1. Get very close and fill the frame
Whatever you’re shooting, get super-close. Fill the frame with the elements you find interesting.
For the most part, when you’re shooting with a 21mm lens, you have this tricky job:
How to make an interesting photograph without zooming on a certain spot of interest.
For example this silhouette of the statue — I framed the photograph to put the subject to the extreme bottom of the frame.
Shoot architecture. Go to the downtown area, and get close to the buildings and SHOOT UP!
4. Unusual perspectives
The most fun thing about 21mm:
Being able to make very strange, unusual perspectives in your photos.
For example, get very close to the side of a building, and look STRAIGHT UP (bend your back backwards, like yoga, and shoot straight up). This can allow you to capture very unusual compositions.
5. Photograph your own feet
Look down and photograph your own legs. I really like these photos, because they (literally) put the viewer into your shoes!
6. Photograph while walking (embrace blur)
Make photos while walking. I think the ultra-wide angle of 21mm, while walking produces interesting blur effects, which really makes you feel like you’re moving.
7. Put yourself in the image
Shoot random snapshots of yourself, when you’re at the coffee shop, or doing anything. Get your hands, your stuff, coffee cups, etc into your images.
I really encourage this type of photography because the photos are incredibly personal. The more personal your photos, the better.
8. Work the scene
I’m still learning how to shoot with a 21mm. It seems the best way to figure out what the best composition is this:
Keep working the scene (shoot a lot of photos of the same scene), and while you’re shooting, keep shooting, tilt your camera, adjust your framing and compositions.
Then later review your photos, and choose your 1 favorite image.
For example when sitting outside at a coffee shop, I kept shooting this man next to me, and caught the ‘decisive moment‘ of the man putting his hand on his face.
CONCLUSION: Just keep experimenting
There is no right or wrong way to approach photography. I would simply suggest:
Keep experimenting with your photography, compositions, and perspectives.
Keep photography fun and interesting to you, and NEVER STOP!
The best focal lengths/lenses for street photography:
- How to Shoot Street Photography with a 24mm Lens
- How to Shoot Street Photography with a 28mm Lens
- How to Shoot Street Photography on a 35mm Lens
Unleash your creative potential:
- November 7th, 2020: ERIC KIM BLOGGING MASTER CLASS (Online, via Zoom). [Register Intent Here]
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.