APOY 2015 round 6: Street Photography
Please visit the APOY 2015 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.
Entries must be received by midnight (UK time) on 30 August 2015
Street photography is as popular as it ever was and is easily accessible to most photographers. Even if we don’t live in a street alongside other people, we almost certainly travel to, and work in, places where the rich tapestry of street life chugs on like a well-oiled machine. All you have to do is photograph it, and show the rest of the world what happens in that location. There can be a great temptation to head to the biggest, most bustling place you can find, but you don’t need to. Street pictures can be shot as easily beside the quiet and seemingly empty village post office as they can among the maddening crowds that stream past the Bank of England.
This round is about capturing the atmosphere of a place, and to do that a picture needs to show that place and what goes on there. We don’t have to be able to detect where the picture was taken, but we do need to get a feel for what it is like to be there and what sort of people we’d be likely to meet. So get out there and keep your eyes peeled.
This month’s prize
Win a Sigma dp2 Quattro compact digital camera and a VF-41 viewfinder accessory
The Sigma dp2 Quattro compact digital camera incorporates a newly developed Foveon X3 Direct CMOS image sensor. Unique among image sensors, the Foveon Direct image sensor is similar to traditional colour film in that its multiple layer captures all the information that visible light transmits. Along with Sigma’s proprietary image-processing technology, this sensor produces incredible resolution, precise gradation, gorgeous colour with breathtaking realism and a 3D feel – in other words, full-bodied image quality. The camera carries a fast 19mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent) wideangle lens.
The Albada inversed Galilean type VF-41 viewfinder mounts on the hotshoe. It offers a framing guide for deciding the composition without the colour LCD monitor and accurate framing unaffected by external light condition.
That’s a total prize value of £1,079.98 for round six.
The city awaits. Here are some tips to set you on your way to creating a winning urban composition
The street photographer is not beholden to the characteristics of the sky to determine the kind of light on offer. We can travel to places with interesting light and find directional light even on an overcast day. Light gets funnelled between buildings, and through tunnels and under bridges. On a clear day, we can use this directional light to highlight our subjects with a powerful beam while keeping the rest of the frame in shadow, particularly when using exposure compensation.
Shapes and Lines
Every street structure that we see is made from lines and shapes, and we should make the most of them to create impact and excitement in our pictures. Look out for the drama of the edge of a kerb that darts diagonally across the frame, or the wall of a car park that leads the eye to the figure coming down stairs. Office blocks are structures waiting to come to life – brutal shapes interacting with the people who inhabit that place. There’s a whole world of opportunity.
So many pictures are taken by photographers holding a camera at about head height and giving us all a very ordinary view of the world. Make your pictures stand out. Shooting from waist level is a good start, and for a more dramatic angle you could place the camera close to the ground to give your subjects a dramatic presence. This image from Gary Telford is a great example, although you attempt an angle like this at your own risk!
We encounter many people on our day-to-day travels and the one thing we can all be sure of is that people are certainly a strange bunch. One of the hallmarks of street photography is recognising absurd and strange situations, and then reacting quickly. It also takes a keen eye to witness the myriad bizarre juxtapositions that can come together in the circus of the street. Like so many aspects of photography, practice is key, but eventually these things will reveal themselves.
**Please visit the APOY 2015 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.
Entries for APOY 2015 round 6: On the Street must be received by midnight (UK time) on 30 August 2015