Shoot From the Hip: Street Photography Tips and the Postcode Gallery final eleven… Well, 38 for now.

Week 8 of our NCFE Level 2 Photography Course, and we touched on street photography and how best to get candid shots: AKA how to shoot portraits when you haven’t got the nerve to ask someone if you can take their photo. And just in case that sounds a tad sneaky, remember you don’t actually have to ask permission of anyone in a public space; that’s just how it is. (That said, be ready to peg it fast if you are trying to get shots of, oh, I dunno, a Klan christening or Hell’s Angels’ bake sale.)

So, here goes:

  • Set up with a specific focal length: 27/35 mm is a good start, go lower if you need a wider shot.
  • Select an aperture of, ideally, between f/8-f/11- but no lower than f/5.6.
  • If really dingy light, up the ISO to 200
  • Shorten camera strap so that your camera is at chest height.
  • Prefocus manually to, say, 2-3 meters. (Presuming your subjects are going to be that far away from you, obvs.)
  • Set shutter speed of 1/60 or so if you are planning to stay still; up it if you are going to be moving, too.
  • Shoot like crazy. Expect at least 90% of your shots to be crap; maybe a bit less once you’ve got the hang of things. Make sure you have extra batteries to hand. You will need them.
  • Review your shots as you’re going. Tweak settings accordingly.

I haven’t had a chance to put any of this into practice this week. Been too busy reviewing the photo’s I’ve taken so far for the Postcode Project. I’ve to select 3 to represent varied aperture use; 3 for shutter speed and 5 on a theme of my choosing. So far I’ve managed to whittle the hundreds I’ve taken down to 38. Which, for me – procrastinator extraordinaire – is an achievement of sorts. I’ve re-edited them for printing as 6x9s (remembering to stick to the 1.1.5 print ratio and drop the brightness on my computer screen to compensate for the backlight) and sent them off to DSColourlabs. As for choosing between a lustre or gloss finish? Ha. Don’t you know me by now? Forget that. Last of the big spenders, I’m getting them all done in both so I can begin to understand how the different finishes affect the varying images.  Hell, if anything looks halfway decent, I might go batshit crazy and send it back for a titanium finish. (So not a euphemism).

Here are the final 38, in their respective groups: edited for printing, so may seem a bit bright on a computer screen. And, yes, I’ve been so useless at choosing between edits that I’ve sent several versions of some images off. (My excuse is I’m curious as to whether I’ll notice any difference when the pics pop through the letterbox.) Whether any of you – the elite-handful of discerning, erudite sophisticates following this blog – will notice a difference between them (and, in doing so, validate my expensive procrastination), remains to be seen. (That, by the way, is what is known in the trade as a call to action. As in: Tell me, FGS). Hopefully, the prints will turn up before tomorrow night’s class when we’re going all X-Factor and laying them out on a big table before slagging off the ones we don’t want in our groups. We may need a bigger table.

SHUTTER SPEED

 

 

APERTURE

 

 

FIVE ON A THEME: PARKLIFE
(YES, I KNOW THERE ARE WAY MORE THAN FIVE).

IN HINDSIGHT, I LOST THE PLOT WITH THE NEXT LOT…

TWO IN HERE THAT I DIDN’T EVEN MEAN TO SEND OFF…

PROBABLY MY 2 FAVOURITES OF THE 5-PARK-THEME LOT,
BUT STILL CAN’T MAKE UP MY MIND ABOUT COLOUR OVER BLACK AND WHITE…

 

Learning objectives: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4.

 

 

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