My Creative Breakdown – Street Photography

My Creative Breakdown – Street Photography



how's it going guys I'm Josh I just got back from a photo trip to Spain so today I'm going to use one of my images to break down my creative process and show you how to experiment with your images as a digital shooter it is super easy to shoot hundreds of photos of the exact same subject just try to find that perfect moment so today I want to take you guys inside my head on one of those shoes showing you what I do to experiment how I fail how I succeed how I gauge what is and isn't worth shooting and how I decide whether to give up or whether to persevere making a great image is not just a matter of stumbling into the right place at the right time it requires strategic planning lots of coordination patience experimentation and a little bit of luck also if you like this video let me know in the comments so I know whether to turn this into a series Diamond right and let's set the scene I'm walking around Madrid shooting Street photos on my very first day of my Spain trip so I'm only there for a 24 hour layover there's no time to even scout the city what I see is what I'm gonna get it's 11 a.m. the Sun is directly overhead and completely overpowering so I knew that traditional straight-on photos of subjects would be tough to the shadows so I wanted a bit of height variance as I'm walking around the bright orange of this parking garage entrance catches my eye so I decided to poke around now when I'm drawn to a person I see on the street I have to think fast to catch that fleeting moment when I find a location I like to line up a perfect shot and actually wait for the subject to walk through which gives me far more time to experiment and scout before actually shooting I should also add I was a bit nervous photographs strangers without their permission just jamming my camera into their face because street photography is a little bit less accepted there and my Spanish is a CSC completely mediocre so instead I decided to stick with the composition of having people walk into my frame because this requires a lot less direct confrontation often times you don't have to interact with your subjects and sometimes they don't even realize that you're taking a photo of them so great technique to use in foreign countries so my scouting process begins I like to walk 360 degrees around my perspective locations gauging potential perspectives and compositions now even if you think that you found the perfect shot keep walking around until you've given it a super thorough Scout because if one grant shot reveals itself there might be something even better just around the corner so I like to go upstairs look up climb over the stairs look down basic rule of thumb if the people around you don't think you look crazy you're not good job scouting I fell in love with the deep shadows the Sun was casting on the orange wall and also the shadows of the bars cast from the Hannah Rose were phenomenal I also knew the image to be much stronger by incorporating a subject which leads us to composition as far as composition goes I study how often people pass through where the flow of traffic is passing and how I can combine the flow of traffic with the available shooting perspectives for an interesting composition so I noticed that the strong sunlight actually blinded people when they walked out of this parking garage for the first time making for a really interesting moment to capture but there wasn't the same effect when they walked in because they were adjusted to the light and it only lasted for the first second or two once they walked out so I had to find a composition that would capture both this jarring moment and the beautiful shadows that I wanted to include in the shot little tip here sometimes you can actually guide people to the spots that you want them to by using your body or a friend's body as a blockade so I wanted people on the right side of the stairway also by standing on the left side do more more likely to move into position I wanted them to and I use this technique quite a bit it's very very helpful moving on let's talk about calculating patience at this point we've got a nice composition and a good idea of where we want our subject to pass for that perfect shot so now I'm going to calculate the likeliness of this shot actually coming together I like to study how often are people passing through the shot how often are they passing through the spot I want them to and how often they're interesting subjects that will make for a nice boat up all these things need to come together and sometimes in a busy location with heavy foot traffic they're gonna have a constant flow of people so you'll know you'll find a great subject rather quickly this parking garage however had a person walking out on average once a minute now they look best they walked on the right side of the stairwell and this happened about half the time and maybe one-tenth of the subjects are gonna be compelling enough to photograph whether it be for interesting clothes mannerism expressions so no need to write out any formulas here but I do want you to bear in mind the statistical likelihood of everything lining up and how much time the shot may require to take sometimes you're gonna get lucky and the perfect person is gonna walk through in the perfect place in the first two minutes and you'll walk away real happy with the Magnificent shot luck does happen in street photography but you do want to bear in mind that the less likely your shot is to come together and the more elements you're relying on the longer the shots probably gonna take to get this takes us to when to quit you have to gauge how long it might take to get that shot versus the quality of the shot so the shot is gonna be absolutely spectacular and it doesn't matter how long it takes three hours and it'll still be worth it if the shot is not that great however it only takes a few minutes to shoot you know it'll come together then why not take it you might surprise yourself now these shots that seem quite mediocre but you know they're gonna take a lot of time those are the shots you have to abandon because there's better places to spend your time when lighting and timing are limited it's so important to know when to quit and don't think of this as quitting think of it as maximizing your time and I'm going to move on to a better shot so for this photo it was entirely contingent I'm really harsh lighting miss Tiffany of those dark shadows and the blinding light and judging by where the Sun was I figured I had about 45 minutes before I lost my son and the shot opportunity was over rarely do i snap a picture and no that was definitely the one it's typically me snapping 50 100 pictures knowing that I might have a few good ones but not knowing when to stop so once I have a few decent options I'll typically set a timer for when to stop so I don't hunker down the same shot for too long I spent about 20 minutes shooting this location saw my good light was gonna be blocked by clouds soon so I gave myself a ten minute timer and then experimented with all my leftover time until the Sun was disappearing sometimes we gotta find locations and think the lighting sucks right now but it's gonna be much better in a few hours for this I'll just make notes in my phone one spots to go back to this takes us to shooting let's talk a little bit about gear I shot these with my Canon 60 mark 2 and my 24 to 105 f4 lens at one 250th of a second f10 and ISO 400 now I tried a few landscape to realize that portrait orientation was the way to go now I'm shooting this in a high-speed continuous mode since I didn't know the precise moment when I wanted my subject to be and my focus is set to zone out of focus with a I stir because I wanted to track my subjects movement keeping them in focus as they walked up the stairs throughout the series that battle with a couple things one I struggled with finding a perfect composition to maximize the impact of the shadows too far to the right and the bar shadows on the left wouldn't look that great too far to the left and you have too much of the side in the background I didn't like the text of it I thought it was distracting so I try to avoid capturing that or have my subjects block it out which probably be more difficult than I anticipated final review Indiana ended up with an image that I'm pretty happy with I don't think it's incredible I also don't think it's too bad I like that it has strong leading lines with the bars I like too deep shadows I like that he's hanging his head and there's kind of shapeable look which is funny in comparison to the graphic in the top right where the guy looks like he's skipping down stairs happily I don't like how you can't really see it briefcase – well I decided on having deeper shadows over being able to see the briefcase perfectly I also would have loved to have a model for this spot because there were positions I would have loved to have a subject then I knew the person would never walk into naturally but this was a good compromise and I'm very happy with how the image turned out in the end I spent about 45 minutes shooting this photo and knowing that I put a lot of work into it definitely makes me more appreciative now you can be bogged down sometimes by knowing how much effort went into shots because sometimes the easiest shots the quick snapshots you take will be your best ones and the ones you've labored away it won't be that great and it's so easy to become biased knowing the effort we put in just remember that your audience has no idea how much effort you put in and frankly doesn't even care easy solution here I oftentimes ask my friends other photographers for their advice on which shot is best because I am just sometimes way too biased this concludes my process be sure to follow my Instagram to see more of my work from Spain and let me know in the comments if you liked this video or found it helpful so I know whether or not to make this a series I think it'd be really fun to do this for more types of photos besides there's street shots and I've got a lot to talk about anyway guys thank you so much for watching subscribe for more videos and check out my 9 hour long comprehensive Photography course link in the description that's all I have to say I will see you eventually

17 thoughts on “My Creative Breakdown – Street Photography”

  1. Should I make this into a series? Think this'd be fun for different styles of shooting like landscapes, architecture, portraiture, etc. Let me know what I should make next!

  2. More please. From an earlier street photo you did I learned to be patient and stay in one area. I used the technique in Cologne, Germany while photographing section of the Berlin Wall. I just camped out and let people walk into the frame. Some people just walked thru and some stoped to reflect on the wall and the history associated with it. I got two great photos (my opinion). Thank you for the suggestions and for the inspiration.

  3. Its pretty insane that despite having 360,000 subs, your videos only get a couple thousand views anymore. I love the content though, keep it up 🙂

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