Creative Exercise #1: Smartphone Stroll

street photography

I recently came across a book of 52 exercises for creative photography and decided to try them out. Number 1 is called a “Smartphone Stroll.” Leave the DSLR or point and shoot camera at home, take your smartphone and set the timer for 1 minute. Go on a walk, at least 15 minutes, 20-30 is better. Every time the timer goes off, take a picture. Don’t think about composing the picture, just find something wherever you are when the timer sounds and take a picture. The idea is to help you understand yourself. Is there a theme in the pictures? Are they taken from the same vantage point? Within the length of the stroll, did a story develop? Study the pictures you took but don’t edit. What do you like? What could be better?

Yesterday I strolled around the grounds at Logan High and got these.

Experimenting With the Camera

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One of the great things about digital photography is you can click away without having to count the dollars every time you press the shutter. Back in the days of film, you got 12, 24 or 36 exposures for whatever the price of a roll of film was. I just checked, you can get 10 rolls of 36 exposure, 35 mm Kodak 200 color film for $32.99, or about $.10 per shot. Then there was the cost of developing. Plus, you couldn’t look at what you’d just done to make adjustments. It probably made for better pictures because you had to give some thought to the composition, camera settings, and all that before you shot, but it didn’t lend itself to experimentation.

With digital, you can do lots of fun stuff. If it turns out, great; if not, there’s the delete button on the camera or onscreen. Here are some experiments I’ve tried.

This first set is from a full moon, natural light shoot I did a couple of years ago. I didn’t have a fast lens, so the models had to hold their poses for up to 20 seconds to get the proper exposure. BTW, long exposure is why you never saw anyone smile in the old (1800s) photos: they couldn’t hold a smile long enough for a proper exposure.

This ghostly image was caused by a car that drove by during the shot

She enjoyed holding the pose. Him, not so sure.

One other thing you can play around with is the shutter speed to get blur or more ghosts.

If you look closely you can barely see the ghost walking through the picture

And digital cameras make street photography easier. Because you aren’t worried about wasting a $.10 exposure, you can snap away at any angle, which makes for some interesting shots.

Lastly (for now) you can take pictures of all sorts of weird stuff that makes people scratch their heads.

So have fun. Play around. It’s really quite relaxing.

Keep Shooting

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To be a photographer you have to take photos. Lots of photos. Shoot everything. You never know what might become of it. Like this collection of shots from 30-60 years ago. Photography is a time capsule that captures what life was like way back when better than words ever could.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/cool-vintage-photos?fbclid=IwAR1ymWeumyLQXNnSvTYZAS3EtWAvBJLbadWhZgu8j7Pzwf1DEmNl7P3ztxA

 

Street Photography

street photography

I’ve had this website for a few years, posting only pictures to pages. I decided it was time to start blogging about photography.

I’ve bounced around quite a bit in trying to decide what type of photography I want to do. After a couple of years I know I don’t want to do portraits or fashion/glamour except occasionally. I prefer the more gritty work that is called street photography. Street photography is a photographic genre that attempts to capture life as it happens, good or bad. One of the best definitions is in this blog post by Eric Kim.

Many of the iconic photographs that everyone knows are examples of street photography. These include Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange; the Afghan girl from the cover of National Geographic; and the napalm girl from the cover of Time Magazine.

There’s a story behind every street photograph. Some stories are monumental, like the stories behind these three shots. Some are not. But the story is as important as the photo.

Afghan girl. Photographer Steve McCurry

 

 

Photographer Dorothea Lange