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Street Photography: Capturing Unique Images

Lesson 4 of 6

Capture The Little Things

 

Street Photography: Capturing Unique Images

Lesson 4 of 6

Capture The Little Things

 

Lesson Info

Capture The Little Things

This is where I, I usually have a pretty strict rule on using one lens. I have a one-lens theory, basically, I don't like to change too much of my focal length throughout the day. I kinda like using a certain kinda thing and adjusting to that to make it easier for myself. This dude looks kinda sick, actually. See, that was really cool because that was literally like the circle of life or a square of life. Having a police officer and the city bus with the infrastructure and all the other kind of things that are matching into the frame, is like all the kind of check marks that I'm looking for when it comes to shooting stuff like this throughout the day. Sometimes, I get mad when you have that one perfect dude there, like this guy with the orange vest, he was perfect with the colors and everything and the other guy just came outta nowhere, kind of threw off the key a little bit, the she, the or the key, whatever that shit's called. But yeah, I love alleyways. I'm pretty much a sucker for ...

alleyways all the time. I think that's one of the things that we have in New York but we don't have enough of so any time you get situations where you can come to Seattle and shoot an alleyway, I definitely try to capitalize on that every single time. There's a little puddle. I wonder if there's possible reflection. So I'm actually gonna change my lens. I'm gonna change it to something wider. (laughs) So I'm breaking my own rule. I hate rules anyway. So don't ever follow rules. When you get a shot like this, especially when you have a 25, when it comes to puddles, I know it's kind of a cliche and a gimmick kind of thing but when it comes to situations like that, I look for the texture in the shot first, like, in the foreground to see if it has anything that you can mask to make it look cool if you were to flip it upside down or invert it, so this puddle has pebbles and cobblestones and all that, you know, all those cute little stuff around it. So I'm basically just trying to see at first if it looks cool, it looks tight, and it looks kind tight. Then I'm probably gonna ask, if one of you maybe could walk. I'm trying to figure out an exact spot though. Maybe where that white spot is and then walk a little bit closer. Oh, there we go, okay. So I can see a little reflection. I can see a little reflection. It's not as good as I want it to be but it's something. It is something. Can you just put your hands up really quick to see... Maybe step a little bit closer? I was trying to basically see a silhouette and it looks like, I'm gonna try to flip it upside down and maybe it will look like you're flying but when I came to this reflection shot I was focusing more on the puddle. You know, the texture on the ground. Especially when it comes to situations where you want something a little bit more dynamic, especially when you're dealing with not that much real estate, it's always cool to find really cool textures that you can work with because when I invert the photo and you know, crop out the bottom, it's gonna look way cooler to have the hands, the abstract looking hands and the feet. Looks like you're gonna be stepping into a different vortex kind of stuff, so. I know it's a little nerdy but it's worth a shot, you know. It's worth a shot. Especially, I guess, like in this day and age when everything is trying to, aiming to have like, you know, the most fire post or the most traction or the most impressions. I guess what I love to document the most is the little things of the street shot, the street signs and little corners of architecture and little pieces of texture. Or even just little quality of life kinda things. If somebody like a street artist or anything of that nature so you might just see me snapping a bunch of photos of like random stuff, of you know, just look up at buildings or of street signs or stickers and stuff like that, and it's all because I kinda of encompass all this stuff in my day as like, my photo journal, if you will. All the kind of things that I love throughout the day so it's really important to me to not only look for the most epic moments but also to look for the little intricate details throughout the day. I think stuff like that is really dope. Even little things like just how the light is falling at a certain time of day, you know. How that dude is falling down across the street. I like this corner a lot because the way the sun is hitting this building is literally like its own kind of studio light so it just gives it a really cool effect. This bird is crossing the street as if it was a person. Are you serious? You see this bird? (laughs) It's so funny. This is another thing, I guess it feels like the theme of the day is stairs but stairs are just one of the cool things that have a lot of really cool balance a lot of repetition like it's, the framing is really tight. People usually hang out around the stairs. There's a lot of motion. So it's always encapsulated like a, especially, I guess like Seattle has really interesting stairs out here, honestly, but one of the coolest things about it is just the way that people interact with them and how it always composes in the frame so nicely and it's very packaged together really well so that's why I've always kind of gravitated to the sets of stairs over here particularly because it all comes down to framing again. It's really composed really well with these kind of shots. So that makes me wanna change my lens again back to my baby. (motorcycle engines revving) Crazy. That was honestly insane. I don't what's crazier was the photo or those dudes on the little motorcycles. (laughing) I think one of the most important parts of the little things is human interaction and engaging with the community. Photography is a very intrusive practice so if people are willing to interact with you and I'm not saying be the jolliest person ever but it's nice to have some kind of like human kind of relationship and human interaction with people so you know, just enjoy the day and if somebody were to comment on something that's weird, don't act like you didn't see it. You should comment on it together and it's kind of, one of those little things that brings everybody closer together no matter what it is. We just saw a bunch of people on mini-motorcycles. Everybody can understand that was weird. You know, so, it's not rocket science. A lot of this stuff. It's really simple just to be a normal human being so when you see somebody smiling, say hello to them. If they say something weird to you, just say something weird back and you know, everything will just keep on falling and the earth won't stop spinning. So that's why I always like to joke around with people all the time because it's like, it's all good, you know? We're just shooting, we're just hanging out. All right, so, right now we moved locations a little bit. I was trying to find some different situations and just a couple different scenarios so we just walked maybe about two, three blocks over to the pedestrian bridge and I'm going to basically walk around and just scout the area, see what it looks like, then I'm gonna try to shoot some shots from across the street but I'm gonna first kinda like, you know, just see what the scene is like. You can go, bro. It's all good. Don't let us stop you. We'll be here all day. Yeah, so we're gonna have a go over there. I'ma first check it out over here first and then I'm gonna cross the street and then check it out. So, come on, vamonos, everybody let's go. It's pretty cool. (mumbles) I wish those lights were on. I like shots like this. It's always like a, especially when it comes to city stuff, it's cool to get a balance of, especially when you get up, you don't have to get on a rooftop all the time. You can just get some scenarios where you got like a really good foot bridge and you can get really cool traffic. We have an area like this, a couple areas like this back home. Like, the high line is a really good spot the high line back home is a really good spot to kinda shoot over a foot bridge area so you can foot a lot of foot traffic and all that stuff. So like, something like this is really tight to do that over. And the light's getting a little bit better now. I just want that one person walking into the light. I just need one person. I just need one. Hello? (laughing) Gotcha. I'm obsessed with getting that one person to walk right in the middle of the frame all the time so I got the person to walk and I was like ha, I got it. I'm gonna keep on walking down this way (laughs). Right. Sneakers are on the wire. Report, sneakers are on the wire. And they are some Jordans. If you know anything about me, you know that I have too many pairs of sneakers. I love that shit. It looks so good, though. ♪ So good ♪ So then I wanna try to probably, eventually, like after walking down this footpath, eventually make my way towards the street, most likely over there because maybe I can line something up, but I like to keep on walking across as much as possible to see, you know, like any other pretty cool shots. Stuff like this too, like sidewalks. Another easy repetition kind of idea that I've always liked to have. Catching somebody really cool going through the sidewalks maybe if they have a cool pattern on. I'ma be pretty tight but we gotta wait 'til somebody actually goes through the sidewalk, though. Are you gonna be there? Oh, maybe. Uh-oh. We might get lucky. Ha, got him! I got another victim. That was pretty tight. So it's dope, like, all the kinda shots that you probably see me shooting today is usually of people doing something 'cause it just always feel better to shoot people doing stuff, so, it's just finding really cool areas and situations to do it. But like, you know, it doesn't have to be that kind of mind blowing for me. It more or less has to be, you know, just like really good visual narrative for the day and I kinda feel like we're getting some of those photos today so I feel pretty satisfied from the shots that I'm getting so far. So, one of my main things that I always gravitated towards too in photography for me is not only just the unique moments, which you know, we always try to strive for, getting the most unique moments as possible but I like the more personable, relatable moments of the day that I feel are way more relatable because that's what I'm trying to achieve with my photography is relate to people and be personable and interact rather than trying to be that unique all the time. We're already unique in nature because we're all different human beings so being relatable and personable is way more of a kind of, what I try to communicate through my photography, more or less, yeah, because like I said before, everybody, we already have a different perspective from the beginning, from Jump Street. All of us are born from different mothers. We all have different circumstances so why should we all have to worry about taking the same kinda photos? I mean, everything that we should go with should be kind of instinctual and I go with my gut feeling all the time and a lot of that is because of the relatable, personable feelings, the sentimental moments, that I'm trying to strive and capture rather than trying to make something that's too unique all the time, so. There's nothing against it. That's just more or less my cup of tea and that's why I try to strive for in my photos. So we tacked a couple of things with The Little Things topic. I think it's really important to keep it really vague when it comes to the little things because it can mean anything to anyone but one of the things I like to focus on is either with small human interactions throughout the day or the little things as in textures or stickers or different kind of architectural moments that, you know, of construction or anything like that. These are all the little things going throughout the day that are not all of the epic moments but are all of the really cool little moments that you can kind of document for yourself and keep in your pocket, so, I think it's important just to look at all aspects of the little things. Whether it's like I said, the textures or it's just through human interaction or the sneakers hanging on the wire or something like that. All these little tidbits for the day is really cool to document and keep for yourself so I always try to stay true to that and I always try to hold that really dear to me and it's just really important. You get to create photography moments throughout the day, especially depending on what the light and the weather is and we were dealing with cloudy textures all day and we're dealing with such an overcast so when you get the little bit of light to break out, you feel as glorious as the sun breaking out into the streets, so, that's why it's really cool to capture those moments and hopefully like, if this day persists, like if the sun keeps on being stronger and stronger, we can keep on really getting, you know, some different types of shots with shadows and balancing light and all that really cool, fun stuff. Even looking right now, people look totally different walking in from the light over at the pedestrian walkway, opposed to it being completely silhouetted out before. You know, light's always fun. It always changes. I could talk about it forever. It's like one of my favorite aspects of photography.

Class Description

The beauty of street photography is that it allows the photographer to capture humanity in its various forms. It is art that tells the story of life, humanity, and cultures. With so many of us now living in urban environments, being able to create an image that resonates and tells the story of urban life is more valuable than ever. But it can be intimidating to start when you don’t know what gear to use, how to look for the important moments or how to connect with the subject in your story. Steve Sweatpants, a well-known street photographer in New York City, will teach you the top 5 tips to help you overcome your fears so you can get out of your comfort zone and shoot the stories you see in the world.

You will learn:

  • The best gear to have with you
  • The right time and right place to be to compose the image
  • How to find the light and set up the shot
  • The importance of the small moments and how they make your images more relatable
  • Respecting your subjects and their journey
  • How to pace yourself and be patient as you wait to capture the story as it unfolds

Street photography is a unique genre of photography that requires persistence but is ultimately very rewarding. Steve will show you how to overcome your fear of photographing on the street so that you can create images that capture the people and history of any location.

Reviews

Gary Hook
 

Steve is an engaging and 'real' sincere individual. I enjoyed his tips and having them highlighted on the screen was effective. Might be nice to detail them out and offer it up as a download. Some of the best take-aways for myself was the angles and reflections in the puddles. Hadn't thought of that before and see some great potential. Did n't really talk about lighting and time of day and his thoughts on what each situation offers. Overall enjoyed the course

MikeD
 

Feel the people, feel the scene, feel the vibe of your location; now, frame the image you feel in your camera and take the shot. Also, be happy, have fun. Steve takes a bit over an hour to say this and provides a lot of video of him trying to do it. It's an interesting watch, some good advice and a few tips on how to push through when things are tough.

Megan Dzwonkowski
 

I thoroughly enjoyed this class. What I most enjoyed was the idea is street photography and photography in general was presented in a way that feels attainable. And the emphasis on the every day moments that are beautiful instead of always thinking you need to wait for "perfect". Would be interesting to see his approach to editing.