30 May Creative Composition in Street Photography – Part Two

Source: Ian Macdonald Photography

When I work with people new to street photography, I find that some are surprised by how slow and deliberate many photographers are when they shoot.  It is a romantic notion to think of the street photographer as someone who is constantly on the move in their environment, like a shark swimming, picking off one great image after another as moments present themselves.  While it is true that many amazing photographs have been made this way over the years, I personally find that my keeper rate goes up dramatically when I focus on one main thing:

Slowing down.

I have long subscribed to the approach of constructing an image, rather than simply snapping one.  This isn’t always possible of course due to the unpredictable nature of the street, but it is usually my goal.  Even when I see an amazing subject walking toward me, and I only have a few seconds to plan my image, I am scanning the scene to find the right background, good light, and ultimately to decide if the photo is worth taking or not.  This isn’t the only approach to shooting on the street of course, as we discussed in part one of this series, but it has proven to be the most successful one for me.

Slowing down gives us more time to explore the world with our eyes.  It offers the opportunity to experiment, to play, and to decide if the elements of a photograph work well together.  Maybe you found perfect

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