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Street Photography: Capturing Unique Images

Lesson 3 of 6

Subliminal But Intentional Framing

 

Street Photography: Capturing Unique Images

Lesson 3 of 6

Subliminal But Intentional Framing

 

Lesson Info

Subliminal But Intentional Framing

I think mainly like the coolest part about repetition is that it does like a little trick on your eyes. Your eyes always gravitate toward symmetrical things and things that have like kind of repetition qualities, so that's why I was attracted towards the stairs like immediately, because of the way that it's structured, the way that it lines up, then it turns into a game. Like everything in my life is a game pretty much, so I just try to play the game of what can I line up really cool with the stairs and having like really cool lines of repetition, that goes into like the whole kind of intentional framing. The concept of basically finding things that are already framed, for you that's really well, and then you have to do less work and you're just trying to find a really dope moment about it. So hopefully I find somebody who looks really cool and I try to find like a proper position for myself to line up with, and the way that these stairs are kind of like slanted actually look really ti...

ght, this tree. We don't really get stuff like that in New York, so I kind of gravitate towards that kind of aspect also. Hopefully, this lady doesn't fall down while she's going across the street, looks dangerous. Alright, so right now, I'm shooting at, I got F-2, 400, (shutter clicking) and the tree gives it a little bit of kind of extra funk. Yeah, I liked it, kind of give-and-take with situations like this, especially when I started first shooting for the day, I think everybody feels like they have to warm up a little bit. So when I find a spot that's immediately gravitating towards me, I try to warm up at that spot a little bit and try out a couple of different angles and then it gives me a little bit more confidence for myself, to go out and then start trying different things and you know just experimenting more with the environment and stuff. So having a location like this right away is worth checking out for a bit, to see if you can get something cool to happen or somebody to stroll by or all that other good stuff. So this staircase is crazy, if somebody comes down this one or if somebody walks in front of it that's an easy banger, easy banger. Oh, this lady looks like she's on a mission. Let's see. So I'm still going with F-2. (shutter clicking) Oh. (shutter clicking) Alright. That was it. The really cool part about, like one of the tips I was starting to talk about like intentional framing, is finding situations where you don't have to really do that much and it's already really gratifying with location, the thing that I mentioned before with repetition, like the overall vibe, and what was so perfect about that shot is that at the same time someone just literally came right down the stairs, right down the middle. It wasn't probably like, you know the guy was really cool, so he didn't have anything that really stood out a lot for him to wear, but it was still exactly what I was looking for, which is really cool to have somebody walk right down the stairs. So the next question that I would go, for post-production is like, I'm I going to go black and white with that, because of his outfit or I'm I gonna try to edit it in color to see if I can find anything that was kind of satisfying, but even talking out loud, I'm thinking about the black and white photo already, because his outfit was kind of bland and it matched the environment a lot, but regardless, that's exactly what I wanted. So in photography you kind of have to be happy with what you get sometimes and not spit in the camera. (laughs) So funny. I kind of want to still see if I can get one more person though, I'm kind of a... (shutter clicking) Oh, look at that. (laughs) (shutter clicking) That was tight, that was it. It was a little bit more, because it had a better kind of positioning, especially when it comes to shooting in like some kind of locations, where I guess like gratifying kind of lines, set of some repetitions is making sure that you have enough points of texture. So the stairs, have a really dope kind of, zigzag theme going already and I was composing it in a weird way, so I wasn't getting enough clarity with my photo but having that building behind it, adds another level of texture to the shot, so I have two really cool lines of repetition going on with the building and back of it. Oh, look at this dude. (shutter clicking) This guy is even cooler. (shutter clicking) And, he's eating some chips. oh, that was actually even better. They were like the same kind of, you know, thing where you're just basically waiting for moments, where you have really cool dynamic people, going into dynamic situations. What I really mean by being yourself influenced by the situation is, I feel like in street photography, when it comes to documenting, you don't want it to, you don't wanna change the variables too much and letting them know that, the variables know that you're there. Meaning that if the subject that you're shooting is aware that you're there, in some situations sometimes it could take away from the photo. So when it comes to situations like this, to be across the street, and kind of like scout something out you know, frame something intentionally and kinda have things walk into your frame, rather than forcing them into your frame, you could get more of a genuine reaction and it could be way more of documenting life rather than you know, you're influencing it so much. I'd rather be a fly on the wall in the wall situation, where, you know, this is a definite example of something like that. So that's why I like situations like this, it makes it a lot easier, way more dynamic to do something like that, So. (clapperboard clapping) (laughs) Look at this, it's so funny. (shutter clicking) That's cool, at least I got something. At least I got something. So when I was looking for a shot like this, like basically, what I ended up doing, maybe I should it a lot for you a little bit. With this kind of framing, exactly, I like to have some kind of balance, and then I'm looking for somebody to either walk into the first box or the second box. So that being like, the one to the right or the one to the left. So the shot that I got before, we got homegirl, she got into the second box. It would be cool to get somebody into the first one, but I'm not stressing it, honestly. It's not a big deal. I just like, sometimes it's not always about how crazy the photo is, it's just like, I just want to get like with the stickers so it's like going on at the time, so (shutter clicking) I think a lot of the times when I go out to shoot, like sometimes you feel the pressure so much to like, try to, you know, try to get the most epic shots all the time, and then like, you know, get all these crazy never-before-seen moments. But it really just comes down to just taking a stroll in the day and kinda seeing how and where it flows. So there are some situations where you get ansty, but I just really like to keep it really chill, and I don't wanna like force myself to shoot something that I don't actually think I like, just because you're shooting it because you think everyone else would like it. Yeah, so I'm just trying to, like, feel like, see where the wind takes me and like you know, figure out where the next good photo is for myself. (shutter clicking) Woah. (shutter clicking) (woman laughs) And it's never as sharp as you want it to be. Right now I'm just trying to find a place where like some, like pretty much has a good vibe of, a place with like, where it has somewhat of like really good texture and a place where maybe it's like a little bit of an angle where I can have some kind of a, dynamic kind of moment, where I can have somebody walk into the frame. Oh like see, something like this, like people under the walkway. Oh, this looks pretty tight. (shutter clicking) I like taking pictures of all the construction sites because it's probably not going to look the same in another six months, so I like to kinda have a photo, like, yeah, this is what it looked like then. So it's not the craziest shot, but it's more or less like a personal diary for myself. I love infrastructures and highways and all that kind of stuff. Like this place is really tight to have, like the expressway kind of just goes straight out into the city, right to the water. (shutter clicking) That was cool to somebody walking up the stairs with the flowers. Right now I'm trying to get my framing right a little bit. At first, I just love the intentional framing aspect of it, like there's something that's already kind of already structured for you, so, (shutter clicking) when I get to situations like this, at first it becomes a game of trying to figure out what's the right kind of composition. When I was framing before, a couple of my shots, I felt like I was shooting a little bit too down, focusing too much on the white cars below me, when I should probably be framing a little bit more up and cut those cars out, so I can get myself a cleaner shot of having somebody walking right through the frame. So we have like an easier message to interpret. So I shoot in portrait mode a lot, especially with the because since it's such a tight lens, I feel like I get more real-estate when I shoot this way, so. (shutter clicking) Gon' get one more. (shutter clicking) There we go, alright. (shutter clicks) Oh yo, I wanna try something actually. So in order to do a motion blur, you drop your shutter speed pretty slow. So right now it's, my shutter speed is way too high. And then sometimes it helps to bump up your F-STOP as well too, especially when it's days like this it's really bright outside. So you bump you F-STOP up, and then bump your ISO down and try to compensate with something like that. So right now I dropped my ISO, to about 100, my F-STOP is on F9. I still need to go slower though. My shutter speed is at like 20 and 30 now. Drop my ISO a little bit more. (shutter clicking) It looks sick with the bus coming. Oh yeah, that's money. So I love these situations where like these, in the water style shots, where someone is kind of silhouetted, where you have this solid palette behind them and then it's something neutral in the front. It's like definitely this situation right here, so anywhere you shape it, it looks like a movie. Oh look at the exchange look at that, look at that. Hey Pauli, hey Pauli, we wanna make a seal Pauli. Hey Pauli, you playin' games, you playin' games. I'm outta here, scram. So everybody this is Miriam. We're gonna be botherin' Miriam today. We're gonna do a little shot, where we set up a dynamic kinda shot, where she's gonna be walking under the trestles. A little jay walking for this purpose, but it's gonna look really cool to have it symmetrical and lined up under the viaducts. So thank you for coming out Yeah and helping out. Ready? (shutter clicking) One more time. (shutter clicking) That was nice and smooth, you're professional. Um, thank you by the way for risking your life for me. (laughs) When you're out shooting with friends, it makes it a lot easier, especially with situations when you're tryin' out, you wanna try out something that's a little bit different. And then you're trying to equate all the variables of like different people in the street and walking around, having someone like Miriam or her friend close by, it just makes the situations a lot easier. (shutter clicking) Sweet, alright that was sweet. A lot about, like I said, a lot about photography is gut feeling stuff. So a lot of it is not like, I am thinking, but I'm more or less just going with my intuition a lot of the time. Even as this is going by, I'm still just watching a bunch of people still like going back and forth across the cross-walk because it just feels like that's like one of the most like, the busy, busiest location. So that's why it's really cool to have Miriam reenact some of the hustle and bustle because it's just like you know the constant pace over here, so it feels like it doesn't feel that much different from what would be happening on a day to day basis. She just did it again like you know. So we went to first avenue, and then we stumbled upon one of the coolest pair of stairs I've ever seen in my life. And that was a really good place to start off with especially when it comes to attentional framing, especially for me, warming up as a photographer sometimes, it takes a different amount of time for everybody to warm up, so going into a situation where you have a really cool set of stairs so we can work on attentional framing and work on shots with really cool styles of repetition and having your subjects walk into the frame and not making it so much more difficult for myself. It was a really really good situation to walk into and try out a couple of different shots. From that location we started to wonder down a little bit and we soon stumbled upon other, couple of really cool spots. Some situations to having more people walk into the frame and also walking by the viaduct and you know trying a couple of different things out over there as well too so. A lot of the situations today was, it was really cool to kind of observe Seattle on the level of being a fly on the wall rather than you know, trying to force everything every time, so it was really cool to have our first day shoot out with something like this. The pictures that I think that are gonna turn out as some of my favorites is definitely, the ones from the stairs a little bit earlier, where I feel like there was, one of the earlier shots was a woman walking down right in the middle of the stairs. I mean a couple of the shots by the viaduct, um having the situations, having people either like riding their bikes or trying a couple of different, the slow shutter shots, I think some of those might have turned out halfway decent, well hopefully, mainly because I like the location a lot and I like the vibe and the energy that it's giving off. So it gets easier to set up situations like that where it feels like you're gravitated towards them. And sometimes like you know, it's a tough game of photography because there's expectations that you don't, you know, that you don't reach all the time but then something can happen and somebody could walk into your frame and, or you know the situation arises where you feel like this is the dynamic moment that you're looking for, so you could quickly resolve all of that, you know, all those feelings immediately. Now I'm definitely saying, not being familiar with the area is an easy answer but at the same time more or less it's just feeling out what you're looking for throughout the day is always kind of like a troubleshooting situation. There's like a lot of little dilemmas that pop-up but you know we definitely march through, we get through them and we're still out doing something that we love to do, we're taking photos.

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.