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.
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’
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.
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!
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.
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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.