Most street photographers will advocate getting out onto the streets often and staying out for a few hours at a time if we expect to come home with any decent images.
However, for those of us who are more casual street shooters that may not always be possible and we tend to try and make the most of any random opportunities that come our way.
Sometimes these sessions will yield nothing but potential images, but they do give us an idea of what to look for on the streets and what might present itself in a full street photography session.
Recently I had arranged to meet some friends to visit an art exhibition. I arrived earlier than the appointed time so I had thirty minutes to spare to do some street photography.
I acknowledged to myself that it wasn’t enough time to do justice to any street images but I decided to use the time as an opportunity to see what I should look for on the streets.
Although I was rushing a little, and therefore came away with a few badly focused images, I do feel that some of them give me an idea of what to look out for and of the potential that is there for a proper street photography session.
Below are a few of the images with a description of what they tell me to look for in the streets.
CHECKING FOR INFORMATION
Tourists are always a potential subject. These images may not be very interesting but tourists in a city often do provide interesting interactions, or we might spot an expression that suggests a story.
A SPLASH OF COLOUR
Bold colours can make an image stand out. Sometimes its enjoyable to try and find contrasting colours. They may not make great images but they do help to train your eye.
MORNING ROUTINES - IN THE STREET...
...AND IN THE PARK
Watching out for what people are doing at particular times of day can yield some interesting images. With these images I was looking out for storytelling opportunities as stories help to hold a viewer's interest.
A MORNING RUN IN THE PARK
A MORNING WALK IN THE PARK
It's always worth keeping an eye open for something unusual. There is a little humour in this image and that's what I like to look for on the street.
CHATTING IN THE STREET
A human moment always makes for a good image. I watched the little girl chat to the musician for a few minutes. She asked lots of questions and he engaged with her. A different angle may have produced a better result but I don't like to take images of children's faces so I had to settle for a back view. I think it can still tell the story of the interaction.
What about photographing the photographer? I like how I also captured the image of the statue on the man's phone.
Not only did this quick photography session help me think about what to look for on the streets, it was also enjoyable in itself. I felt privileged to be an observer of the morning routines of the city and glad to be able to document them with my camera. I created a lasting memory and I discovered once again what it is that appeals to me about street photography.
If you have 30 minutes to spare in a town or city I would whole-heartedly recommend taking out your camera or phone camera and seeing what the streets have to offer.
You might be pleasantly surprised!