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eBook: Simple Tips for Better Street Photography

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i - Introduction by the author 

There are as many views on what makes a great street photograph as there are stars in the sky. I can only speak about what ingredients work for me. My personal goal is to remain firmly in the background, trying hard not to influence proceedings or be seen by the subject. 


That is not to say that I don’t appreciate it when a subject looks straight into my lens (top left & bottom right). There is certainly something incredibly powerful about the human gaze, and seeing it look straight out at you from the page is mesmerizing. 


Apart from that, I look for scenarios where subjects interact with each other or the space around them. I invariably use wide or ultra-wide lenses, as I feel it’s essential to show the subject in their environment; for me, the two are one.


I am certainly not saying that other focal lengths or other ways of shooting are invalid. In fact, some of my favorite street photos have been taken by photographers who ask the subject’s permission before taking the shot, thus already “outing” themselves as being a part of the scene.


I see street photography as a broad church, where it’s impossible for one person to hold all the beliefs dearly. I have simply cherry-picked a small subset that echoes my way of seeing the world around us. 

My goal for you, dear reader, is to examine my recipe choices and those of my fellow street photographers and determine which ingredients resonate with you. I look forward to hearing how you get on!


ii - What are the ingredients of a great street photograph?

This section discusses some of the basic ingredients of a great street photograph. The section also shows examples captured in various parts of the world, outlining what it is that makes them good.

  • What are the ingredients of a great Street Photograph? (1/7)
  • Mercato, Addis Ababa, Ethopia (2/7)
  • Rome, Italy (3/7)
  • Moramanga, Madagascar (4/7)
  • Huntington Beach, Los Angeles (5/7)
  • Mercato, Addis Ababa, Ethopia (6/7)
  • Dublin City, Ireland (7/7)


iii - eBook Overview

  • A quick overview of what this eBook on Simple Tips for Better Street Photography will cover.
  • eBook Overview (1/3)
  • What you will learn from this eBook (2/3)
  • Examples of what you will learn to shoot (3/3)


Chapter 1 - Creative Techniques

In this ‘Creative Techniques’ chapter, I work on giving you tips on what to point your camera at. 

I am now firmly on the photo-taking side of the equation. As the technical side is mainly dealt with, we can now concentrate on seeing with our eyes. We are going to learn to watch for quirky scenes and how to put ourselves in situations where these might happen.

  • Creative Techniques – Chapter 1 Overview (1/14)
  • It’s the law: You can shoot people in public places (mostly) (2/14)
  • Examples of safe, and not so safe, locations (3/14)
  • Try not to stand out (4/14)
  • Resist the urge to always look at the LCD (5/14)
  • Start where the people with the cameras are (6/14)
  • Calm the fear of getting close (7/14)
  • Find a scene & wait for something to happen (8/14)
  • If you are wary, try using the Waist-Level Technique (9/14)
  • Look for situations that provide interesting expressions (10/14)
  • Tell a story by using something else in the frame (11/14)
  • What does all this look like out on the street? (12/14)
  • Recap of Chapter 1 – Creative Techniques (13/14)
  • Photo Assignments for Chapter 1 – Creative Techniques (14/14)


Chapter 2 - Camera Techniques

In this chapter, I discuss the best settings for various scenes and include variations where appropriate.

  • Camera Techniques – Chapter 2 Overview (1/17)
  • Use wide-angle lenses to capture more of the scene (2/17)
  • Go for fast shutter speeds & take lots of shots (3/17)
  • Slow shutter speeds are not always bad (4/17)
  • How much ISO is too much? (5/17)
  • How to hold the camera (6/17)
  • Focus on what YOU want by only using the center focus point (7/17)
  • Use the Shutter Button as a focus lock (8/17)
  • What to focus on? (9/17)
  • Turn on the grid or use the viewfinder focus points (10/17)
  • If ‘Intersection of Thirds’ is too much, try ‘Sixths’ (11/17)
  • Be prepared to crop... by quite a lot! (12/17)
  • Watch for high-contrast shadow edges (13/17)
  • Is street photography best in black-and-white or color? (14/17)
  • Color certainly has its place! (15/17)
  • Recap of Chapter 2 – Camera Techniques (16/17)
  • Photo Assignments for Chapter 2 – Camera Techniques (17/17)


Chapter 3 - Photography Field Trip Techniques

This section brings you out on a Street Photography Field Trip with me!

  • Photography Field Trip Techniques – Chapter 3 Overview (1/7)
  • Field Trip – Checking gear the night before (2/7)
  • Field Trip – Checking camera settings on-location (3/7)
  • Field Trip – Using the neck strap as a wrist strap (4/7)
  • Field Trip – Using the Waist-Level Technique (5/7)
  • Field Trip – Reminder of the Creative Techniques (6/7)
  • Recap of Chapter 3 – Photography Field Trip Techniques (7/7)


Chapter 4 - Editing Techniques • Lightroom • Photoshop • Elements • PS Express (phone app)

Some simple editing techniques can benefit most images. The surprising thing is that most editing software has most of the same options. I discuss those in four different apps, including one on your phone!

  • Editing Techniques – Chapter 4 Overview (1/23)
  • First up – A general guide to interpreting Histograms (2/23) 
  • Use the Basic Panel to correct exposure (3/23)
  • Use the Detail Panel to reduce noise in high ISO images (4/23)
  • The B&W Panel changes the shade of gray a color becomes (5/23)
  • Using Adobe Camera Raw to work with Tiff & Jpeg images (6/23)
  • Use the Basic Panel in ACR to correct exposure (7/23)
  • Use the Detail Panel in ACR to reduce noise (8/23)
  • The ACR B&W Panel changes the shade of gray a color becomes (9/23)
  • Using Adobe Camera Raw to work with Tiff & Jpeg images (10/23)
  • Use the Basic Panel in ACR to correct exposure (11/23)
  • Use the Detail Panel in ACR to reduce noise (12/23)
  • Change the shade of gray a color becomes (13/23)
  • PS Express or Adobe Photoshop Express or Photoshop Express (14/23)
  • Opening and saving Raw, Jpeg, and Tiff files - 1 (15/23)
  • Opening and saving Raw, Jpeg, and Tiff files - 2 (16/23)
  • Use the Edit Screen to correct exposure (17/23)
  • Adjust exposure – Light (iOS)/Corrections (Android) - (18/23)
  • Reduce high ISO noise > Adjustments > Details (19/23)
  • Silvered - an arty black-and-white conversion 1 (20/23)
  • Silvered – An arty black-and-white conversion 2 (21/23)
  • Recap of Chapter 4 – Software Techniques (22/23)
  • Assignments for Chapter 4 – Software Techniques (23/23)


Chapter 5 - Bonus Tips & Final Review

I wrap everything up by reminding you of all that we have covered in this eBook.

  • Bonus Tips – Set yourself a Street Photography Project (1/5)
  • Market Life – 3 hours in an Ethiopian market (2/5)
  • Cafe Life – 10-day vacation (3/5)
  • Platform Pacing – 1 train station platform over 3 years (4/5)
  • Final Review – Simple Tips for Better Street Photography (5/5)
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