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An amateur’s guide to street photography

Street photography is a great way to practice one’s camera skills. It is not as popular as nature photography or portrait photography, but this art form is a great way to express individuality and style. Thinking of starting with street photography? Here are a few tips.

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                                                                      Image source: slrlounge.com

Choose your gear

Know which camera works for your art. There are some street photographers who take great photos with just their smartphones, and there are those who are all out on their Leicas. Not everyone who has the money for expensive gadgets are better photographers. Even the simplest camera can still make beautiful photos.

Don’t be shy to take pictures

It’s hard to point a camera in a place full of people and moving cars. It can be daunting, but having the confidence to take pictures will reflect on the finished product. The best street photos are candid shots of people, and it is okay to ask permission from the people you want to shoot.

Be patient

The best shots take time, even with street photography. Some of the best street shoots happen when photographers quietly observe the surroundings, and being patient with their shots.

Practice

Skills are cultivated through practice. Do not be afraid to get out there and shoot. It might not be perfect for now, but it will get better over time.

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                                                   Image source: photography.tutsplus.com

Hi, I’m Ashwin Khubchandani, a full-time photographer. Let’s talk about photography and art when you visit this blog.

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How To Identify “The Decisive Moment” In Street Photography

17th century French churchman and memoir writer Cardinal de Retz wrote “Il n’y a rien dans ce monde qui n’ait un moment decisif,” which translates to “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.” Street photography founder Henri Cartier-Bresson then applied the concept to his field, describing it as the fraction of a second when all compositional elements come together to make a perfect image.

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Image source:100photos.time.com

A decisive moment is not just a single, disconnected scene or element captured in the photo, rather it is the whole frame. For example, in Cartier-Bresson’s famous piece, “Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare,” some misinterpret that the decisive moment is the instance that the jumping man’s shoe almost touches the water.

The question then is how to identify and subsequently capture that decisive moment.

It is important to know that a decisive moment is based on the photographer himself; it occurs when his eyes, heart, and mind are in alignment. Because that moment can strike at any point in time, photographers can determine it through immersing himself in different scenes as practice and by preparing for its eventuality.

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Image source:jamesmaherphotography.com

He also needs to learn what camera settings work best so that his focus would be on his surroundings and not on his gear. This way, he can become quicker to the trigger.

Hi! My name is Ashwin Khubchandani, and I’m a travel photographer. I’ve recently started dabbling in street photography as well. Read more about my photography here.

 

Vertical city: A bird’s eye view of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a unique city based on more than just its colorful history of Chinese and British occupation. This large territory is known for being one of the most crowded places on Earth, made possible through extensive upward development since the middle of the 20th century. Hong Kong—and the Central District in particular—is one of the most iconic urban landscapes on the planet.

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                                 Image source: skyscraperdictionary.com

In Hong Kong, land is so scarce that only the ultra-rich can afford to live in a home below ground. It is a true skyscraper city, with a significant portion of the population living in apartment units well above the 5th floor. In a city like Hong Kong, with a booming economy and very little space to expand, there’s nowhere else to go but up. The scarcity of land is such that the city is well known for the pencil tower phenomenon. This refers to the eponymous buildings—tall, narrow high rises that are often apartment buildings, with cramped spaces that rival New York apartments.

Although far from unique to the region, it has taken on a life of its own in the Fragrant Harbor, an urban je ne sais quoi where nearly everything is vertical and narrow. From the ground, neon signs crowd your view of the sky and company is never more than a crowded street corner away.

Move to the windows of a skyscraper and that riotous frenzy of people disappears into a mass of straight vertical lines. In some places, you can barely see the spaces between the buildings themselves, the buildings behind them peeking through.

And despite the downright surreal geometric rigidity of the towers, the skyscrapers still retain that organic, lived in feel.

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                                                             Image source: gizmodo.com.au

World traveler and keen shutterbug Ashwin Khubchandani here. Catch my digitized travel monologues on Twitter.