It was a dark a miserable Tuesday evening. The rain had just finally stopped for a moment. That photography itch was itching badly! I wanted to go out and shoot something. The sun had set hours ago, and the clouds were still gloomy grey. The opportunity for landscape photography where non-existing. Cityscapes! I thought to myself, that should solve that pesky itch. I armed myself with my camera, a couple of lenses and strapped a tripod to my bag. Time to shoot some epic cityscapes!
One small problem, I couldn’t find a grand scene worth shooting. But a photograph might be had regardless, I thought to myself. I began looking for smaller, more intimate scenes to shoot, and I passed this fast food joint. I liked the colours of the place and shot a couple of frames.
I managed to capture a quite lovely image of the restaurant. And in the window, you can just about make out a single pair of eyes of a man. There and then I discovered street photography!
I continued my evening walk and passed these lights. I exposed for the highlights and waited for someone to move into the frame. I managed to capture a silhouette of a man walking out of the store opening. So cool! I started to feel like Joshua K. Jackson!
I’ve long been a fan of some of those cool street photographers on Instagram. Perhaps I can take those cool images in my relatively small town of Malmö! I might even have stumbled upon a new passion of mine.
I’ve never been interested in people! At least not in photography. I respect people who shoot people, and I can admire the results. But personly I find more joy in shooting a grand, or small, landscape avoiding people altogether. Or at least so I thought.
A journey into Street Photography has begun!
That’s the story of how I discovered street photography.
I’ve shot something similar to street photography before, but I rather call those images for travel photography. Those images have always been part of telling the story of a trip. But I’ve never actually gone out to shoot street photos specifically. And that’s what’s different this time. Thus far, I enjoy it!
I consider myself mainly a landscape photographer. However, I’ve noticed a couple of benefits of shooting street as a landscape photographer. Benefits not exclusive to landscape photography. I reckon everyone, regardless of the genre, has something to learn from street photography.
Shooting more frames
Shooting more frames are, in my view, always a good thing. You get to practice with your gear. And every frame is a practice in composition. I’ve also found it incredibly useful to analyse my images afterwards. I let them sit for a week, and then examine why I gravitate to specific photos. As the street move fast, I compose faster, and it’s only afterwards, I realise why a particular image feels nice. This allows me to discover new composition methods that I can apply to my landscape photography.
You train your technical speed. How fast you actually can shoot, muscle memory and all that. But more importantly, I’ve noticed I’m developing a quicker eye. I’m faster at identifying exciting subjects and finding fascinating light.
As I’m new to street photography, I compose and play around more than I usually would. I don’t have any strong preferences jet. One day I can shoot compositional keeping my subjects small and anonymous. The next day I’m subject focused looking for interesting faces or exciting moments. The day after that, I don’t even include people in my images. One could argue that some of my pictures aren’t street photography, but I don’t care. That’s the beauty of it. Street photography can be everything and nothing at all.
I’m still new to street photography. I manage a decent image here and there. Many are average, some are good, and I’m still holding out for those truly breathtaking images. It’s a fun experiment and a passion in the making.
Remember it only takes one image to get hooked. Soon enough you‘re a street photographer.
Images in article by me. Feautred image by Damon Rice via Unsplash