Street Photography

What is street photography exactly? One might guess its photos taken on the street; and that one person would be correct. But also street photography; is photographs of inspiration at that moment, where you find something that is visually intriguing. Something that is so eye-catching: you have to take that shot; that is my definition of street photography. The whole point of street photography is documenting what is happening before your very eyes, a situation perhaps that is playing out in front of you at that very moment. Being alert about everything going on around you so you can be quick enough to get that shot; because you'll never get that same shot twice.

Street photography can be very exhilarating because everything is constantly changing; never to be shot in the same way again. Street photography has many themes as long as you don't make it seem like an ongoing boring project. Its photographing things that will add up over time; things you document with your own eyes. One example is a shot of a business man being splashed by a car passing by as he stands at the curb waiting to cross the road after a heavy rain. This photo will tell many stories of that moment and you have only one opportunity to capture it. That is what makes street photography so absorbing. This can be photographs of people who actually work out in the street selling things: such as a street vendor. Taking shots of how they look at that moment; the expressions on their face could be telling you a story of the hardships they might be having, or success.

Street photography doesn't necessarily need any type of theme. Sometimes it might be about something in front of me that amuses or interest me while I'm taking pictures. When certain elements come together to form a visually striking image; and the composition is happening before you're very own eyes and the shot is there for you to take at that very moment, that's street photography. I took some photos of a parade and the most intriguing shot I had taken was a little girl who was sorting her parade candy out in the grass after the parade.

What's the best camera for street photography? The answer to that is what ever type of camera you're comfortable with; it can be a point and shoot camera or a digital SLR camera. As long as it's what you feel comfortable using. I prefer a SLR camera with a 50 mm lens which allows me to get up close in the area I'm shooting without getting in my subjects face. But you don't want to go out on the street to take photograph with a long focal length lens. This will make you too detached from the surrounding area and your mind really has to be in it to get those shots. You can't just look what's going on, you have to really see it. And a 50mm lens will help you pick out the interesting parts of your shot over the other random series of events that are not under your control during your shot.

Article by Alan Slagle

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