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David Sark

Sydney based photographer capturing moody moments from around the world.

A focused approach to street photography

A focused approach to street photography

Changing the way you capture images can help reinvigorate your passion if you’re feeling a little stale.

Let’s face it, doing the same thing week after week can become tiresome and boring after a while. For me the act of going out hoping to find something interesting to shoot became quite repetitive and I wasn’t enjoying the process very much. In previous blog posts I have talked about the things I look for when I’m out shooting but recently I’ve been wanting something more, a grand overarching plan to create a larger series of sorts. 

After taking some time out and thinking about what I wanted to do, I decided to take a more structured and purposeful approach to my street photography to ultimately create a series of photos linked by a consistent theme. So here’s how I went about it.

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01 Purpose
Having the idea of what I was trying to achieve at the front of my mind helped me to keep on track.
‘To create a series of images linked by a consistent theme’

02 Visualisation
I wanted to explore the theme of timeless so I thought about what kind of things and locations can help convey that feeling, the types of clothes, lighting conditions, colours and subject matter. 

03 Selective captures
Now that I had the idea of what I wanted to achieve and the elements that would help convey the feeling, I was more selective with my  photos only taking frames that matched my visualised criteria. I was looking for people dressed in a classic style (hats, trench coats, elegant dresses) in locations that had older style architectural details. I also tried to be out at the same time each day with similar lighting conditions to help create a consistent look. I avoided people staring at their phones, logos and branding and high vis clothing.

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04 Editing
After a number of sessions out on the street I spent some time narrowing down my favourite photos, making sure that there were different aspects in each frame for the series to be interesting enough when viewed as a whole. The last thing I wanted was all of the images to be exactly the same!

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05 The finishing touches
To make sure the selected images had a consistent look I worked on refining tone and colour adjustments to the complete set at the same time achieving the feeling that I initially visualised in my mind before I started. As the images were taken with similar lighting conditions it was much easier to apply a consistent colour grade across the set.

Overall I enjoyed the more structured approach to creating this final set of images. I usually just go with the flow when it comes to shooting on the street but from this experience I will definitely attempt to plan more sets in this manner and think harder about themes and what I want to achieve.

Let me know what you think and make sure you subscribe to receive updates about new posts!

All images shot using my Canon 5D MkIV and 70–200mm f2.8 lens.

And as always you can find more of my work on Instagram.

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