Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

I was invited by to take part in an article he was preparing for the Huffington Post on street photography.

I didn’t really know what it was about and was asked to send one picture, the one I consider my best and to write in about 50 words why i think it is my best.

It is truly impossible to point out one picture as “best”, it’s like choosing on child over the other. As a photographer ther is always the process of self evolvement and the definition of best may vary with time.

Sweet wrote to me that he was impressed by my color work so I decided to pick a color image for the article. I picked the following image for the reasons I wrote in the article.

© Street photography by Sagi Kortler

© Street photography by Sagi Kortler

 

this image holds many aspects of photography that I like, the parallelism of the hand gesture of the mannequin and the girl on the left, the surrealism of the whole scene, the dark and long shadows of photographing at the later hours of the day that brings beautiful light. I like photographs that enable the viewer to imagine the story behind the scene. It’s the kind of photo that can be taken lightly, or one where you can find a deeper, more important message.”

Check out the full article here – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-ernest-sweet/street-photographers-on-t_b_5741144.html

 

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Street Photography and Moral Codes, is a new on-line exhibition curated by Peter Fahrni from the Forward Thinking Museum that tries to examine the moral code in street photography.

The practice of observing and photographing people in candid situations is a direct expression of human curiosity. A street photographer recognizes in a split second the visual potential of any number of human interactions, individual expressions, and patterns occurring in a public space and typically attempts to keep a decisive moment undisturbed by not alerting the subject. One approach is to stay as low key as possible, for instance by pretending to aim the camera at something other than the intended individual. A more aggressive approach may involve a sudden move towards a subject, perhaps with a handheld flash. Here, the singled out passerby usually does become aware, but by that time the shutter has already been released.

Photographing without the subject’s knowledge lays at the crux of potential ethical conflicts – without knowledge there cannot be consent. On the other hand, the absence of consent does not imply unethical behavior. Moral codes come into play for all parties involved: the photographer, who is looking to exercise her artistic freedom while safeguarding an individual’s dignity – the subject, who might ask for the deletion of his image, realizing he has no say in the creation or distribution of the photograph – and the public, who demands both access to street photography (in form of entertainment, news, or art), and to be shielded from excesses. A group not supposed to be guided by moral considerations is law enforcement. However, an officer called to the scene of a dispute may or may not be knowledgeable about the law he is supposed to enforce. The ensuing vacuum is likely filled with the official’s own moral code.

In this exhibit, each of the twelve featured artist shares in a brief essay some of the moral considerations that can come into play at any time. It is helpful to come forth from behind the camera at times to engage with a subject. A smile and some information about the nature and intention of a photographer’s work go a long way to ease tensions. As the legality of picture taking in public spaces continues to be challenged and cultural norms at home and abroad shift in unpredictable ways, a street photographer’s artistry has evolved to include advanced social skills.

The images in this show are as singular as the voices in the introductions. To some extent, this can be attributed to various cameras, including mobile phones, etc, but what accounts most for the individuality of each photographer’s style comes down to a highly personal way of connecting to people in a given space – a readiness to potentially consider everybody and everything worth taking note of. The viewer, in turn, is enriched with stunning images and a friendly nudge to take another look at what’s easily taken for granted.

– Peter Fahrni – Director, Forward Thinking Museum

 

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

Top Photography Films is a relatively new photography blog and project created Kai Behrmann, a freelance photographer and blogger from South America.

I was recently interviewed for the blog and it is now featured so please check it out and let me know what you think.

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

© Street Photography by Sagi Kortler

It is with great delight that we announce our new member and first female member that joined Street Gang Photos – Italy based photographer – Mary Cimetta.
Mary has a great eye to the small and unique details of the everyday life. Give her a big welcome and go our website to check her wonderful work.

© Mary Cimetta

© Mary Cimetta

Felix Lupa is one of the best street photographers out there and also a co-founder of the street photography collective – Street Gang. Felix wrote a very interesting article about what makes a good photograph. It is a great read and I totally agree with Felix. Read the article HERE.

A remarkable photograph must be a personal, visual report of the subject. It has to be able to tell me, using the photographer personal and unique visual language what the photographer saw and what he felt. For a good photograph it is not enough to just be a visual report, it also has to be a psychological report. It has to transfer to me the emotions and the point of view of the photographer behind the camera.

Although this blog and the Street Gang collective are dedicated to street photography, I find Felix thoughts to be suitable for all genres of photography.

© Felix Lupa

© Felix Lupa

Dear friends,
I’m happy to announce the formation of a new International Street Photography collective – Street Gang
The collective was co-founded by Felix Lupa, Sagi Kortler, Eyal Binehaker and Alex Levac.
Check out our new web site – www.streetgangphotos.com

 

Street Gang - The Heart of Street Photography

Street Gang – The Heart of Street Photography

 

 

Tony Ray Jones was an English street photographer. In the early 60’s he traveled to the U.S for studying for a Master of Fine Arts in graphic design at Yale. He moved to NY after graduating and got a job as an art director for CBS records but he was determined to become a photographer. In New York he became good friends with Joel Meyerowitz and became part of the NY street photographers scene led by Garry Winogrand.

Jones kept notebooks, a journal if you’d like in which he wrote down his thoughts, lists and plans about photography. In one of those lists, titled “Approach” he listed some tips for better street photographs. These tip are still valid today and can be used as a basic guidelines to better street photography.

There are many tip lists out there on the web, some repeat each other, some contradict each other, some have some good tips and some are simply wrong… I find this list to be simple, refined and a great way to start making good pictures.

I took the liberty to elaborate on some of those tips, I am not trying to analyze what Jones meant exactly but more giving my input on how I interpret these tips and how I put them into practice.

  1. Be more aggressive– just to be clear, this does not mean at any way that you should jump into situation that could become violent! In a way, this simple tip holds together some of the other tips. To me, being aggressive means to get closer, to become more involved and not to give up until I get my picture.

    Street Photgraphy by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  2. Get more involved (Talk to people) – For me, Street Photography has to be candid so talking to my subject before taking a picture in most times is out of the question. But saying thanks afterwards will be simply being polite and might save you from altercations. Some times I find myself so close to the scene that I become a part of it, talking to people is inevitable, so talk to people earn their trust and start taking pictures when they stop focusing on you and on your camera, although I have no problem to have some interaction between the people I picture and the camera, as long as there is no posing for the camera.
  3. Stay with the subject matter (be patient) – I have discussed this point in my Working the scene post.
  4. Take simpler pictures– We all know that making complex compositions with many subjects will create an interesting picture but sometimes minimalism works better and will create a strong image.

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  5. See if everything in background relates to subject matter– I find this tip to very important. In fact this tip is one of the points that might stand in the center of the long going debate on the definition of street photography which I try to avoid at any cost, but let’s just say that a street photograph should show some interaction between the subjects or between the subject and its surroundings. A portrait with blur background is not street photography, it’s just a portrait even if it was taken on the street. Another aspect of this tip is more relevant today then ever as in modern street photography we see more often the use of juxtaposition between a person and an element in the background, it cold be a sign or a monument or anything else for that matter. In order for such picture to work, there has to be a visible connection or some sort of interaction. There are too many pictures out there of a person with a poster or a sign in the background that the connection is not made. The background in street photography is another subject, it’s part of the story just as the living, breathing subjects are and they have to work together.

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  6. Vary compositions and angles more– Composition rules are a good starting point but rules are meant to be broken. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new and bold compositions, angles and framing, working outside of the box will generate interesting and unique pictures that will stand out.

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  7. Be more aware of composition – although the last tips was talking about looking for new compositions and breaking the rules, the composition still has to be balanced. Avoid frames in which all the weight of the picture is on one side of the frame while the rest of the frame is empty and feels redundant.
  8. Don’t take boring pictures– Probably the most important tip and not just for street photography. It takes even greater importance today in the digital world we live in, in which we are exposed to hundreds or thousands pictures everyday that we go through them so fast without paying enough attention. If you want to capture the attention of your viewers you need to make interesting pictures. As street photography is gaining interest by many avid photographers, it is also misunderstood by many of those avid new comers to the world of street photography. We are looking for the special moments in the mundane life, without those special moments, big or small it’s just mundane and thus – boring…

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  9. Get in closer (use 50mm lens or wider)– We all know the famous Robert Capa quotes about getting closer, they were good advice back when Capa said those things and they are still good advice today. Getting close allows us to be involved in the scene, to feel the scene and those feelings show in our pictures. If we want people to look at our photos and understand what we wanted to say and feel what we felt then you have to get close. Today, the streets are more crowded then they used to be, people are more aware of their privacy and they are more aware of cameras. Using a wide angle lens and getting close actually allow us to be less noticed, it creates uncertainty among our subjects as to who or what are we are photographing. You can’t hide the camera anymore so it’s size doesn’t really matter. We now stay unnoticed and we are able to keep it candid by using this uncertainty that we create.

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  10. Watch Camera shakes (shoot 250sec or above)– Well this one really depends on what you are looking to do, what kind of look or effect are you looking for. Usually we are looking to freeze time and capture that special moment so this tip is right on but sometimes we are looking for something else, sometimes effects like motion blur make the picture. Don’t be afraid to experiment with long exposures but even then make sure that the static elements stay sharp enough. With today’s equipment and image stabilizers it easy to avoid shakes at lower speeds than 1/250 of a second.

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  11. Don’t shoot too much – This one might contradict what I wrote in my Working the Scene post but it doesn’t. When we find a scene that we can work then we should work it but when we roam the streets looking for the next frame, we have to be focused, we have to see, hear, smell and taste the street so we can predict the moment to come and be ready for it in order to capture it with good composition and angle. Don’t waste your time on taking pictures that you know that they will not make the final cut, trust your intuition when to shoot and when to let it go, you’ll automatically start to shoot less.
  12. Not all at eye levelshooting from the hip– it is a well known technique to street photographers. We use it when we feel that raising the camera to our eye might give us away and interrupt the candid moment or might get us in trouble and sometimes it’s just a fast reflex to the scene in which we don’t have time to raise the camera to the eye and capture a fast moment. Shooting from the hip is just a phrase of course and it’s not limited to the hip… When we look at those images we also see that the unorthodox angles created by this technique produce interesting frames that feel stronger due to the angle the picture was shot at. So look for these different angles and master shooting from the hip. Another point that we must understand is that in some cases our eye level is higher than our subjects, so remember to bend your knees a little or even get down on your knees if needed to get the winning frame.

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

    Street Photography by Sagi-K

  13. No Middle distance – This one is pretty much the same as the Get in close tip. Middle distance will create flat pictures with boring perspective and remember that we want to avoid boring.

REMEMBER – these are just tips, they are just basic guidelines, nothing is curved in stone and you have to find what works best for you. But if you are interested in street photography and wish to start making street photos than these tips will help you to get started and put you on the right tracks.