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6 Lessons from a Newbie Street Photographer

iCatMilton

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Original article can be found here - Mobile Photography Central

I’m pretty new to ‘street photography’. It’s kinda another string to my bow and one I’ve approached with my fair share of caution and nervousness. (In fact truth be, I probably tried it twice last year and although thrilling, I was a little overwhelmed… but the thrill just won’t leave me so I had to tackle my fears!)

I’ve been mindful of the lessons I’m learning and thought I’d share a few of them for any other beginners in this field.


© Cat Milton

1. Fresh Perspective.
I’ve learnt this one by accident. I’m often nervous when I’ve a phone in my hand, camera ready to go. When doing landscape or event photography, composition is one of the first things I check. With my initial street photography attempts that went straight out the window. Thank goodness! Being forced to not compose traditionally has allowed some unique perspectives.
This has been assisted in the second step by being able to edit the image – straighten it, crop it, etc.
Play with perspective – you might surprise yourself!


© Cat Milton

2. Use the Light.
With the limitations of mobile phone cameras ability to work in low light, being aware of the light is critical.

There are things that you can fix, enhance and adjust in the editing stage, but only up to a point.
Be aware when you’re out on the street where the light is coming from. I’m always checking where the shadow falls and indeed how it falls, to help me judge my shot.
(It also becomes a great help in parking the car – you know the movement of the sun by rote and voila, no hot seats! Heh.)


© Cat Milton

3. Go to interesting locations.
I live on a small island. A very small island. It would perhaps be easy to get downhearted and think there’s nothing new to shoot, nowhere new to go. The thing to remember is that you’re a travel photographer to anyone not there. Cultures and lifestyles differ around the World. What might be completely normal to me is extraordinary for someone else. That said if there is an interesting event try out your street photography there. You might surprise yourself with the characters and moments you capture.


© Cat Milton

4. Rapid Shutter fire
This is a new lesson. I learnt it whilst trying to capture one of my cats playing with water.
Both the latest Android and iOS phones allow for continuous shooting. The iPhone 5S captures up to 10 images per second (quality is reduced but not much)
If you think a good moment is about to happen, don’t be afraid to pop your finger on the shutter and hold it down! Get those shots and then go through and pick the best one!

5. Black and White vs. Colour.
As a general rule of thumb, I prefer my own street images in Black and White format. My reasoning is simple – it removes the distractions of colour from my images. Trust me, if you were to see these images in colour, you’d be distracted!


© Cat Milton

6. Experiment!
I tend to learn via two steps
1. See what others are doing and what appeals to me in their work.
2. Go out and do it, myself.
Experimentation is key. It’s fun, and just sometimes I get a shot I like and then all the time, the nervousness and effort becomes worth it!

Good luck and have fun!
 

Venomator

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This is fabulous Cat, truly a wonderful piece that should serve to both assist and inspire those who aspire to the art of street photography, but yet approach it with some trepidation (me included!)... :notworthy:

Thank you so much for sharing it with your MobiFamily... :thumbs:

And if you want to write and share more such gems from MobiTog please do feel free so to do... :D

Although I do recognise some, if not most of your attached pieces of street art, but still they amaze at their quality and brilliance... :rog:
 

RoseCat

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These are wonderful tips!! I always forget about the rapid shutter fire... except for the couple of times I did it by mistake and later, looking through my photos thought "Huh?!?!" when there were 10 shots, all exactly the same. LOL.

I still can't believe you are new to street photography, as your images are some of my absolute favorite street shots I've ever seen. :notworthy: Ibiza is now high on my list of places to visit, thanks to you! :)
 

lisamjw

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Awesome info! Thanks for sharing it.
 

dscheff

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Stunning work Cat. I see so many interesting things each time I look at these pieces :)
 

CurMichFar

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Amazing shots Cat! When you are shooting, are you taking your shots in B&W or color to then edit? I get nervous just at the thought of doing street photography, but will definitely be attempting some of my own this summer....although, it does look a bit odd holding up an ipad mini as a camera to some people. lol
 

iCatMilton

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Amazing shots Cat! When you are shooting, are you taking your shots in B&W or color to then edit? I get nervous just at the thought of doing street photography, but will definitely be attempting some of my own this summer....although, it does look a bit odd holding up an ipad mini as a camera to some people. lol
Hi Curt / CurMichFar

I tend to shoot in Native Camera, using either my Samsung S4 or iPhone 5S
My editing apps are simple, as is the process: -

Snapseed - Straighten, crop, drama, then try the black and White. Oh, sometimes a good play with Details and Centre Focus!
Pixlr Express + - usually only for borders
After Focus Pro - to add a little blur on occasions

The edit process is simple because they are three app's I have on both Android and iOS platforms.

It is nerve-wracking. I think this year I've managed about 4 days out, with the specific intention of doing some street photography AND achieving it (small island, know loads of folks, often get caught in conversations as I watch images pass me by - bad friend ;) )

That said, some of my closer friends know what I'm up to so they try and create distractions for me so I can take the shot without standing out like a sore thumb.

Looking seriously puzzled and as though I'm trying to read my screen without sun glare seems to help ;)
If you're struggling - looking like you're struggling - no-one really wants to make that moment worse for you ;)
 

iCatMilton

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This is fabulous Cat, truly a wonderful piece that should serve to both assist and inspire those who aspire to the art of street photography, but yet approach it with some trepidation (me included!)... :notworthy:

Thank you so much for sharing it with your MobiFamily... :thumbs:

And if you want to write and share more such gems from MobiTog please do feel free so to do... :D

Although I do recognise some, if not most of your attached pieces of street art, but still they amaze at their quality and brilliance... :rog:

Thanks Venomator

The funny thing is I've managed very few dedicated 'excursions' so I actually have very few images that I'd dare to showcase publicly (have an entire portfolio of shots but small island ... respecting folks privacy) and in fact only really got up the 'oomph' to write at all because of the initial encouragement I'd received on Mobitog :cool:
 

iCatMilton

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These are wonderful tips!! I always forget about the rapid shutter fire... except for the couple of times I did it by mistake and later, looking through my photos thought "Huh?!?!" when there were 10 shots, all exactly the same. LOL.

I still can't believe you are new to street photography, as your images are some of my absolute favorite street shots I've ever seen. :notworthy: Ibiza is now high on my list of places to visit, thanks to you! :)
The 'rapid fire' is such a godsend but yep, one I often forget too, missing at least a couple of moments and then .. I remember. Oh, the frustration! :rolleyes:

Please DO come visit!

I actually teach iPhoneography on the island and was thinking to do a residential course for visitors to the island, taking in 15 locations and a day of street photography so folks would have a comprehensive portfolio of this beautiful isle.

I've even found this amazing 5 star hotel, tucked away in the mountains - sheer bliss and beauty! :)

Yep, genuine beginner of street photography. Managed a couple of outings last year but no real thought to it - more a 'I'll go out and see what I can get' than 'let's get some street shots' - I'm a work in progress and very much on the first rung! :lol:

xxXxx
 

iCatMilton

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.although, it does look a bit odd holding up an ipad mini as a camera to some people. lol
Ps. I should add Curt / CurMichFar, that I taught my partners Aunt and she uses her iPad mini and gets away with it just fine. I think a lot has to do with attitude.

My Auntie-in-law just always looks so 'wowed' by what she's about to capture I doubt anyone would dream of having a word, other that to ask her what magic she's just spotted ;)
 

CurMichFar

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Ps. I should add Curt / CurMichFar, that I taught my partners Aunt and she uses her iPad mini and gets away with it just fine. I think a lot has to do with attitude.

My Auntie-in-law just always looks so 'wowed' by what she's about to capture I doubt anyone would dream of having a word, other that to ask her what magic she's just spotted ;)
That's great! I'll definitely be taking it out into public to get some good shots. Heading to Montana to visit my sister in a week, so I should come back with some good shots from there. It is pretty hard to see the shots in the sunlight though, so half the time it might just be point and shoot and hope for the best.
 

iCatMilton

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First ever street photo.jpg


Hahaha, ohhhhh dear. I got curious and went through my photos, trying to locate what would be my first ever intentional 'street photo' and i think this is it.
Mallorca, 2012 - and by the looks of things, iPhone 4, native camera and edited using Spica.

:thumbs:
 

iCatMilton

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That's great! I'll definitely be taking it out into public to get some good shots. Heading to Montana to visit my sister in a week, so I should come back with some good shots from there. It is pretty hard to see the shots in the sunlight though, so half the time it might just be point and shoot and hope for the best.
Good luck.

Maybe pick an interesting character and try and figure out their moves for the next 5-10 seconds, position yourself and 'open fire' ... ;) Really hope it goes well for you! xxXxx
 
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