The Art of Street Photography

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A Unique Moment in Street Photography

You pick up your camera and head off for the streets looking for the candid or personal moments of human expression which capture the time in which you live.  Street photography is an art form when it captures an absolute unique moment of time.   Although these moments exist it is often very difficult to identify what is truly unique and what is just like all the rest.

When you first start out in street photography you find that you are taking hundreds of images of people you do not know, and every now and then you capture one that works.

What makes a street photograph stand out from the rest?

London Street Photography

Street Photography in London

When I headed out in the morning to photograph I didn’t know I would capture this shot.  The weather was fair, the light temperamental – sometimes bright and sometimes filtered.  Filtered light is the best as it illuminates the subject without overpowering subtle highlights.  I entered a very public location full of people and saw this guy asleep on a deck chair.   Using a small compact system camera, with a 40mm pancake lens I approached as close as I could without making a noise.  Other people in the location looked on…Don’t be put off by the public’s interest in what you are doing (there is probably a shot waiting for you there too!).  I stood a few feet away, directly in front of the deckchair where the subject’s feet are; framed the shot and clicked the shutter.  Not a peep from the subject, no open eyes.  I get the shot and walk quietly away.

What I liked about the scene was the man asleep, boots off – staying cool.  Rather scarily there are flies on his legs and feet.  That is some sleep!  The tonal range of the scene interested me along with the shapes and stripes on the deck chairs.  This is the art of street photography which considers the subject and design of the shot.  Which, when combined creates a unique moment in time.

Lou Smith is a Fine Art Photographer who teaches Street Photography in London.  To learn essential street photography techniques book our Street Photography Workshop.  Course fees for scheduled small groups are currently £90 per person.

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