Last time, I wrote about how Josh and I met. It was weird but refreshing to dig through my memories. As I think about it, Josh is my go-to guy for photography. Even from small things like asking about camera equipments to deep conversations of photography.
In a sense, he is my friend, older brother, sensai, curator, and a critic. To help me remember better, I decided to write about what I learned directly and indirectly from Josh about street photography.
Here are some of the major street photography lessons I took from him:
- Be discrete only to be an observer and not a creep (don’t take creep/perv shots).
- Talk to your subjects if you have the chance.
- Anything can be your subject: people, animals, objects.
- You can always get closer. If you can’t, then force yourself by getting a wider angle lens.
- Use foot zoom (walk closer or further away to get the frame right)
- Learn to use post-editing applications like SnapSeed (I use Polaar).
- Cameras may satisfy the photographer temporarily, but not the shot (As much Josh changes his cameras, it never changes his photo style).
- Look at the context of the situation (In order to tell a good story without using any words, look at your surroundings and the way you frame your shot).
- Use flash and red-light if you have to.
- Find your color (“style”)
- It doesn’t matter if it’s candid or not. Frame your shot.
- Use prime lenses (fixed focal lengths) to get used to your frame.
- Walk slowly and don’t rush your shot.
- Getting noticed by your subject is better than losing the shot.
- Learn the ideal settings for each cameras (i.e. Leica = ISO 1600, f/11~16 during daytime)
- Practice portraits by taking pictures of your friends (they are the most natural subjects and wouldn’t yell at you if you take photos).
- Take several shots of the same subject if you can
- Learn the distance so you can get used to the focal length.
- Know which settings to use for different situations. Change them as the environment changes.
- Share your pictures to learn what your strengths are.
- Have a camera in your hand when you are walking.
- You don’t have to always set a specific day to take pictures. Get into a habit of taking pictures.