Saigon, 2017

Unfortunately, most of the ‘rules’ in street photography have been dominated by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

HCB (Henri Cartier-Bresson) had good intentions. I think.

To be frank, he was a bit of a photography tyrant. He would super-impose his ‘rules’ of photography on others. For example, here are some of his ‘rules’ that younger Magnum photographers (like Rene Burri) were semi-coerced into following:

  1. Don’t crop (even though Cartier Bresson’s ‘Jumping man over puddle’ photo was cropped)
  2. Always think about composition
  3. Never use a lens wider than 35mm (Henri Cartier-Bresson shot his India photos with a 35mm). I like to shoot 28mm in street photography.
  4. Don’t use telephoto lenses longer than 50mm (Henri Cartier-Bresson mostly shot with a 50mm)
  5. Don’t interact with your subjects (even though some of his famous Spain photos, he obviously interacted with his subjects). I guess he would be against ‘STREET PORTRAITS

Avoid photo tyrants

The definition of a ‘tyrant’:

Someone who superimposes their perspective, or opinion onto you.

Therefore, they are trying to force you to do something against your will.

That is a dick move.

Make your own rules

I think it is generally good to ‘follow rules’ on your own accord.

‘Rules’ in photography are good to give you ‘creative constraints‘ — which give you more focus, and innovation in your photography.

BREAK THE RULES!

by CINDY NGUYEN

However, never feel afraid of breaking the rules.

My simple suggestion:

Master the rules, then break them defiantly.

In ZEN, they say:

Kill your master.

Never be the slave of nobody else. You are your own master.

BE STRONG,
ERIC


STREET PHOTOGRAPHY 101 by ERIC KIM

Tokyo, 2012

If you’re new to street photography, start here:


STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION – New

STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION: Street Photography Workshop in Your Phone.


Street Photography Inspiration


Beginner Street Photography Articles

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Definitions in Street Photography

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How to Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography

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Learn From the Masters of Street Photography

Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
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“He without a past has no future.”

If you want a distilled version, read the free ebook:  “100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography.”


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