Street Photography Part 2 – people photography

so here we are, back on the market and this time we’re easing you in to photographing the people. Now when you’re photographing the people it’s human interaction you’re looking for. It’s people doing things together, a laugh a smile a joke, something like that. the best way to ease your way into
photographing strangers using our markets scenario, is to get permission from one of the stall holders to photograph them and their stall and spend time around them, and stay around that one place rather than looking up and down for opportunities, because opportunities will present themselves. also if the person running the business
is okay with you being that there’s a pretty good chance of that customers
wont mind so much either. that’s very important when you do this
sort of thing to make sure you don’t get in their way too much, um… because you know they’re running a
business and make it clear to them that their welcome to say you’re in the way now, go away. and don’t be offended by that either this is all about working with them as well. their giving you something you want, so so make sure, you don’t get in their way, and always give them some pictures as a thank you. because we’re going to be working in one place
around a stall, i’m going to use, a very wide angled- lens, and i’m going to stick with my ten to twenty zoom, my main zoom is going to be my feet. for which i mean if i need to get
further away or close to i move myself. I don’t just twiddle this. Also that keeps the pictures consistent, it means all the shots i do on this are going to have the same feel to them. That wide angle look. so setting up a camera i don’t know what the lights going to be so, we’re going to worry about that when we get there. er, i’m going to set the ISO quite high. Er, it’s not a terribly bright day, i’m gonna set mine, er, let’s have a look, i’m goin gto set that up to six-forty could get up to eight hundred ISO. therefore i know my shutter speed should always be fast enough as i’m shooting, i don’t want to be thinking about this when i’m shooting, i want to be concentrating on what i’m doing and the people and what’s happening around me. Aperture, i’m using aperture priority or erm, Av. so we set aperture priority and i’m going to go with an aperture of about five point-six i think. but a very wide angle lens you tend to have quite a long depth of field even at five point six anything this
more than about three feet in front of you should be fairly sharp. uh… but i don’t think it matters too much if it isn’t. Use the smallest aperture you can, so what we’ll do when we get into position is just check what the shutter speed will be in the light we’re in, because i don’t know what that’s going to be yet. because uh… we’re not there so let’s go and find ourselves someone to spend some time with. i have kind of sewed the idea in somebody’s mind when we were here last time, so i’m just going to make sure that’s still ok with them. Are you still alright for us to do some pictures for you, the stall and everything going on? is that alright? yes raring to go. great, you’re a top man, thank you. so what we going to do? is it alright if Jane just tucks in the corner there? so she can see, and i’ll kind of , alright that’s very kind of you, thank you. Brilliant, oh yeah and if i’m in the way tell me. alright, i wont be upset, we’re going to go Exciting isn’t it, because i have no idea of whats going to happen, or what i’m going to get or not get or whatever, anyway right i’m going to come in here with the guys because isn’t unusual angle it’s a different point-of-view. i will do some shots outside round here as well. But how often do you see it from their point of view, that’s what’s going to make the shot interesting overtime concentrate on this interaction
between what i’m going to try and concentrate on is the interaction between Gary and Shelley and the others in here and their customers. So let’s see what happens. whey. Hello, are you coming in too? you going to come in here. because I’ve got an extra camera i’m going to loose that so i’m going to stick that up here. so its out the way, this is really cool because it’s from a different point-of-view, so first off we need to check what the shutter speed is going to be we don’t know what the shutter speed is going to be so just kind of looking around down here, It’s quite a cool picture in itself. what have we got, we’ve got, i’m going to use a consistent sixtieth of a second, an F five point six at eight hundred ISO. Colour, we’ve got blue light going on out there, and we’ve got sort of a yellow-y tinge to the fluorescence going on in here. Yeah if we look at that, there’s definitely oops don’t want to crash the camera. is definitely a bit of a colour cast going on. so i’m going to shoot raw and worry about colour later. but if there are some strange colour cast it doesn’t really matter because you can change it or you can drop it into black and white so let’s see what we can do shall we. I’ll do that again look, aw thank you. romance at the burger van. Don’t lose your chip. haha look at that. pretty cool you’ve got a new tattoo going on there, look at that show us your tat, look at that something else you can try, is just pop your auto-focus onto full auto focus everywhere can you just kind of just gonna get a few pictures at that angle, look at that you see three different angle there you go, look, look. aw gross what do you mean gross, haha you look lovely, got some good and that’s on her good day, haha right, now i’m just kind of introducing you to this, the more times you can spend doing it, the better. i’m probably not going to spend hours and hours here, the more time you can, the better it is, because you’ll get more and more into whats going on. haha, that’s not fair. aw no you’re doing really well well done. that’s cool, that’s really good of you to let me in too. yeah he has there cool, there really cool did you see what did there janey again i’m on fully auto focus and all i did was put the camera down near the bacon and photograph up looking at Gary. to get that last shot we’re getting some good stuff going on in here, i’m getting really in among-st it notice i’m not doing any still life now, because it’s all about the people. he’s doing a little home video thing, home video thing haha. here comes an egg, so yeah that’s worked, good. sort off. that’s what i mean by noticing whats going on being in the right place before it happens. now i’m kind of hoping for hand over things now i’m kind of waiting and watching for them. you know where someone hands over a burger reaches out to give money, with wide lenses it’s always good to get things close, so for example if somethings close to the camera and then them moving away from it it gives a huge sense of depth. i’m working almost exclusively on ten millimeters so for example if somebody’s at the end of a hot plate and leans this way getting down low of the hot plate looking up at them will work very well. it’s always best if they’re facing the camera to kind of see their facial expression or talking to a customer or something. because then you get that human interaction. It’s what it’s all about really. twenty pence for you so we did manage to get a burger handed over there, just because i was watching Gary just putting on the finishing touches to a burger, so i knew in a minute a customer would reach out to take it. It’s the case of being in the right place to grab that shot. admitidly i could have done it a bit better then. It’s because my attention is split between you guys, and what’s happening in here. we’ll go outside in a minute and have a little go looking back this way. sorry Kyle, it’s Kyle isn’t it? Carl or Kyle? Kyle sorry Kyle cool name, that’s a movie start name, like Jeremy kyle Jeremy kyle, haha these bacon, these sissor-ly bacon, look at this. This looks good, here we go. oh yeah.. there pretty cool, there pretty cool. all i was doing, i don’t know if you saw me, but all i was doing was looking through the camera i was just going like that, and shooting the last couple of shots of Gary flipping the bacon over. This could be an opportunity there’s five pounds coming out. sorry Kyle. yeah, that’s okay that’s kind of busy. Let’s go outside and have a look at the trailer from a different direction. Let’s see what happens. so i’m just going to hang out here for a little while, so i can wait and see what happens. This is quite a dynamic angle because i really like the fact we’ve got the church going on in the background. and we got the burgers and we got this
lovely kind of the shelf it makes a really strong leading line into whats going on down there. i want to use that leading line so i’m going to get quite low, as i said i’m using my feet as the zoom so in a minute, here we go, here it comes. Right, focused. so when i want to get in close like that, unfortunately every time i move the guy looks the other way understandably . i’m just hoping that he will lean in this direction to pay, but i thinks he’s just uncomfortable with me with my camera I’m just going to wait to get the shot to come to me. i’ve actually got my camera pre-focused so i can half press the shutter and get the man in front with the rucksack so it’s already focused, i mean, i now know where i need to be. so what i’m going to do is wait now until something happens and then moved myself forward so i’m in
the right place so that the focus which i’ve already pre-set and i’m keeping the pressure on so what i’ve gotta do is, snap quickly as that i always try to do this stuff composing
in-camera and not crop if i can possibly help it and i don’t like cropping it if i can avoid it we’ve kind of got it, but i’ve missed the interaction a bit, no i didn’t i got it , i got it. i love this guys jacket, it’s just really bright. i love the colour in that jacket. yeah i like that, that’s cool yeah i quite like that, i went for that guy because i love the colour of his jacket let’s move back and see if theres a shot to be had with that. it was kind of, but i was just to late, i missed. Go and see if you can find yourself somewhere on a market who’ll let you spend a bit of time around there stall and it’s a great way to just break the ice and start to work with people

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100 thoughts on “Street Photography Part 2 – people photography

  1. wow! im amazed by how you just talk with the people and let them kinda join what you're doing. I'm very new into street photography and once I got someone very angry but i had a digital camera and just showed him that i deleted the picture and it was fine. But now i'm afraid of shooting analog because you can't show them the pictures right away. What should I do then if someone gets that angry? i dont want to ruin the whole film. Thx mate!

  2. Thank you. It's probably better to shoot digital rather than film – though i used to enjoy shooting stuff like this with B&W and printing them myself. I've found people get angry if they feel they're being spied on or because the photographer's own nervousness is infectious. It's about reading people. If you're nervous and they look kinda scary don't take a pic. It's tough and I know it can be difficult. I suggest going some place a lot to begin with so they they used to seeing you around.

  3. I met this unbelievable guy at Covent garden last weekend. It was a beautiful afternoon with a lot of people there. I was determined to take some good photos. But when I try to take a photo of one guy with a yellow vest (he is a member of cleaning stuff), he walk straight to me after spotting me and threaten to break my camera if I didn't delete the photo. I then got verbally abused. (Maybe I am Chinese and not as strong as you are) Anyway, I really like your videos. And I will keep trying.

  4. You must always be careful of how people will react and that's unpredictable. I spend a lot of time hanging around places and getting to know people so they're used to seeing me and are less likely to be offended. I often ask people if they mind being photographed as well. To begin with they kind of 'pose' for the camera but after a while they forget about me and that's when the better shots happen. If they say no I thank them and move on.

  5. Hi Mike, I Love your video. Photography is my new hobby. I can learn many things from your video. Great job Mike! Keep on Recording and Uploading!

  6. Thank you Fendi. Please help us spread the word about our films and grow the community by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing them and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  7. Hi Mike, I stumbled upon your videos, and I love them, thanks for posting! I'd love to do more street photography like in this video, but I have a Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 lens. Would that be suitable? I'm afraid it would be too "close" and that I'll need to be too far from the subject to properly capture the scene…

  8. Hi. You can use any focal length but as you say you might need to be closer with a 50mm. I think it's often better to be closer to the action because the image is less voyeuristic. If there are people in the shot spend time to make sure you're safe to photograph them by observing them, taking photos around them so they get used to you or just ask if they mind… If they say yes take a few and come back a few mins later when they're acting more naturally.

  9. Hello Mike, it is very, very nice video, and I like your creativity. But why didn't you use burst mod when shooting interactions?

  10. Hello, Mike. I very much appreciate your videos – I learn alot. Regarding Street Photography – do you have an opinion on the 'on the sidewalk, spontaneous' style of street photography? I don't refer to the 'in your face' style, but I do mean the more 'candid' style. And do you ever use more 'discreet' cameras, such as rangefinders, or film under any circumstances?

  11. Thank you. Due to popular demand I've started doing that in later vids – but I stress the settings I use almost certainly won't work for anyone else unless they happen to be in exactly the same light as I was when they take their picture.

  12. Hey Jim.. My favorite camera for street life is a phone because they're very discreet 🙂 I never use film anymore because it's so time consuming and difficult to use compared to digital.

  13. Yes it's always worth investing time to get to know the person, ask if it's OK and come back later when they'll be more relaxed when they see you. Varog – pot sa photographiers? That's probably spelt wrong but I've learnt how to ask in many languages…

  14. Thank you. Ha ha – Because I'm too lazy and don't enjoy spending hours wading through thousands of images trying to choose which to keep. Henri Cartier Bresson talked about choosing the 'decisive moment' to shoot so I go with that.

  15. 🙂 Yes they will tend to pose when you first ask which is why I say to ask, take a shot or two and then come back maybe an hour later and just shoot some candids whilst they're talking, working or whatever. If they gave you permission an hour ago they're less likely to object when you return. The key is to invest time with people and genuinely care about them as well as your shots.

  16. 🙂 Take care – but don't be too nervous. Most people in the world are really nice if you give them the opportunity to be. They usually get angry when they don't know what's happening or why a stranger is photographing them.

  17. Hey mike, Just wanted to drop in a little thank you for these really informative videos. Love the videos, all of em. Please continue the good work.

  18. Thank you vikrambhagi1. Please help us 'continue the good work' by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing on Facebook etc. If you feel they are of value to you and would like to help out financially you can also make a donation on our site.

  19. Excellent Video , I loved the way you broke the ice with people. Not so easy task in street photography!! and not to forget the amazing photos you got there.

    inspired me !! I am gonna try street photography .Can I send you some of the pictures, I want them to be critiqued if you are ok!

  20. Thank you Uday. I'm sorry I get sent so may messages and emails I don't have time to do personal critiques. But please share some photos on our Facebook page and ask the lovely folk over there what they think. To get to our Facebook page click the pic of me next to this post to get to our channel page. There’s a little Facebook icon in the banner at the top.

  21. Hi Mike, great tutorial and great channel you have! Helps a lot. I just have one question: Colors in you pictures are really beautiful, they look neither dull nor fake. Do you do something special for that? Because with my camera body color preset set to normal or vivid it looks dull/flat, even at 100 ISO (even if it's better then) I usually need to play with the saturation/vibrance during post-treatment and it often looks pretty fake.
    If you understand what I mean, cheers

  22. Thank you. I shoot RAW and deal with colour and contrast in Lightroom afterwards, but usually just basic tweaks like +10 colour, +5 vibrance maybe adjust the blacks a bit. One of the downsides to digital photography is photographers need 2 skill sets. Photography AND post production – which was always done by the lab when printing from film.

  23. Some don't like being photographed. I often ask, take a few then come back again later when they're more likely to ignore me – but I've already asked. It's important not to feel like you're imposing or you'll come across to people that you are. If someone asks you not to do it, always respect their wishes. In the UK you can take photos of anyone in public places provided you don't sell them – then you need a signed release form.

  24. Thank you. Please help us spread the word and grow the community by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing our videos and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  25. Thanks mike this is what I have learn from you. Thank you

  26. Love Mikes videos. but you can't ignore the fact that when asking for permission to shoot, carrying around a couple of grands worth of equipment does help convince people you are serious! I don't know how much luck you'd have using a camera phone!

  27. This is not street photography.  If you are new to street photography you don't go and get in someones business space (behind the counter).  This is highly unusual and if I were that business owner there is no way I would let this guy behind the counter.  There are issues not only around productivity but also liability.  This is not a good video.  See John Free or Beth Jennings.  Know Andre Kertesz.

  28. Would you be interested in supporting this photography project?

  29. Hi Mike, great video, is that a D300 I have seen in your other videos? Is there a gallery where I can see your shots made with this camera ? I currently have a Nikon D200 planning on selling it as I am not at all happy with it. Highly insufficient for my needs as commercial photographer. No matter what I do images are very soft from this camera, and that is irrespective of the lens. I have tried a bunch of different lenses, tricks, but still no good shot. I am planning to buy  D7000, what do you think of the D7000? I am curious to know. I like your photography very much and your philosophy of not using too expensive cameras or lenses. I would like to take you out for a lunch/dinner/drinks for discussion if ever I am in the UK. Thanks in advance. Cheers.

  30. Hello Mike, i really like the way you run your vídeos, it's simple and easy to get what you explain. Thank you for sharing so much information with us. 🙂 I really use a lot of what you say while taking my pictures. ^^

  31. Hey Mike ive watched your Videos for the past two years you give some great information. What can people use if they don't have a wide angle lens? would a kit lens be ok 18-55mm ?

  32. What do you do with all these photos though, in this day and age of digital we don't print and mount photos like we used to?  Do you put them on an online gallery?  Did you print and frame any of them?  From somebody who is just starting out I feel that i am looking for those wonderful photos that i can display on the wall but these don't seem to fit that kind of profile.  I understand with this hobby that most of the fun is taking the photos but are they wall hangers or is it just part of the hobby to take the pics for you?  Would be interested to hear your thoughts.  Love your vids by the way, very helpful and i really like your style of teaching me what i need to know.  Am i wrong to think every picture i take needs to be award winning instead of just getting in there and taking shots?  I think i have answered my own question but still interested in your thoughts.  Cheers Mike.

  33. Mike thanks so much for such a great series on street photography.  I especially like the fact that you tell us what focal length exposure mode etc you are using.  Your insights on the composition aspects really help!

  34. I call it gift of the gab! I love doing street or urban as I call it. The best thing is one does not require the best lenses or cameras to get great results. I use a fuji bridge cam and leave the dslr at home. Also my trusty pracktica mtl3 makes a great urban camera. Sitting with a friend outside a cafe drinking coffee can also be a good way of getting great images as people walk straight into the frame. Enjoyed these videos. Will share. Many thanks regards Mick

  35. I really like this kind of street photography and I am thankful for your great tips. 
    I think one important point to mention is the legal situation in this context. I am always a little afraid to put pictures with people online, because you can not ask everyone for permission – especially if you shoot on street. It become even more problematic if you want to sell these pictures. Do you got any tips regarding this issue especially for a hobby photographer who do not want to consult a lawyer ? I am not sure, if there are any differences regarding street photography in GB and germany.

  36. I love it! The whole series. Thank you so much! I am though a bit shocked by the huge barrel distortion and the decrease of sharpness towards the edges. I know this isn't much of an issue if you can capture a great moment or interaction but, you know…spending my time on countless lens reviews etc. I couldn't help noticing.

  37. Do you ever have any issues with getting permission from people to use their likeness in public presentation like a You Tube video? How about permission generally to use the photograph, say, in an exhibition or a marketing display?

  38. I love Street Photography, I don't like taking pictures of people who are posing, I went out for the first time last week round Leeds City Centre and got some good shots, got a few odd stares but hey that's how it is.

    Any feedback would be great

  39. Man I still never would try this, I had to watch muted some of the time. It made that uncomfortable.If Your not family or someone I've know awhile, My camera stays by My side.

  40. Hi Mike, I love your videos, but I dont think this is street photography. I believe a street photographer should keep a low profile most of the time and let everything happen naturaly.

  41. Loving your video's Mike, they've inspired me to pick my camera up again and hopefully be able to use it better. Learnt a lot from you. Thank-you.

  42. The space is a little bit confined, I must say your darn good with that digital are you sure you're not younger than me lol

  43. Mike Browne Shot Me Down. I don't think Browne has a problem shootin' people without them knowing 🙂 1 to 1 day and he kindly held Alistair for me. Alistair works my big zoom. Mike gunned me down during the time I was focusing on a beautiful model and trying so very hard to blow-out this post in the background.

  44. Capturing memorable photography on the street has a lot to do with the interaction between the subject and the shooter. Here, when it involves food, most all are in a lighthearted mood, and it shows. The lovely lady working the grill is a delight, and you Mike with a positive attitude sees all your subjects in a cooperative mood. A unique style to street photography, where the subjects come to you. Thank you.

  45. Love your videos. The ones about street photography is great!!. I live in the USA and enjoy all of your videos

  46. I've watched so many of Mike's excellent videos that now, after I've framed a shot, I hear Mike's voice in my head saying, "Just take the pick-cha" 🙂

  47. The moment I heard aperture priority and 5.6, I realized, a photographer who hasn't worked fast enough to realize that auto isn't fast enough. I loved your interactions with people though.

  48. I definitely would of had a big breakfast. I was getting hungry just watching. Eggs and bacon on a nice bun, Oh Yeah! Oh and Photography!

  49. I agree with what you are trying to show however as it has been mentioned this isn't really street photography and 1/60th of second will elimate handshake on that lens but not people motion which is evident in quite a lot of your shots which makes them look a little messy.

  50. I absolutely love your philosophy and approach to street photography, which is one of my favorite forms of this artistry. I am learning so much from your respect toward the craft and the subjects you're photographing. Your approach is very honest and honoring. This is really encouraging me to step into this form of photography more.

  51. This is NOT street photography it's a guy photographing from a "Hot dog " stand LAME LAME LAME !!!!!!

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