Saturday, September 3, 2011

Street Photography for Beginners - The Foundation

We are all masters of our cameras and composition so it is time to start having a little more fun.  Don't get too excited though, because our Golden Rule still applies.  Refrain from shooting street photographs for just a little bit longer, we are almost there.

Spending time learning to use our cameras and learning compositional techniques are the foundation of photography, now we need to put those skills to use to start building the foundation of the photograph. 

Street photographs aren't on blank canvas, the subject is always surrounded by urban surroundings.  So in order to continue along our journey towards becoming a better street photographer, we need to spend a little time working on shooting urban scapes. 

To start just walk around taking photos of different urban scapes that seem appealing to you.  This will help you determine what textures you like and what makes a strong supporting background.

Once you have taken your urban scape photos spend some time examining them.  Critique yourself on your composition and think of ways you could have improved the photo.  In addition, spend some time thinking of where people could be placed in the photo to add the finishing touches.

When I first started out I focused on this one set of staircases that I found just had such a gritty and raw look to it. 

I went back everyday shooting the same staircase from different angles and point of views.  Each time I reviewed I would imagine where I would ideally like to place my subjects in the photo to strengthen it. 

Finally, I decided on two different variations of subject placement that I thought might look good.  It was for the Golden rule to end, and add subjects into my photographs. 
Subject Placement 1

Subject Placement 2

These aren't the best street photographs that I have ever produced but they help illustrate how to properly practice skill three. 

By continually practicing this skill my images have gotten much stronger.  The subjects in the photographs are now surrounded by a much stronger foundation, making for much better images.

In the next we will examine the final skill in our journey to become better street photographers

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