How to develop a simple and street-savvy shooting style

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This is a photograph I took of my sneakers in contrat with the old wooden floor.BY DOMINIQUE JAMES

You can come up with great pictures any time and anywhere you may happen to be. All you need to do is to look around you. Anywhere you are, that’s where the picture is. Whatever the time of day, that’s the exact time for you to capture and create an image. It is the perfect time that will never ever happen again.

When doing “street shooting,” here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Do not wait until you are in a place other than exactly where you are before you decide to start shooting. Life is a journey, they say, so it is just but logical that you should also shoot along the way. The place where you are is the perfect place to start shooting. There are many things of interest all around that you can snap at right away with whatever camera you may happen to be using.

• Be aware of your environment. Keep looking everywhere for all sort of things. Look at the big things as well as the many small things. Look at things individually and as a group. When you keep your eyes open and by being more observant, it is impossible that you won’t be able to find anything interesting to photograph.

• Constantly frame and compose. Looking is one thing, composing is another. When you look around, frame the things you see in a picture, both horizontal and vertical, and yes, even a little bit tilted to the left or to the right. Compose it in your mind. Zoom into an object, or even just a part of it that makes you look into details, or, zoom out to see a grand panorama with the object you see as a focus of the image.

• Identify your main subject or subjects. For sure, there will be so many things all around you that everything will start vying for attention. Learn how to selectively focus your attention to specific objects of interest. When you do this, you are beginning to identify the main subject or subjects of a possible photographic image.

• Catch the moment. Develop a keen sense of anticipation. Try to know what’s going to happen moments before it actually happens. Guess the outcome of certain things, and see if your guess is correct. You can capture great images by anticipating when and how it will happen. Perfect timing is key. As I always say, once the moment is gone, it is gone forever.

• Look at things in a different way. Change your visual paradigm. See things from a different perspective. Play a game with yourself. Exercise your creativity by focusing on the play of colors, the play of shapes, the play of patterns, the play of textures, and the play of light. See relationships of objects and spaces.

• Travel light, shoot light. Most of the time, we end up not shooting because our gears are just too complicated, heavy and cumbersome. Instead of being able to shoot instantly, we waste time setting up. And we somehow lose our motivation. Get a camera that is lightweight, compact and inconspicuous. And bring a simple system that allows you to shoot almost without thinking.

• Be considerate of others. And be polite. Make sure you never get in the way of other people around you. If you are taking pictures of people, ask them if it’s alright to do so before snapping away. And, if they say no, respect their decision.

• Safety first. A lot of things can happen. And a lot of things can go wrong. Be mindful of your personal safety. While no one will stop you from going to some unheard-of exotic destination to capture the perfect pictures, make sure that you have taken all the necessary precautions and that you will be safe.

With these simple street shooting tips and hints, you’d be able to come up with really lots and lots of fantastic photographs that you can show to everyone. Photography is such a great hobby, and by developing your “any time and anywhere” street shooting skills, you can hone your skill and talent for capturing the special, wonderful and memorable moments of life as they happen all around you!


Written by dominiquejames

April 29, 2008 at 5:50 AM

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