The Life of a Photograph is linked to the life of a photographer.
Nothing is more apparent than this fact in this video. The video is a great insight into the life of the National Geographic Photographer Sam Abell. He is a very intense and charismatic man. He is a person who feels everything about his photography. By that I mean he is intimately in contact with every scene as the observer, but also that he is tied to it by the impact it has on him.
Sam Abell has a wonderful eye. The video is a testimony to the depth of his vision, the way he composes his images. Despite that vision, the stunning compositional insights are surpassed by his anticipation. He has an incredible view of the photo he is about to make. Abell describes how he composes and waits. That is an invaluable insight for us as learning photographers.
I can think of no better way to sum up this video than was said by one of the comments made by a previous viewer. He said,
“This is incredibly inspiring! This means so much more to my photography than any gear video I could watch”. Abell also has a wonderfully dry wit and that too is a hallmark of this man’s style.
By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)
Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)
Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’
Posted in Camera control, Composition, Humour, Insights, Review, Video included, Whos Who of photography
Tagged Anticipation, Approach, Composition, Insight, National Geographic, Sam Abell, Travel photography, Video
Some of the simple things are the most difficult when starting.
I have been asked many times why some people find street photography so difficult. Many photographers never get past the first step. Here is some advice to help you.
Getting out there is difficult if you think it is. Actually the most difficult thing is letting people know you are doing it. Most people just ignore you. My advice to beginners is, “just do it!” If you don’t start you will never do street photography. Once you are out there the next thing is taking shots of people. My best advice here is, “be a conspicuous communicator”. Walk up to people and talk to them. They will let you know if they are not interested. No harm done, say thanks, and just walk away. If they are interested then talk. Next, invite them to be photographed. Offer them copies. In fact, communicate. Most people love communicators. Do it the way you know best. Do it with enthusiasm. Then do some photography. That’s how to get started. Once you have done one or two shots you will wonder what the problem was to start.
Some things to do…
- Find a busy place, stick with it for a while. People will be easier to approach from one spot.
- Look for your shots. Don’t just photograph anything and everyone.
- Make your shots important and meaningful. Have a very good reason to push the button.
- Have your camera pre-set so you don’t spend ages fiddling around with it.
- A good lens is a 50mm prime. You can use a zoom around the same focal length.
- A setting of F8 gives you good depth of field and flexibility for street shots.
- Try getting some candid shots of people (just capture them as they are).
- Ask some people to pose or be themselves – talk to them before shooting.
- Get in close when you can.
- Be a part of the street scene, not a voyeur. People hate to be watched, love to be included.
- Respect the people you photograph.
- If you are asked to delete a shot – comply.
- Remember you are an artist not a spy.
- Search out peoples expressions and natural poses. Show what they feel.
- Be chatty and grateful, apologetic and gentle.
- Practice patience.
Some things not to do…
- Don’t approach people in quiet places or where they may feel threatened.
- Don’t be a predator, be a facilitator.
- Wear simple, non-threatening clothes and appropriate for the weather.
- Remember, make your intentions clear and friendly.
- If you are uncomfortable/threatened don’t stay. Get out of there!
There, that’s it. Take it easy, have fun. Talk to lots of people. Take lots of photographs.
Posted in Background Info., Camera control, Composition, Equipment, How to..., Things to try
Tagged Anticipation, Getting started, Insight, Street, Street photography, Street portraiture