I get asked a lot for advice on a low-budget entry level camera. I usually respond by asking for what kind of photography it is intended to be used. Because, frankly speaking, if people want to spend 300€ on a simple entry level camera for just some basic snapping of the usual holiday / people / travel photos, they should stay away and just use their smart phone. Because smart phones these days are also really good cameras, and one that you always carry with you….so the question is: Smartphone or entry level camera?
Shooting street photography with a Leica produces what I call “the rangefinder effect”. While people in the streets have a tendency to find it disturbing having a big ass DSLR pointed at their faces, their reaction is definitely quite different when they see the casually wandering photographer working the manual focus and the aperture ring of an almost anachronistic looking small black camera.
Obviously, shooting with other retro looking cameras like the Olympus PEN-F or the Fuji X100F is also much less intimidating than using a big DSLR with a huge lens attached. But those cams use autofocus and thus the process is often reduced to a simple point and shoot. The point and shoot approach would also work on a rangefinder using zone focusing (the systematic pre-focusing of a lens at specific distance and aperture to achieve a sharp image), but to get the hang of using a rangefinder I mostly take the time to set up the shots individually. Which, as totally unusual these days, draws curiosity and often a (probably pitiful) smile, the rangefinder effect. Especially when you are close to your subjects, what you have to be when you shoot street photography using a 35mm lens.
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The sun is missing in the Streets of Nuremberg. On days like this I’m in need of some color. So is my street photography. I’m not really looking for the classical high contrast black & white images, but shoot in color, looking for those scenes where color makes the photograph better.
Sometimes you have to be quick. Street scenes are there for a second, then gone forever. No time to fiddle with camera settings. My advice for you: Shoot in P-Mode, when your are not deliberately photographing a certain subject and have ample time to adjust composition and settings.
“Instant Inspiration” is my series for you if you look for something to overcome “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried, or at least not recently. With episode 30 (!!) I want to inspire you to go looking for those different kind of face….
Street Photography Quick Tip 17 – Shoot with what the sun gives you
My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets.
Photography literally means „drawing with light“. The sun is the principal lightsource out in the streets. But unlike a studio lightstand, you can‘t move the sun around to direct the light to where you want/need it. Obviously there are some workarounds, like using a reflector to throw back the light on the subject and brighten up the shadows. But in street photography, this is not practical and we need to shoot with what the sun gives us.
…the rain has come. I know, the song by Jimmy Cliff has a slightly different title. But the snow on the Streets of Nuremberg has been replaced by torrential rain. It’s gruesome outside. The maximum you can do as street photographer is going for some puddle shooting. And then finding a coffee shop for some hot Espresso.
The photograph was taken with the Ricoh GR II, specs are 1/125 sec @ F/5 and ISO 1600.
RAW conversion and monochrome processing in Lightroom Classic CC.
If you want to pick up your camera this Sunday and are still looking for inspirations what to shoot, check out my free Learning Center.
No, “say cheese” is not what I say when taking a candid street portrait of a complete stranger. Actually it is much simpler. Walking up, smiling, raising the camera, taking the shot, smiling again, maybe waving “thanks”, walking away. That’s standard street photography. About half of the people put up a smile and actually like having their picture taken, the other half doesn’t react much, and then there is maybe one in fifteen tries where the person signals they are not in agreement to have a stranger take their picture. In those cases I smile “thanks anyway” and walk away. No big deal. No reason to be anxious taking portraits of strangers.
Photograph taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 12-100mm F/4. Image specs 1/60 sec @ F/4 and ISO 250, 29mm focal length. I was standing directly in front of this guy, you can see my reflection in the window of the ice cream parlor.
Street Photography Quick Tip 13 – Shoot in a Coffee Shop
My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is for those of you who dread hitting the streets in this awful wet and dull November weather. Take your camera into a coffee shop near your, sit down, enjoy a strong Espresso, observe the other guests and take some candid portraits of scenes that will catch your eye. People in coffee shops tend to be really relaxed, engaged in talks with others, reading papers or books, staring obsessed into their mobile devices or simply use the free wi-fi to blog or do their studies. And believe me, they will not notice you.
The photography above I took last weekend (during my Street Photography workshop with Eric Kim) at the Bonanza Café (Oderberger Str 35) in Berlin with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens, image specs are 1/60 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 640. Raw processing and monochrome conversion in Lightroom Classic CC.
Street Photography Quick Tip 12 – Shoot from a Gallery
My Street Photography Quick Tips are short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is about changing the usual perspective of taking photographs from eye level by shooting down from a gallery in a shopping center. For a few, hopefully inspirational images continue after the jump… Continue reading “Street Photography Quick Tip (12)”→