|Photo Tip & Assignment #17 – STREET
Did you ever look at a photograph of a single moment of life on the street and wonder, “how did this photographer manage to get such a great shot?”
Can you think of any images that made an impression to you? Life Magazine
photographers had a knack for capturing incredible moments on the street, and we were amazed by them.
Photos like the “American way of life”
by Margaret Bourke-White, or the photo of the Drum Major
leading children with his high-kicking prance, taken by the great Alfred Eisenstaedt, among many others.
But really, when it comes to capturing moments, Henri Cartier-Bresson
, from Magnum Photos, was a natural. So what’s the secret behind it? Bresson once famously said that “photography doesn’t need any brains, it needs sensitivity, a finger and two legs”.
But it’s not just that. It takes patience, practice, and even more patience. If you don’t get frustrated while trying to capture moments on the street, then something is wrong. You just have to keep at it. And don’t give up. It may take days, months, of even years to capture one great shot. But there is no greater feeling when you do capture it.
One of the key things is preparation. You have to be ready to capture that moment even before it happens.
Most of the times we want to freeze moments so we need fast shutter speeds, but not too fast. 1/125 is more than enough to freeze most people on the street. ISO should not be too low, around 400 should be more than adequate to get a relatively fast shutter speed even on cloudy days in London. In order to get fast shutter speeds, it helps to have a wide aperture (small f / number).
Just remember, the darker it gets, the more light you need to be able to maintain those fast shutter speeds. So, increase your ISO, and open your aperture or f-stop.
London is where things happens. So all you have to do is take Walker Evan’s advice, and stare!
Keep your eyes open. Look up, look behind you, finger on the shutter release button, and when the moment comes, do not hesitate. One of the many fears people have is that we are intruding on people’s privacy. And when you hesitate, you miss the moment. Have fun!
Upload your STREET images to the Flickr Gallery: ASSIGNMENT #17 for a chance to win an Evening Workshop Voucher at LSP*. Deadline: 31/July/13
Photo and Text: Alex Mita