Guest post by The Man With A Nikon. He’s an excellent street photographer and I’m glad to have him as my first guest poster! He has some great tips for you today, and you should check out his blog for more awesome photographs and inspiration. He captures light in his photographs perfectly and shows the contrast between light and dark really well, I’ve never seen anything like it. So without further ado:
When I was 7 years old my father gave me a camera. It was Canon Powershot G6. Since that day I started photographing everything. Light has inspired me to see things differently. Everything has changed.
Photographing is telling a story for me. It is showing the world from my perspective. It’s silly but when I’m shooting I fell like I can do everything. Light is my tool. When I go outside I always have my camera with me. Most of the time I don’t know where I am going because I’m focused on surrounding. Faces, shadows and emotions. People, buildings and nature. No-one knows when something will inspire you. I take a deep breath and try to feel the streets. Going through crowds, chasing emotions, waiting for that moment is something amazing.
None of us see in the same way. We are different. We see different, we feel different. Pictures can be described in hundreds of different ways. The power of photographs is in the number of interpretations it has. You see a picture and your imagination starts working. You make your own story based just on that single photo, that stopped light. Isn’t it amazing?
I’m not a good photographer, I just show people the photos that I like. I’m the observer with a recording tool. Photos I like the most were shot by an accident. I’m just in the right place at the right time. I feel strange when I am asked about tips; I’m not a pro photographer, everything that I know, my father told me or I read it in a book. All I can say is that I think you should experiment. Try different lenses, different films. Find your perfect set up. Something that suits you. After that go out. Take photos of moments, things and people that speak to you. It’s hard to explain. You make your limits. The important thing in shooting a photo is reading light. After years of shooting, I can guess aperture and time just observing the scene.
It’s easy to learn but it needs time.
Street shooting is one of a kind. So many things going on at the same time. It’s easy to be distracted so try to minimise your set up. The lowest weight of camera bodies and lenses. We just have one back and I think that we can focus just on one at the same time. Try to find your best mix; one lens and one camera. Nothing more.
Photography is hard to explain for me. I think that it is in us. I don’t want to tell you how to frame a picture, what style of shooting is better and why. Photos we shoot are part of us. All of us have own style of shooting and all of them are the best. Work on it, make it better for you, focus on your vision. Don’t copy anything, be YOU.
Classic question: film or digital? I shoot film. Yes. I’m not a big fan of megapixels. All of my personal photos were shot on an analogue camera. You can ask why. Because film has spirit, that organic depth. Film slows me down and helps me focus on the moment because I believe that a picture is not in the camera or on screen or paper. A picture is that moment when you press the shutter button. It’s the mix of light, emotions and you.
I don’t post process my photos, the contrast, grain, colours or greys is something that I work on setting my aperture and time. Different film stocks. Tri-X 400 for black and white only, with yellow filter, if needed. Fuji Superia 200 and Xtra 400, Kodak Portra 160 and 400. That’s all. All of them, I find in my house. I develop my black & white films on my own but colour I send to the lab. I keep my eye on the picture from pressing the shutter until making it print. Again it is hard to explain. I remember what I shoot on that roll; I develop it in a way which describes that moment the best. Every roll is different. To be honest, I don’t know how I do it, I just do that last touch.
If one day somebody asks you: what picture is your favourite? Remember to answer: the one I shoot next. I’m not a writer. I’m a shy boy with a camera. Feel free to comment. I’m waiting for your thoughts. Happy shooting guys and thanks for the time.
Thank You April for the space 🙂
And thank you, Jake for the post!! Great read.