What are you? – Candid and patience in street photography
At its core street photography is all about capturing candid scenes. Meaning no structured or posed images.
there are certainly some posed and staged images on social media. The important thing to remember with street photography that it needs to be truly candid to be considered street photography – your conscience will play an important role here!
There are two types of ‘street photographer’, commonly known as fishermen and hunters, a fisherman will find a scene that they are attracted to and wait for the right light or subject to appear. – they might even return on several occasions to the same spot for that specific image that they had pre-visualised.
A hunter on the other hand will have far less patience and constantly move around looking for interest. They will very often cover many miles and spend lots of hours walking around. I know both types of street photographer very well; it is interesting shooting with someone who has the opposite level of patience to you! Check out my recent vlog with fellow YouTuber Roman Fox, we clearly have very different levels of patience haha.
I consider myself more of a hunter as I lack patience greatly. I have several friends who have admitted to waiting hours for a potential image. I think there are huge rewards and a sense of achievement for both approaches. There are also arguments to suggest A strength in both approaches.
⁃ Patience is a huge attribute in street photography, the ability to see a potential composition and wait for the moment is key.
⁃ Most Street photographers will begin their street photography journey’s as ‘Hunters’ Initially you won’t know what it is your looking for; so you just keep wondering until something of interest presents itself.
I strongly advise you to wear comfortable clothes and prepare for bad weather if likely! I have walked several miles on many occasion whilst adopting the hunter technique.
Street photography isn’t meant to be easy nor is it meant to be a short-term hobby or interest. The ability to head out with your camera in any conditions anywhere in the world day or night and capture an interesting image means that street photography will always be part of your photographic journey. Once you begin to see candid and interesting scenes emerge in front of you, you will become very much addicted and drawn to natural and spontaneous imagery. This will take you on a journey for a very long time, presenting many interesting and candid opportunities along the way.
⁃ Being able to see interesting in an otherwise boring environment is a street photographers prerogative. You’ll soon appreciate what most people would just walk past.
Street photography is not about creating gallery-worthy images within a short period. The challenge a street photographer faces is the prospect of returning after several hours with the camera without a single image to show for it.
Do not worry if you feel that your first few attempts out on the street with your camera do not present any images of interest. It’s might be that you have a high standard of interest and are looking for something more than just a snapshot – The trick is to get out and enjoy the hunt as often as possible, each time developing your ability to see more and more, also sharpening your skills with your camera enabling you to capture that elusive seen once it emerges.
⁃ Returning to the same location at different times of the day and year can yield some very interesting results and act as a small project in itself
A common question I get is where to go. Street photography can be anywhere. From walking the dog to driving to work. Whether you have your camera with you or not, any public space can offer interesting and candid photo opportunities. Do not feel you need to head to your nearest capital city to pursue your new hobby – I’m sure you could do a whole project just walking around the car park of a busy shopping centre, or on your commute to work.
While I do feel it is important to maintain honesty with your Street photography. There have been a few times where on a one-to-one workshop with a client who was learning the basics of street photography, we have spotted an interesting and nicely lit scene, and after waiting for a while, I have decided to act as a passerby in the scene for the client to work on composition and pre-empting and visualising the image. While this is something I feel is technically cheating, I also standby the fact it offers a great opportunity to improve your composition and camera skills and look for problems in the scene when perhaps no one was to enter. you could practice with a friend and return to that location to capture the genuine candid unposed street photograph. – it’s all about learning and practice!
⁃ A huge tip is to carry a small pocketable camera with you on as many occasions as possible. Just by having your camera, you will be looking for opportunities. – The more you look the more you see!
I hope you find this blog post helpful.. we are all learning; this is the best part of photography. I hope to be able to share my experiences along my journey! Please check out F/8 Magazine for some very informative Street photography interviews and featured images..