On my Facebook Page and Twitter I asked the community to send in their best street photography photographs in the rain. I chose the best, and also dug up other inspirational images on Flickr as well. Congratulations to everybody who got their images featured. Read more to see the other inspirational images.
When it comes to street photography, everybody has their own style and techniques. What interests one street photographer may not necessarily catch the eye of another street photographer. However in order for you to get a better grasp of what kind of styles there are in street photography, I have compiled a few elements that street photographers like to use to their advantage when constructing their images.
Play with Juxtaposition
Juxtaposition is a big and fancy word that artists love to use. If you are not familiar with the word, it simply means drawing a stark contrast between two elements in an image. One could use juxtaposition in his or her favor by creating an image that is interesting, ironic, or just plain uncanny.
For example, if you were to see a sign that says “get fit” and you see a woman eating an ice cream, that makes for an image with great juxtaposition. Or you can see a sign that says “get big” with a small person standing next to it.
About a weekend or two ago, on a lazy Saturday morning, I decided that I was going to take photos that day–although not sure where or how I was going to get there. I therefore planned that I was going to check out the LA MOCA, and then took my stuff and jumped on the first bus that I could find.
However while I was on the bus, I saw something interesting on the side of the street, and got off my bus way too early. After taking my photograph of what I wanted to, I realized that I was lost in the middle of nowhere. However I just walked around the streets, meandering where I wanted to go next.
I then jumped on another bus and got off on the metro stop in the middle of Korea-town. I never took the subway in Los Angeles before, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Therefore I jumped on the subway, still not quite sure where I wanted to go. I looked at the map, and Chinatown was on the list. I had heard lots of interesting things about Chinatown in Los Angeles, yet never had the opportunity to go. I then thought to myself, “Why the hell not” and headed toward there.
I had never been to Chinatown before, so I kind of followed where the streets lead me. However I was quite pleased to say, it was a great opportunity for street photography. The Chinatown area was very quaint and quiet–with a few people strolling in and out of the area. If you look at the below images, you will also see they have an interesting “film” look to them. I recently made a new preset based on one that I downloaded online, and I quite like the look. I feel it gives that “dreamy” look that I felt when I was experiencing the place.
Another huge obstacle you will face as a street photographer (and a general photographer) is that at times you are not going to feel a lack of inspiration to go out and take photos and let your camera collect dust on your shelf. Although it can be healthy to put down your camera at times and not to feel compelled to take images, I would say it is very detrimental to your photography if you go for around a month without taking any images.
Street photography is all about capturing the beauty in the mundane, which is every-day life. The ability to take a slice of life and capture it in an image. By not taking photographs for an extended period of time, you almost lose a part of yourself. I consider my camera an extension of my body, a 6th sense in which I am able to connect and interact with the world. It is as important as an appendage to my body as my arms or my eyes.
Imagine not using your arms for an entire month. Just visualize them losing strength and muscle as well as the ability to make precise movements. And after a month of not using your arms, they may feel foreign and unknown to you. But you soon realize how much you have been missing out in life without them; the inability to write, the inability to embrace others, and the inability to itch your face at will. Suddenly a surge of empowerment rushes through your body, and you swear to yourself that you will never live without your arms again.
Photography is very much the same thing. If you quit taking photographs and using your camera for a month, it might feel awkward and foreign to you. You try taking photos again, but they lose that precision and touch that you used to have. But once you start taking photos again and get in the groove, you realize how much you have been missing out on life. Those little slices of life that you were unable to capture such as the man waiting at the bus stop, the woman walking with her child, or the two elderly men playing chess in the park. Suddenly a huge sense of inspiration rushes through your body and you vow to yourself that you will never live without your camera again.