Impressions of a day street photography in Amsterdam. The area of action: the Nine Little Streets district in Amsterdam.This part of Amsterdam is an ideal district to photograph the street life, shop windows, canal and bridges and is one of the most iconic areas of Amsterdam. Some of my Amsterdam street shots of the photowalk you can find here below. Enjoy!

Let’s face it, starting street photography is no easy task. For the average photographer, going from shooting flowers into shooting people in the streets is like stepping into a Ferrari after driving a Toyota Prius. It is intimidating at first, but quite exhilarating once you try it out. When Going into street photography these are some tips to get you successful shots.

  • Ditch the zoom and use a wide-angle prime
  • Get close
  • Always carry your camera with you
  • Disregard what other people think of you
  • Ask for permission
  • Be respectful
  • Look for juxtaposition
  • Tell a story
  • Just do it

Technique

Most kinds of portable camera are used for street photography; for example rangefinders, digital and film SLRs, and point-and-shoot cameras. A commonly used focusing technique is zone focusing — setting a fixed focal distance and shooting from that distance — as an alternative to manual-focus and autofocus. The traditional (but not exclusive) focal lengths of 28 mm to 50 mm (in 35 mm terms), are used particularly for their angle of view and increased depth of field, but there are no exclusions to what might be used. Zone focusing also facilitates shooting “from the hip” i.e. without bringing the camera up to the eye. Alternatively waist-level finders and the tiltable LCD screens of digital cameras allow for composing or adjusting focus without bringing unwanted attention to the photographer.

Origins of street photography

Europe

Henri Cartier-Bresson, was a 20th-century photographer whose poetic style focused on the actions of people in time and place. He was responsible in the 1950s for the idea of taking a picture at what he termed the “decisive moment”, “when form and content, vision and composition merged into a transcendent whole”. The idea of the decisive moment inspired successive generations of photographers to make candid photographs in public places before becoming outmoded photographically.

USA

The beginnings of street photography in the United States can be linked to those of jazz, both emerging as outspoken depictions of everyday life. This connection is visible in the work of the New York School of photography (not to be confused with the New York School of art). The New York School of photography was not a formal institution, but rather comprised groups of photographers in the mid-20th century based in New York City. Robert Frank’s 1958 book, The Americans, was significant. Raw and often out of focus, Frank’s images questioned mainstream photography of the time, such as Ansel Adams’s landscapes, “challenged all the formal rules laid down by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans” and “flew in the face of the wholesome pictorialism and heartfelt photojournalism of American magazines like Life and Time.” The mainstream photography community in America fiercely rejected Frank’s work, but the book later “changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it”. It was a stepping stone for fresh photographers looking to break away from the restrictions of the old style and “remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century.”

Sources: Wikipedia and digital-photography-school.com

 

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