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Street PhotographyStreet Photography

Street Photography

Street Photography 1st Edition

Street Photography provides expert advice on the best types of cameras and lenses for street photos, with handy shooting tips on all aspects of the genre and website links to the world’s best street photography. The book includes easy to follow techniques, from zone focusing, framing, single-frame/burst capture, positioning, timing, and 4K movie options, through to the aesthetics and practicalities of colour versus B&W, and how to develop your own street photography style. Street Photography author is highly respected Photo Review Australia technical editor Margaret Brown.

Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
Media Publishing Pty Limited
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
introduction

What is street photography? Street photography has been practised almost since photography was invented, although it only became recognised as an artistic genre between the 1920s, when the 35mm rangefinder camera was invented, and came of age in the 1960s. During this period, John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York raised the snapshot to a higher aesthetic level, making it a prominent motif in American photography. Photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Bill Brandt, Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, and Dorothea Lange became household names, largely because their photographs appeared in popular magazines like Life. Street photography survives as a genre, despite the proliferation of camera-phones. Although anyone with a smart-phone can take candid pictures in public places, most of these photographs are little more than snapshots and easily…

access_time9 min.
what you can and can’t photograph

The issue of street photographers taking photographs of strangers in public places without their consent has always been controversial. But in recent years photographers have found it increasingly difficult to practice street photography because of a climate of exaggerated fears about invasion of privacy and increasing regulation of public space. Both run contrary to the perceived ‘openness’ of the Australian culture and neither is fully justified. The proliferation of social media complicates the situation. During the 20th century, the only place someone could have their photo published without their consent, where it was likely to be seen by many people was the newspaper. Today, sites like Facebook and Instagram make once-private snapshots available to millions of people around the world. And, whereas newspapers are only retained for a day or two,…

access_time2 min.
commercial ‘no shoot’ zones

Some restrictions apply only to photographers who take pictures for commercial purposes. The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 covers restrictions on the taking and use for commercial purposes of photographs in Commonwealth Reserves. Localities covered include Kakadu National Park, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Christmas Island National Park, Norfolk Island National Park, Commonwealth Marine Parks and Reserves. The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Regulation 2006 (NSW) also prohibits a person from using a camera for a commercial purpose in a ‘public area’ without the Authority’s permission. This prohibition covers Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Circular Quay, the Rocks and Luna Park. Luna Park has its own legislation because it is controlled by a private company. But it only applies within the boundaries of the site; the boardwalk and foreshore aren’t included so photographers…

access_time9 min.
equipment

Most kinds of portable cameras can be used for street photography. Early photographers favoured rangefinder cameras with ‘standard’ (50mm equivalent) or moderate wide-angle (35mm) lenses, although shorter telephoto lenses (90mm to 110mm) were used by some photographers because they delivered a slightly flatter perspective that suited two-dimensional prints. This type of camera is still in use today, although generally with a digital image sensor. The equipment you choose will depend on how you approach street photography. If, like Henri Cartier-Bresson, you prefer keeping a low profile, you will tend to choose smaller, less conspicuous equipment. On the other hand, if you’re a confident photographer who is happy to engage with subjects (like Diane Arbus), the size and visibility of your equipment will be irrelevant. In general, street photography is best practised with…

access_time6 min.
how to get good photos

We’ll start this chapter with some quotes from some of the best-known street photographers: Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that fixes a precise moment in time. – HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is nocontrivance on earth which can make them come back again. – HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. – ELLIOTT ERWITT It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter. – ALFRED EISENSTAEDT Present-day street photographers can learn a lot from the great photographers of the past (see links at the…

access_time1 min.
dealing with hostility

Even though you might be acting well within your legal rights, there are some situations that should raise ‘red flags’ and cause you to pause and think before shooting. Anecdotal evidence suggests female photographers have an easier time than males when taking pictures in public. But even they can encounter hostility on a shoot. When taking shots of people in potentially tricky situations – particularly when it’s obvious you are photographing – the simplest way can be to approach the subject(s) and ask if you can photograph them. Show a genuine interest in their situation and tell them why they captured your interest. Everyone enjoys a compliment; if you’re able to take a quick shot and show them the result on the monitor screen, they are more likely to feel at…

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