Professional photographer Matt Hart offers his expert advice and tricks of the trade to help you shoot your best-ever street photography images
Matt is a black and white street and event photographer based in Liverpool and is an official Fujifilm X-Photographer. Passionate about street photography, he has developed the skill to observe and be virtually invisible, letting the world carry on around him without affecting the scene.
With a passion for street photography, Matt likes to keep the system and process as simple as possible so as not to overcomplicate the task, while constantly challenging his own ideas and concepts.
Knowing where to shoot is incredibly important for successful street shots, and Matt likes to find somewhere busy with plenty of interesting people moving around. If you’re stuck for inspiration though, Matt has three favourite spots in the UK for street photography. ‘Liverpool’, says Matt, ‘just because I know it really, really well. Manchester is also fantastic, and London. You can’t go wrong in London – there are so many people and so much vibrancy in London, it’s great.’
One of the difficulties faced by those new to street photography is blending in, but this all comes down to the environment. Matt’s advice is to ‘try to walk round a new location first without a camera and try to see how people react to you, and whether they notice you or not’. Once you’ve done that and have your camera with you, Matt says you should ‘get back out on the street and use a combination of shooting from the hip and the camera raised to your eye, but it all depends on the area you’re going to be working in’.
Matt’s tried quite a few lenses in the Fujifilm X-Series range, but the Fujinon XF27mm f/2.8 is his favourite on the street. Before that it was the Fujinon XF35mm f/1.4 R but as Matt reveals, ‘I’ve found over the past three years the 27mm fits my needs perfectly.’
With the Fujinon XF27mm f/2.8, Matt likes to pair it with the Fujifilm X-T10, and with the addition of an XF35mm and a few spare batteries, that’s about the extent of his street photography kit. As Matt says, ‘That does me; I like to travel as light as possible and to travel around and get between people, making sure I don’t stand out with bags and everything.’
Finally, what’s the essence of street photography? For Matt, that’s to ‘try to create something different and fantastic’. Elaborating further, Matt believes that: ‘Everything’s been done these days, that’s probably why I’m in the middle of a project at the moment shooting windows – because everyone says windows have been done to death, but by doing a project that focuses in on that area, then I hope to look inside myself and find something a lot more interesting.’
For further information, and special offers and competitions visit www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/fujifilm-x