When you think that you live in a place where there are not to many opportunities to shoot, you need to explore new places.
I recently discover a great place to shot in Panama, its just 20min driving form the city; it’s the closest beach from the city. Is for sure not a «beauty» beach like the ones in the caribbean ocean, but I discovered that is a great place to shot in the sunset¡
Today, I submitted some photos to participate in a Photography Contest in Panama, the subject of the contest is: «Culture and Traditions» I decided to submit some photos that I took in Panama, and I did it as a way to thank this beautiful country for being our home in the last 9 years o. I’m not from Panama, actually I’m from Mexico; but I have lived here the last 9 years due to my work.
Here the photos that I submitted, please tell me in the comments what do you think, if you want to see more photos just go to my Instagram account.
Five months ago I decided to upgrade my gear, I was tempted to choose a Nikon DSLR Full frame, as my previous was not full frame (Nikon D7100) but I decided that this was not the right choice as my primary shooting style is street photography and a DSLR is a very big for my purpose.
The other alternative was to buy a Mirrorless system, I like some of these cameras; especially because of its size, however the one that I have (Olympus OMD Mark II) is very good for street photography but its image quality is not as good as the photos that I can take with my Nikon D7100 camera. I decided that was not a good choice as I wanted to start printing my photos…
So what? I research and I found a camera that have both worlds, small enough for street photography with super image quality. My choice was the Leica Q…. You will ask why not to wait for the Leica Q2 as it was just announced… The price difference was 2X, while the Leica Q2 is at aprox, $5500usd, a used Leica Q in very good conditions was at $2,300usd. So to save that money I decided that the Leica Q was the perfect choice for me…
And guess what? The Leica Q has overpassed all my expectations.
Here some images that I have took with the Leica Q.
If you have any specific question just send me message in the comments or through my Instagram and I will let you know my experience…
About 4 years ago I discovered a way to express myself, a way to create a way to show others the way I see the streets. Here some ideas of Why I do photography, please write in the comments Why you do photography.
Diversity / Interact with new people.
I like to create portraits of random people that I consider unique, everytime that I walk in a new street I’m curious of the people, I think that 98% of the people is very common (non-unique), but the other 2% is people with something special that make them shine among the others, this is especially seen in old people. Here some examples:
Create – Photography as a way to do art
I like photography as it allows you to imagine, dream and create. FOr me create is a way to do something extraordinary out of the ordinary, here some examples:
Discover Beauty in the world.
Is a great way to pay attention to our environment, is the perfect way to see beauty out of mundane moments. FOr me photography has helped me to see beauty where before I didn’t see anything…
When you are into photography, you will be always thinking where is the next great spot to shot, and you will dream to be in places that you have never imagine (how about Tokio, London, Chicago, NY, Vietnam, etc), but also I have discovered that to make great shots you don’t need to travel so far, I’m currently living in Panama CIty, a place that before making photos I considered «small» with few options to shot, but this has forced me to see it in a different way and I discover to many places to shot…
Comment why do you like about photography, what is your purpose or inspiration to go out and shot
I am convinced that we can make great photos with simple tools, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a state of the art cameras that can cost you more than $5,000usd; instead I recommend you to use the camera that you have in hand. Try to make a lot of photos, the more you shot the best results you will get.
Today I want to share the work of one of my favorite photographers on Instagram that only shoot with Iphone, in her work you can find really good composition, stunning colors and a defined style.
You can find her as so.asa on Instagram, hero some of her photos that I like the most:
And now, here some photos that I have took with my Iphone, I normally shot with other cameras but as the Iphone is the only that I have always with me, sometimes I use it to create some images like this:
Tell me in the comments which are your favorites Instagram photographers, especially if they shoot with Iphone only…
Photowalks is the perfect exercise to go and shoot street photography; being with a group of people that is shooting randomly will make you feel more comfortable when approaching strangers, and you will be able to get closer to the subjects.
The other interesting thing is that you will meet new photographers and you will learn from them, try to interact with them, pay attention to what they do, what setting they use in their cameras, what they do to approach random people in the street, you will learn tons of new things.
Here some photos of a Photo walk in Panama City. Fist in black and white and then Color, tell me which ones you like more:
TRAVEL LIGHT AND WITH MINIMAL WEIGHT. For street photography having a small camera makes all the difference, you will feel more comfortable to shoot closer to the subject, you will have more energy and more happiness.
NO ZOOM LENSES (USE PRIME LENSES). First the quality of your images will be better, second these lenses are smaller which contributes to my first point, and third by having no zoom options you will get use to the same size of the image, and will force you to walk a little more and get closer to your subject.
BE PATIENT AFTER FINDING A GOOD SPOT. This is known as the fishing technique, first you find a good spot; for example a good background with leading lines, and after that you wait until something happens, for example a person walking. Here an example I saw this place in Panama old town, I liked it and I also liked the dog, but I was patent and I shoot when the kid appeared.
RISE YOUR ISO. When you start shooting you will heard that ISO is not good as you will lose image quality, but that is not true, especially with the cameras of this times. My recommendation is to rise ISO up to the point in which you don’t lose image quality, that will open space to increase the shooter speed which in street photography is a must as most of the time you will shoot moving targets, so with a high speed you can capture the subjects better. A good example is the below image that I took in Panama.
SHOOT IN BURST MODE. Specially when you have moving targets, like dogs I recommend to shoot some images in the same place and then choose the best one. For example below dog, it was playing in the beach, I took like 20 photos and I just liked one, which is the one below.
Street Photography is more than creating images, is about slow down and appreciate the things around us. I work in a multinational company where slow down is simple impossible; my day start with something urgent and end with something more urgent. What I like the most when I shoot in the streets is that I don’t have pressure, I take my time to interact with people, I disconnect from social media and last but not least I use mi imagination to create photos that would never be possible, sometimes is about seeing the right place and wait until something interesting happen. Here an example a kid playing Cricket in Panama? I only saw this one time in 8 years living in this country….
Shooting street photography is challenging, you have to be aware of the environment and form the people . In some locations you have to take more risk than in others, but what I have learn is that you need to tackle your fears, go and shoot, the worst thing that have happened to me is angry people that asked me to erase the photo. I learned that to take better photos you need to be closer to the subject and that exact moment is when you put yourself at risk.
The hardest part of shooting in the streets is to be brave, its that exact moment in which you know that you need to shoot but you feel that you are crossing a barrier that put you at risk. For example the next photo is form a native person in Panama (a Kuna). It is not easy to be in front and shot, its not easy to do that with a prime lent (no zoom) in this case a 17mm lent form my Olympus camera. But guess what? She don’t even saw me…
One thing that I always have in my mind, is that a shoot that is missed is a shot that will never return, this happens in street photography as your task is to find the right moment or as Henri Cartier Bresson explains is to find «the decisive moment».
Hope you have enjoyed this, leave your comments with your own thoughts.
«Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”.
Photograph your own backyard. Many people think that they need to go some place far away to make interesting photos. Do something about it, go and look inspiration across the street where you live. In my case I born in big city (Mexico City), there it was easier to find good spots to shoot, and there after I moved to live in Panama, which is very small compared to the place where I live, but I have found that just crossing the street there are many opportunities to take interesting photos.
Be sophisticated, don’t be easily satisfied. Ask yourself how good you want to be and based on that, learn form the best photographers. It will be always better to learn form Magnum Photographers than to spend time seeing single images on Instagram. Now a day with digital cameras you can spend a lot of time in a single scene and shoot many photos, don’t get satisfied with the first, is better to take many and choose the best.
Find your voice. Ask yourself what is your life about?, where are you coming from? What is your aspiration?, what makes you unique? Who is the persons that you want to become? And form there you can start building your own photography style.
Capture soul and emotion. In street photography you are always taking pictures of random human beings, try to make eye contact to know more about the person that is in front of you, get closer to see his/her emotions.
Get inspiration form outside. To make better photos its not only about learn photography technique, its also about learning form other arts, other disciplines; for example learn about painting, there you can learn how to do layers and then apply that to your own photos. When you find an interesting scene move around the angle of your camera, move yourself, until you get the right image.
Composition is about to make it right. All the elements needs to be build into what you are trying to communicate, find that exact moment in which everything is perfectly connected.
Keep it simple. This applies not only into photography, also apply to business, and daily life. I used to have a boss at Procter & Gamble that used to say that we need to do simply things that even his son of eight years can understand. In photography you need to focus in the subject, or in what got your attention and then eliminate all the distractive elements.
You won’t make good pictures every time. Photography is like playing the piano; you can try it or you can play it six hours per day. If you want to be a master you need to shoot everyday.