Category Archives for Street Photography

This Animation Was Created Using Old Photos from the Early 1900s

Here’s an amazing short film titled “The Old New World” by photographer and animator Alexey Zakharov of Moscow, Russia. Zakharov found old photos of US cities from the early 1900s and brought them to life.

The photos show New York, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore between 1900 and 1940, and were obtained from the website Shorpy.

It’s a “photo-based animation project” that offers a “travel back in time with a little steampunk time machine,” Zakharov says. “The main part of this video was made with camera projection based on photos.”

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10 “Smart” Street Photography Tips You Want To Avoid

The world is full to bursting with great subjects that are crying out to be photographed. One of the best ways to refine your picture-taking skills is to hit the streets and engage in a little raw street photography.

Taking good street photographs requires plenty of experience, though. Before you get too involved in the process, review these misleading bits of “common sense” advice that often get thrown at novice street photographers.

Avoid making these mistakes and you can concentrate on taking the best possible pictures.

1. “Street Photography is Like Espionage!”

To some photographers, hitting the street is apparently their chance to play James Bond. Resist the temptation to go about your business in a sneaky way. You’ll find that trying to shoot covertly and dressing up in disguises actually draws more attention to yourself.

Don’t pay too much credence to people who suggest other forms of disguises, either. Some folks recommend dressing up like a tourist to take street photos. This is only useful if you’re working in tourist-heavy areas; in less-traveled streets blending in should be your first priority.

2. “Camp Out on a Great Site.”

The ideal spot for taking street photographs is someplace busy and vibrant.

When you find an area that fits your needs, it can be tempting to haunt it like a demented, camera-crazy ghost. Resist this urge!

It is possible to wear out your welcome on the street; hanging around for too long poking your lens into other people’s business will turn the locals against you.

There’s activity everywhere on the streets. You should be in constant motion when you’re looking for subjects.

Don’t worry about missing a great opportunity; there’ll be another one along soon enough. When you find a spot that really interests you, make it a stop on a larger journey rather than camping out there all day.

3. “Shoot First and Think Later.”

While it’s true that street photography requires quick wits and quick reflexes, don’t mistake it for an excuse to keep your thumb flattened on the shutter button. Shooting aimlessly is a great recipe for bringing home tons of forgettable snapshots. Shoot quickly, but shoot with purpose.

Try to develop an instinct for memorable subjects and moments. This is definitely a skill you can cultivate; experienced street photographers have a sixth sense about when to take their pictures. While you should always be alert and scan your environment for potential subjects, don’t snap your photo until you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to document.

4. “Bring Your Best Gear.”

The street is not the place for your 40-pocket vest and 20-pound camera bag. Divest yourself of all the non-essentials — and when you’re shooting on the street, virtually everything is non-essential. Bring one camera and one lens.

Most street shooters prefer 35 or 50 mm lenses; it’s difficult to capture intimacy with anything longer.

Besides staying light and mobile, leaving your gear behind also helps you blend into the crowd. The street is not the place for your fancy branded strap and attention-getting vest.

You want to appear to casual observers as a person with a camera rather than a photographer.

5. “Never Use Your LCD.”

One of the most common pieces of advice shared by experienced street photographers is to avoid using your camera’s LCD screen.

While this idea has some merit, like a lot of good advice it’s easy to take too far. Nobody is going to smack you on the knuckles if you dare activate your screen.

The act of “chimping,” habitually checking your screen after every photo, is a major time-waster when you’re shooting on the street.

Don’t break focus to look at your LCD when your subject is right in front of you. In between subjects, though, feel free to check some of your recent photos and adjust your settings. Your LCD can also be a handy tool for taking candid shots of willing subjects — most folks (kids especially) will want to see how your photos turn out.

6. “You’ve Got to Shoot Manual.”

This is a more general piece of photographic advice that often gets applied to street photography, where it’s wholly inappropriate.

It’s true that the manliest of macho photographers have a sneering disdain for automated focus settings, but the fast-paced nature of street photography almost always makes manual mode impractical.

Different street pros prefer different settings, with aperture priority being the most favored. Practice changing your f-stop quickly, as this is the easiest way to deal with light changes on the street.

When it comes to actually focusing your camera, you’ll probably find yourself working at similar distances over time. Dial in the right focus in advance so that you’re ready to point and shoot.

7. “Go the Extra Mile.”

Street photography is exhilarating, putting you very close to an endless array of promising photographic subjects. That said, don’t latch onto one person or scene and obsess over capturing it perfectly.

This ends up being a waste of time at best; in the worst-case scenario, it can draw very unwanted attention. Don’t be a stalker.

Every good street photography session is a journey.

street photography bailey barry

Photo: @gypsybl00d – Bailey Barry 

Don’t worry too much about how the last subject turned out, and resist the temptation to start following them. Instead, concentrate on what you might find around the next corner.

8. “Don’t Back Down!”

Some confrontational street photographers are adamant about your right to take photos in a public place. (Double-check the local legality of street photography before you hit the street, by the way.)

While it’s true you usually have a right to take photos in public, don’t ever prioritize that right over the privacy of the people around you. That’s an excellent way to get into a shouting match — or worse.

As with the last tip, you should never hesitate to abandon a subject if you can tell your attention makes them uncomfortable. An experienced street photographer will develop a talent for blending in and defusing potentially hostile situations, but you shouldn’t force it. Discretion remains the better part of valor

9. “Everybody On Instagram Likes it; it Must be Great!”

The ability to share photos around the world via the Internet is a powerful tool for both professional and amateur photographers. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing the fruits of your street-shooting labors; just don’t mistake idle comments for reliable critique.

street photography and instagram likes

Image source: pixabay

Online responses to your street photos can be motivated by a hundred and one different impulses, and it’s very difficult to tell which commenters are actually interested in your photographic skills.

The subject of interest might be your photo’s subject rather than your amazingly talented camera work. For constructive feedback you can rely on, stick to talking to photographers you trust in person.

10. “Upload Shots Every Day!”

Like any other kind of photographic discipline, street photography takes plenty of practice to master. You need to hit the pavement regularly and invest plenty of time in cultivating your skills.

With that being said, you shouldn’t feel obligated to share every last snapshot with the world.

Unless you have a firm, employment-related justification for posting street photos on a regular basis, don’t share your work just for the sake of sharing something.

You need to develop a critical eye regarding your own work. That means keeping your photos to yourself unless you’re convinced you’ve captured something special.

Street photography is an exhilarating and highly personal way to employ your photographic talents. Practice your skills relentlessly and get an understanding of what works best for you.

As the misleading “tips” listed here have shown, sometimes “sensible” advice gets in the way of capturing the most memorable pictures.

What tips have you heard that simply aren’t true?

21 Urban Photography Skills to Master (3 of 3)

This is part 3 of 3 for urban photography skills to master.

Our goal with this series is to help aspiring photographers improve their urban photography skills.


15. Find Random Objects

Household objects in odd spots are almost always interesting. Lonely chairs are a favorite of many. Here’s a great example with a bicycle.

21 Urban Photography Skills to Master (3 of 3)

16. Find Yourself in the Scene

Sometimes putting yourself into the scene is the best way to go. Creative selfies using your shadow or a reflection can help to humanize otherwise cold or empty scenes.

17. Start Local

Before thinking about driving to a new place take a walk around your own home turf. As it is a place you know well you will be able to think of interesting places to stake out.

18. Don’t Ask Permission

Asking permission may make you feel more secure at first. But the images will not be as interesting.


© Cocu (Chen) Liu

People who are doing their own thing are much more interesting.

19. Take Your Shots in RAW

RAW files allow for much more tweaking and adjustment than even the best JPG file. This can be helpful if the lighting isn’t perfect when the shot is captured.

20. Think of Art Instead of Practical Photos

Street photography is all about catching the mood of a scene. It should not worry too much about being technically perfect.

Flaws and imperfections are part of the process.

21. Become One With Your Own Creativity

Give the same camera and the same street to five people and you will get five very different results.

Study the work of others for inspiration. Just remember to keep your own voice.

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21 Urban Photography Skills to Master (2 of 3)

This is part 2 of 3 for urban photography skills to master.

Our goal with this series is to help aspiring photographers improve their urban photography skills.

8. Seek Out Shadows

Strong light and shadow make for good photography.

21 Urban Photography Skills to Master using shadows

Photo: Brett Whysel

The light of early morning and late afternoon is good for attractive images.

9. Check The Whole Scene

Look at both the background and foreground before shooting. Interesting backgrounds create a layered effect and a better photo.

10. Stay in Place

When you are lucky enough to find a good place stay put for a while. Shoot on and off as people and objects change.

11. Check Your Geometry

Some of the finest street imagery is to be found in the clean lines of buildings and public architecture.

If you get the angle right, the result is worth the contortions.

12. Don’t Get All the Gear

New photographers often feel that they need lots of gear at all times. Good street photography does not need lots of gear.

Don’t take more than you really need with you. Most of the time this means one camera with one lens.

13. Become a Ninja

Part of being unnoticed is to be unseen. This often means dressing plainly in dull colored clothing.

You want people’s eyes to slide off you. Think just like a ninja of old. It is quite fun.

14. Avoid People

Sometimes just getting away from humanity in town makes for a great image.

Seek out old store fronts, empty building, or other unused places.


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21 Urban Photography Skills to Master

Shooting street photography is something that many photographers aspire to but few ever do. Too often photographers fear actually shooting on the street.

They feel that street is a skill with too many demands. Or, they feel that other people will judge them too harshly.

The great thing is that none of these things are true.

With a few tricks of the trade nearly anyone can be on their way to creating world class street snaps.

Learn These Urban Photography Skills

This guide is full of tips on how to best shot street photography. By using these ideas a novice will quickly learn the ropes.

1. Set Your Settings at Home

Setting your settings at home means less time in the field fiddling with your camera and more time getting those shots. In general street photography uses a mid-range aperture.

Many find that a setting between f8 and f11 produces a nice deep depth of field. A deeper depth of field means that your moving subjects will stay in focus as they cross your path.

An ISO between 200 and 400 will control noise. Beginners will find themselves more comfortable using their DSLR in aperture mode. More advanced photographers may like full manual mode.

2. Get the Lens Right!

A wide-angle lens is best for street shooting. The gold standard is a 35mm prime lens. This means that you will have to comfortable walking into the scene to get the best framing.

Some others prefer to use lens between 24mm up to 55mm. A standard 18mm-55mm zoom lens will be able to capture great images from further away.

It’s a great way to ease into getting close to your subjects.

3. No Zooming Allowed

Speaking of lenses, try to just use prime or fixed length lens. If you are using a zoom lens set it to a length and leave it.

A fixed length lens forces one to master the skill of composition. You will also be able to focus and shoot faster with a fixed length lens. In street photography seconds really do count.

4. Fast Focus for Fast Shooting

Make use of the AF-S/one shot mode of the DSLR. Most people today use autofocus.

When you shoot set the focus distance using the AF-L/AF-ON button on the back. This means you will be able to shoot faster.

5. Capture the Decisive Moment

The phrase ‘decisive moment’ dates back to the beginning of photography. This is where that fast shooting comes in handy!

When you find a scene that you like be sure to take plenty of shots. Ten to thirty shots of a scene will help you capture that perfect moment.

6. Look for Juxtaposition.

Good street images often make use of strong contrasting images that still have some relationship.

Images of elderly people with children or amusing advertising images with a real person using the item are just some of the ideas out there.

7. Look for Emotion

See if you can find places that make people feel something strongly. Happy eaters, lonely people at the park, or nervous students all make for good imagery. Just remember to be quick!

21 Urban Photography Skills to Master

Photo credit: @secretplans

This is part 1 of a 3 part series all about urban photography skills. If you like what you’ve read, continue on to part 2 by clicking the page 2 link below.

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PAGE 2: urban photography skills part 2
PAGE 3: urban photography skills part 3

10 Quick Tips for Taking Better Photos With Your iPhone

10 Quick Tips For Taking Better Photos With Your iPhone

Photography is a part of human life — it’s how each of us documents our lives and memories. It’s also an art form, one that lends itself well to various perspectives and photographers, making it one of the most popular forms of art in modern society.

With the rise of the iPhone camera, photography has never been more accessible to the public. By having a camera with you at all times, you can capture great images and share them instantly online. This has led to a burgeoning photography community that sees amateur photographers find their photography perspective and grow as artists.

Creating Stunning Images Has Never Been Easier

With every new version of the iPhone camera that comes out, good pictures become easier to take. The iPhone camera is so good at taking great photos now that it has begun replacing DSLR and digital cameras for many photographers.

If you’re a photographer who uses their iPhone camera but are interested in improving your skills, the tips listed below are for you. With a focus on improving the actual raw photograph you capture, these tips serve as a guide for taking striking photographs the first time, every time.

1. Use the Grid for Better Compositions

The iPhone comes equipped with a grid that lies within the camera frame. It’s used to help photographers frame their composition following the “rule of thirds,” which is the idea that a photograph with a subject that lies just outside the center square of the frame creates an arresting image that captures the attention of its viewer.

grid for iphone photography Street Feat

You can equip the grid by going into the camera settings on your iPhone and turning it on. The grid will appear as nine boxes, allowing you to see clearly where in the frame your subject lies.


2. Take Advantage of Negative Space to Frame a Subject

Don’t be afraid of negative space in your photographs. Negative space, like the sky or a simple background, draws your viewer’s eye to your subject. It keeps the photograph focused on your subject and not on distracting elements, which can lessen the impact that a photograph has.

Practice taking a photograph of a friend in a doorway or against a solid wall. You’ll notice that your friend stands out in the picture because there’s nothing to distract the viewer from looking at them.

That’s the idea behind negative space, and it’s a trick that all professional photographers use.

3. Turn Off the Flash and Turn on HDR for Optimal Lighting

The iPhone camera is not built for artificial lighting, but there is a way to get around it. You’ll first have to turn off automatic flash, which washes out a subject, and turn on HDR – high dynamic range imaging — for better lighting in your photographs.

Using HDR instead of flash makes your photograph lighting look more natural than the harsh light of focus, so practice using it for indoor photographs when you are more likely to use artificial light.

4. Use Burst Mode for Moving Subjects

If you’re shooting a subject that’s moving, like a car, then activate burst mode. This mode takes several photographs within seconds, allowing you to choose the best photograph from the set. It’s also a great way to capture an image without the blur effect, keeping your subject clear and focused in the shot.

5. Follow the Leading Lines for Striking Images

Leading lines are lines, both figurative and literal, that help lead a viewer’s line of sight.

leading lines iphone photography Street Feat

Find lines to build compositions around for images that capture your viewer’s attention and provide a sense of movement to a still image.


6. Shoot During the Golden Hour for Outdoor Photography

A simple rule for all outdoor photography is to shoot during the “golden hour” — the hour right after the sun rises and right before it sets. These photographs benefit from the diffused light the sun gives off during these times, giving your photographs a nice warm glow.

7. Lock Focus and Exposure Before Taking a Photo

The iPhone camera comes with the option for you to lock both focus and exposure before taking a shot. By using this feature, your photos will come out bright and sharp, so take the time to do it before shooting your photograph.

To lock focus and feature, set up your shot and touch the area in the shot where you want to lock exposure and focus. For the best photograph, lock this feature on your subject. Press down on your iPhone until it pulses three times, and then take the picture.

8. Use the Crop Feature Instead of Zoom For Crisp Pictures

A professional photographer will tell you never to use the zoom on a camera, and the same rule applies to the iPhone camera. Using the zoom feature will create a pixelated and unclear image, which is something that can’t be fixed in editing.

Instead, focus on taking a great composition of the subject and crop it in editing. This method helps you keep the photo crisp while getting the exact composition that you want.

9. Clean Your iPhone Lens Daily

Your iPhone camera lives in your pocket or purse, and it collects dust that impacts your photo quality. To clean it, take a soft microfiber cloth and gently wipe your iPhone lens.

You will find that your photos will be sharper immediately after cleaning, so do it regularly.


10. Use Vantage Points or Low Angles to Create Impact

The iPhone camera is great because its size lets it go places other cameras can’t go, like in corners or flush against the ground. Take advantage of its size and experiment with very low and unusual angles. Your photographs will pop because of the unique perspective.

Using your iPhone’s camera to capture gorgeous photography is possible with the help of the above tips. Consistently practicing them will help you improve your photography over time, ensuring that every photography tells the story that you intended it to tell. Remember, photography is about the story you tell within the frame, and learning tips to take better pictures will help you tell that story.

If you’re interested in iPhone urban street photography click here.

17 Street Photography Tips From The Professionals (3 of 3)

This is a continuation of our 17 Street Photography Tips From The Professionals series. You can visit part 1 here. Part 2 is here.

12. Get Down on Their Level
Change up your height for some interesting shots. Get down low to see the city the way the animals do. You can create an image of intense hustle and bustle by lowering yourself to the street level. You can also take photos from up above for more interesting shots.
13. Continuous Drive Mode is Your Friend
You’ll want to keep your camera on your shoulder to look less conspicuous, but you want to be ready for any shot. Keep your camera on continuous drive mode to ensure your camera is ready for all the action.

14. Don’t Overuse the Viewfinder
Don’t look through the viewfinder all the time. Take a few shots without even looking at your camera. Don’t take your camera off your shoulder; simply point and click. You might get total rubbish shots, or you might find yourself surprised.
15. Make Some Friends
Don’t be afraid to interact with your subjects. You want a selection of both candid and non-candid shots. You can even get some semi-candid shots by interacting. Talk to the bartender at a street bar, and ask him some questions about his family. When he responds, you can capture his emotions. Ask someone for directions to get a great shot of the person pointing or looking confused.

16. Narrow in on One Subject
Your DSLR has the ability to narrow in on one subject while blurring out the rest. Show a feeling of calm in the chaos by using this technique on one person for a dramatic effect. This technique works well with street performers and other subjects you want to spotlight.

17. Avoid the Police
It’s illegal to take photos of certain buildings. Police officers don’t love seeing photographers taking photos of other officers, government buildings or buildings that have higher security risks. Steer clear of these subjects – or at least don’t draw too much attention to yourself while filming these.

If a police officer approaches you, be as polite as possible. Offer to show your photos to the officer. While it’s not illegal to photograph a police officer, you don’t want to cause trouble or ban yourself from photographing in one area.

Mix and match these techniques to get photos that look great and have plenty of depth. The number one rule to street photography is to plan well in advance. This is a situation where an ounce of planning goes a long way.

This was part 3 of 3 for the street photography tips from the professionals series. If you haven’t seen the other parts, visit them at the link below.

PAGE 1: street photography tips part 1
PAGE 2: street photography tips part 2
PAGE 3: street photography tips part 3

17 Street Photography Tips From The Professionals (2 of 3)

This is a continuation of our 17 Street Photography Tips From The Professionals series. You can visit part 1 here.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Forced Perspective
Pretend you’re the tourist ‘holding up’ the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Does a bridge look like it’s held up by a woman’s head? Does that man look like he’s leaning against that building? Use this technique to help you get out of your box.

8. Get Candid with Your Subjects
Try to take photos of your subjects without them knowing what you’re doing. Don’t be obvious about your photography, and don’t dress in ostentatious clothing. You should blend into the city.

9. Don’t Be Rude
That being said, don’t be rude. Some people don’t want their photos taken; in some neighborhoods –such as lower income neighborhoods — it’s considered downright rude. If you take photos of street performers, tip them. If you take a photo of a produce stand, don’t hog the merchandise; buy something. Don’t just assume everyone wants to be a part of your art.

10. Search for Color
Concrete jungles can be devoid of color. Discover color in the city in some expected and unexpected places. Food markets, festivals and farmers’ markets are the perfect places to find a little color in the city. Also spice markets and fabric stores can add a little pop of color. Sometimes you can focus in on one splotch of color, like a child’s red hat.

11. Take Advantage of Fill Flash
Photograph subjects in front of the sun; the sun should be behind your subject. Saturate the front of your subject with light by using your flash. Your subject won’t be squinting, and you won’t get the halo effect that facing the sun normally produces.

This was part 2 of 3 for the street photography tips from the professionals series. If you haven’t seen the other parts, visit them at the link below.

PAGE 1: street photography tips part 1
PAGE 2: street photography tips part 2
PAGE 3: street photography tips part 3

17 Street Photography Tips From The Professionals

The city is a diverse and exciting place to get tons of great photos. It’s literally a hotbed of activity. Take some great photos with a few tips that will help you maximize your photo shoot.

The main idea is that you want to plan as much as possible. The more you plan, the better impromptu shots you’ll snag.

1. Get an Eye for Photography and Composition
Take time to prepare before your photo shoot, and you’ll render much better photos. Do a few dry runs to see if you can begin obtaining an eye for good composition. Take a look at your photos to see where you could have utilized space better or created better subject lines throughout your photos.

2. Stake Out Your Spots
Don’t jump into your photo shoot blind. Stake out a few spots to ensure you snag the best places for your photo shoot. Visit your desired locations on the exact day of the week you plan on photographing. This way you’ll have a better idea of the size of crowds on a specific day. Check to see if there are any festivals or special events happening on your photo shoot day; if so, then your photos will be better. Yet your photo plan can include bigger crowds.

3. Look for Shapes
Don’t look at what is in front of your eyes in plain sight. Look for abstract shapes and colors in the city. Note how a building creates a shadow that casts onto the sidewalk. Allow your eyes to fall out of focus to notice the way a subway grate looks more like an abstract grid.

4. Remove the Autofocus Setting
Similarly, you should remove your camera’s autofocus setting, so you’re not relying on the little boxes to find your subjects. You’ll be able to find new subjects by looking through the viewfinder or lens and discovering new ways to look at the world.

5. Look for Obvious Shots
There are some pretty crazy subjects all over the city! Find interesting people, like the street performer or the sitar player. Like attracts like, so you’ll find tons of other interesting people in the area too.
6. Discover Hidden Parallels
Is there a public housing unit across the street from a high-end private school? Do you see a homeless man and a wealthy business man sitting next to each other on the train in the same position? Look for societal juxtapositions.

Mix and match these techniques to get photos that look great and have plenty of depth. The number one rule to street photography is to plan well in advance. This is a situation where an ounce of planning goes a long way.

This was part 1 of 3 for the street photography tips from the professionals series. If you haven’t seen the other parts, visit them at the link below.

PAGE 1: street photography tips part 1
PAGE 2: street photography tips part 2
PAGE 3: street photography tips part 3

7 Amazing Examples Of Urban iPhone Street Photography

We decided to put together a list of 7 Amazing Examples of Urban iPhone Street Photography for you.

While you know it is practically impossible to include all of the potential street photography shoots there are, we put together 7 that we really liked.



Urban Street iPhone Photos 1


Urban Street iPhone Photos 2


Urban Street iPhone Photos 3


Urban Street iPhone Photos 4


Urban Street iPhone Photos 5


Urban Street iPhone Photos 6


Urban Street iPhone Photos 7

Want to see more of these? Visit the list of 30 Amazing Examples Of Urban iPhone Street Photography by Kate Wesson