the spontaneity of the scene. Most of the time you end up in Good Portraits rather than spontaneous Street Photographs.

Another advantage is the unusual perspective you get. This makes viewers feel like they are part of the scene. This makes your photographs more engaging.

(c) Dipak Kumbhar

Here are the tips to shoot from the hip.

#Tip 1: Always shoot in wide-angle
This is the most important rule in shooting street photographs. Using wide-angle helps capture everything in the scene. Also since you are shooting from the hip without looking through view-finder, there are chances you might not capture what you want to, if not shooting in wide-angle. Also with wide-angle you avoid getting flat images. The hip level perspective combined with wide-angle give you unusual shots, nice juxtapositions. The perspective you get, makes viewer get deeper into the scene. They feel part of the scene.

#Tip 2: Understand your lens’s hyperfocal distance
Hyperfocal distance is basically the distance that you can focus to at any given aperture, where the resulting depth of field will retain sharpness in the scene from as far away as infinity to the closest possible point. Understanding your lens hyperfocal distance is very important in getting sharp images throughout infinity.  Once you know your lens’s hyperfocal distance, you can pre-focus your lens on that distance and then you don’t have to adjust your focus again.

To know your lens’s hyperfocal distance, you can use free calculators available on internet.
Hypoerfocal calculators/tutorials on web:
1. http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/02/08/how-to-calculate-hyperfocal-distance-free-photography-cheat-sheet/3/
2. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/hyperfocal-distance.htm

#Tip 3: Use faster shutter speed
Faster shutter speeds are very important when it comes to capturing decisive moments. When you are shooting at hip level, the chances are that you are moving around, and in street there is lot of movement around you. Most of the time, your subjects are also moving. It is very important to shoot them at right moment, to freeze their motions.

#Tip 4: Use Auto-ISO Mode
From camera settings menu, set your camera to Auto-ISO. In changing light conditions, it helps to let camera decide light sensitivity by setting ISO values. This ensures that you always get faster shutter speeds. In street photography, you can use High ISO noise/grains creatively. When particular scene has good light conditions, you can always override Auto-ISO and set it to lower ISO settings like ISO 100 or ISO 200.

#Tip 5: Set your camera to Aperture Priority mode
Set you camera to Aperture priority mode and set your aperture to F18 or more. This will ensure that you get sharp focus through out the infinity. Also with this mode, camera automatically sets your shutter speed to optimum so that you don’t get slow shutter issues or camera shakes.

#Tip 6: Remember to lock your exposure
Take exposure of the scene and use your AE/AF Lock button to lock the exposure. You can change this if the scene lighting conditions changes. but most of the time, Exposure will not change. Set your camera metering mode to Adaptive/average or matrix so that camera will read exposure from whole scene rather than particular area.

#Tip 7: Pre-focus your lens
Pre-focus your lens in auto-mode on hyper-focal distance, probably on your hand or any object from which you want your scene to be in sharp focus. Once lens is focused, you can then set the camera/lens to Manual Focus and start shooting without worrying about focusing. You need to re-focus your lens only if scene requirements changes.

#Tip 8: Set your camera on Continuous Shooting mode
When you set your camera on continuous shooting mode, there is less chance that you miss the best shot. With a single click you can shoot the subjects continuously and out of all number of shots, you can select the best one.

#Tip 9: Remove lens filters
I suggest you to remove lens filters, especially if you have Polarising filters attached. In street photography, many a times Glass/mirror/water reflections is what you want to shoot. Filters like polarising filters will remove these reflections and you will miss those reflections. For a digital SLR, you don’t need UV filters. Only a clear glass filters to protect your lens is what you need.

divine war

(c) Nilesh Gawde

Featured Photographer: Rudy Boyer from France

Last week we had an opportunity of interviewing Rudy Boyer, a talented Street Photographer from France. We take this opportunity to present you Rudy Boyer as our Street Rythms Featured Photographer.

Rudy Boyer is 32 years old and lives in Nice, in the south of France. He is responsible for a structure analysis laboratory in the Construction/Building sector. Rudy is passionate about photography and music, he has been playing jazz guitar for ten years. He started Street Photography in 2013.

For Rudy, street photography is the best of photography, what happens in everyday life, scenes of joys, sorrows scenes, often very lonely! but life! it is also a big playground where he can express himself.

He shoots 95% of the time with Fuji x100s et and rest with Nikkon D700.

For aspiring street photographers, he suggests, “Open the books of famous photographers, go out and train again and again, go towards the essentials”.

About future of street photography, he says that like any fashion trend and ease of taking pictures, and of course also through to social networks, there will be more and more people getting into street photography. Then fashion will fade and what will remain will be real passionate…

We asked him about his style. He thinks that its primarily a state of mind. With time and influences, the look is changing and the desire to excel becomes larger. What he decides to get on the net is only 30% of his photos, so he just tried to be consistent. Its never really easy for him.

Rudy takes inspiration from Saul Leiter, Hary Gruyaert, Alex Webb, Nikos Economopoulus, Abbas Attar and also from many many others on flickr and facebook.

You can admire his work on Facebook | Flickr | Website

 

“Hope for a New Life” by Warren Richardson, is World Press Photo of the Year

Warren Richardson “Hope for a New Life” is selected as World Press Photo of the Year in their 59th World Press Photo Contest. The photo is awarded under category Spot News, Singles. This photo is part of  Winning photos selected from 82,951 photos made by 5,775 photographers from 128 different countries.

Taken at night on 28 August 2015, this man and child were part of the movement of people seeking to cross into Hungary before a secure fence on the border was completed. The photo was taken at higher ISO of 6400 and hence you can see lot of grains in the image and probably the image is also not sharper. But the story of hope amongst refugees that it conveys touches heart and the harsh and dangerous conditions that these refugees are living and struggling to survive, haunt’s us.

Warren Richardson, Australia © Ildiko Fulop

Richardson is a freelance photographer, currently based in Budapest, Hungary. He explained how the picture was made:

“I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone.”

Read more about this photo and get to know other contest participants and winners by clicking on the link below:

2016 World Press Photo contest | About the Winning image

To know more about Warren Richardson and admire is wonderful and inspirational work, check his website www.warrenrichardson.com

“Observation is the key of success in street photography” – Prashant Godbole

Prashant Godbole is a well known photographer. He began his career in the ad agency Lintas (now Lowe). He joined as an Art Director, where his first task was to do a campaign on Bajaj Scooters. His team’s ‘Hamara Bajaj’  campaign was an instant hit and injected a pride of ownership in scooter buyers. He chose slice-of-life images for the campaign, like a Parsi polishing his scooter, the aarti people perform when buying a new vehicle, and kids taking a ride with their father to school.

This became his visual style. He brought street photography into every ad campaign, be it for Killer Jeans, The Times of India, Shoppers Stop or Airtel. He has worked with great photographers like Swapan Parekh, Raghu Rai, Prabuddha and Tejal, and learned by observing how they work.

His first encounter with professional street photography happened by chance. While working on the ‘Express Yourself’ film for Airtel, Swapan was not available. So he took up the camera and started taking pictures. His campaign later won several awards. From that day onward, the camera has always has always been his companion, where ever he goes.

For him, street photography is like holding up a mirror to society, capturing the life of a moment on film, making room for instinct, telling a story, making you smile. In his words, we quote, “It tends to be ironic and often surprise you”. He says, in today’s global village, photography is the only thing that crosses barriers of language and happily transports viewers to different cultures.

When we asked him why he captures mostly in black and white, his answer was that he shoots digital so mostly in color, but he sees black and white images in his head. He recalls once jokingly telling a friend that his camera is color-blind.

Prashant never shoots with an idea or theme in mind. He stumbles upon the situation and waits for things to happen.

His photographs are simple, minimalistic and very artistic, thanks to his training in advertising. He feels that like an ad that tells that tells a story or communicate a message within seconds, images should be kept simple and to the point. Your visual should seek to be understood even by an illiterate person. Simple becomes powerful. Removing what is not the picture and what is not the message becomes art. He applies his training in his advertising to his street photography as well.

For him gear is not important, because, in his words, we quote, “You cannot become Abhinav Bindra by holding a peashooter in your hand”. But he also emphasize that what you do with your equipment will make all the difference.

Prashant finds inspiration in the works of Swapan Parekh, Raghu Rai and Raghubir Singh.

 


 

Below are few of his inspirational images. To see more of his work, visit his website www.prashantgodbole.com or follow him on Facebook. Bookmark him for your daily dose of inspiration.

Note: all the photographs in this article are copyright, © Prashant Godbole.

Muhammad Imam Hasan – emerging talent from Bangladesh

Muhammad Imam Hasan, born and bought up in capital Dhaka, Bangladesh, is currently working at Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital. Few days back we included his name in the list of Street Photographers to follow in 2016. Bangladesh has given many talented photographers to the world, and Muhammad Imam Hasan is one of them. We talked to him last week and here is what he said:

 


I started taking photos from last part of 2013. Then I discovered my deep interest about photography day by day, specially in street photography. I feel my deep interest to observe people’s activities from close proximity and freeze them in my frame and let it live forever. So far the journey has been so good; I look forward to go more deeper in this genre of photography. I completed basic and foundation course from photography school Pathshala of Dhaka and also attended different street photography workshop including APF one.

Photography is basically my passion and I used to spend week holidays and leisure time practicing Street Photography.  Deep passion and love force me out with camera. Most of my work is based on the city of Dhaka as I don’t get too much time to travel and shoot outside of Dhaka.
I love doing Street Photography because it is very dynamic; therefore the photographer is being challenged. You have to be observant, responsive, predictive and most often discreet in order to capture a candid moment.
I like to have busyness in my frame, with lots of subject moving around, including layers. In Dhaka, everybody is busy for life, people move around everywhere all the time, it’s a gift for me to capture in a way I like.
I am very much influenced by two of my favorite quotes:
“If your photographs are not good enough, you are not close enough” by Robert Capa
“If you can smell the Street in a photograph, it is Street Photograph” by Bruce Gilden
I like to go very close and I believe in one camera one lens theory.

Website | Facebook | Flickr

Note: all photographs on this page, copyright © Muhammad Imam Hasan.

SL Shanth Kumar – a talented street photographer & photo journalist to be followed

Born in Bangalore in 1986, photography has always been my passion. I took up photography in 2000 where I started as a dark room assistant in a studio and have since then dabbled with various forms of photography. I finally found my true calling in photojournalism and have been practicing it since 2002 as part of various publications in India. I have covered the political and social changes extensively, particularly in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. I see photography as a medium for bringing out the truth as well as for creative expression.

S L ShantkumarMy entries have won prizes at many national and international competitions like:

  • 2009 Canon photojournalist award
  • 2010 Shoot Nations International photography contest
  • 2011 Better Photography – Photographer of the year. This award was presented by Raghu Rai.
  • 2011 MCC Wisden Cricket Photo of the Year award. My winning photo was displayed at the Lords stadium throughout this year.

I currently work as a Senior Photojournalist at The Times of India, Mumbai.

Facebook | Website

 

Street Rythm: Could you tell us about your background? How did you got into photography?

SL: To be frank, I didn’t have any formal education in the field of journalism. I was a school dropout and in my early days, started working as a tea boy in a local studio at Bangalore. With every passing day, I began to get deeper into the workings of the darkroom and my growing understanding of photography attracted me to it. It made me start taking pictures, to answer all the questions that were bubbling inside me. And in this journey I soon met my to-be-guru Sir Benedict, a photojournalist from Times of India, Bangalore. He provided me the initial break to get into photojournalism.


Street Rythm: Why street photography instead of other genres?

SL: Street photography is challenging work.it dedicates to humans feeling.


Street Rythm: What makes street photography special?

SL: Emotions ,concept,and much more…


Street Rythm: How much you use post processing softwares like Photoshop to process your photos?

SL: No, I am not working in photoshop.I am jpeg man .I am always trying to keep originality.


Street Rythm: How important is gear? What gear you use?

SL: Gear is not important for me.Now days I am using Nikon D750 and Nikon D3x


 

Note: all photographs on this page, copyright © SL Shanth Kumar.

Street Rythms Photowalk – Parvati Kite Festival

Last week Street Rythm team organised a Photo Walk in Parvati Kite Festival held at Taljai Hills, Parvati, Pune. It was a beautiful sunday with nice light and clear sky. The event witnessed participants from Pune and surrounding towns. Street Rythms Team Member and Photographer Dipak Kumbhar joined from Kolhapur for this special Photo-walk.

Photos by Dipak Kumbhar

kite 1

(c) Dipak Kumbhar

kite 2

(c) Dipak Kumbhar

kite 3

(c) Dipak Kumbhar

 

Photos by Nilesh Gawde

divine war

“war with deamons” (c) nilesh gawde

 

fly high

“fly high” (c) nilesh gawde

 

(c) nilesh gawde

 

Photos by Raju Javalkar

IMG_3417

(c) Raju Javalkar

 

kite with boys

(c) Raju Javalkar

 

 

Street photographers to follow in 2016

We have been members of many street photography websites and groups, and we are following few street photographers on social media. This is our random list of few photographers that we believe are worth following. These are not compiled by votes or popular opinion, but are photographers whose work we love and admire.

We hope you’ll also enjoy the work of these talented street photographers and get inspired. The list is not yet complete and we will add more to this list as we explore for inspirations.

Swapnil Jedhe, India

Swapnil is a street photographer and creative director in an Advertising firm, from Pune, India. He explores the hidden art in our mundane lives and seeks to capture those magical unseen moments from ordinary, everyday scenes. He has a strong sense of composition and most of his images have simple and clean graphical forms.

Swapnil has won many accolades and awards for his work, and recently he won the most prestigious The Miami Street Photography Festival (MSPF). He is being featured in many reputed Photography Magazines in India as well as Internationally.

website | Facebook | Flickr

 

Tavepong Pratoomwong, Thailand

Tavepong Pratoomwong is a Street Photographer from Chanthaburi in Thailand. He has participated in many contests and awards, winning 1st place in the Miami Street Photography Festival 2014 while at the same time also being a finalist at the same contest with another photo. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions and has been published in the National Geographic Magazine of Thailand and other publications.

Facebook | WebsiteFlickr

 

Muhamad Imam Hasan, Bangladesh

Muhamad Imam Hasan is born and bought up in capital Dhaka, Bangladesh. By profession he is a Doctor (child physician) and by passion he is a street photographer. most of his work is based on the city of Dhaka.

He was finalist in the Miami Street Photography Festival 2015
Featured in Art Photo Feature (APF) Street Photography Magazine Website
Featured in 121Clicks

Muhamad started taking photos in 2013 with capturing his little daughters photographs. Later he joined South Asian Media Institute (Pathshala) in March 2013 and completed Basic and Foundation course in photography. He loves to capture decisive moment and playing with layers. His eye catches interesting close up candid moments and expressions.

Website | Facebook | Flickr