This was taken at the Konzorcij bus stop on Slovenska street in Ljubljana’s city center, probably my favorite ‘street’ image from the past month. I’m especially pleased that it was taken with my iPhone, which I finally made a point to use more in October for some raw street shooting. There’s a habit starting to form, one that I hope to stick to.
Why the switch to iPhone?
Mostly, I’ve gotten tired of lugging a DSLR around for street shooting. It’s difficult to be discreet. With phones, you can blend right in with everyone else that’s walking around with one in their hand. Which these days means pretty much just about everyone else.
While there are obvious limitations with phone cameras, the quality has evolved to an exceptional level. The limitations can be used to your advantage — and to up your game. They’ll force you to shoot more carefully. You’ll pay better attention to color and especially light. I pay more attention to, and learn to anticipate, movement.
And it’s pretty much always in my pocket. Or in a pocket in the bag that’s always on my shoulder.
These were all taken here in Ljubljana –for those new to this site, that’s the charming little city that you’ve probably never heard of that’s the capital of Slovenia, a country at least some of you probably couldn’t place on a map. (Fear not, many of our neighbors in Italy –that’s immediately to our west– and Austria –who are walling off our north– can’t place Slovenia on a map, either.)
The subject matter here spans the gamut. I’m mainly on the look out for interesting looking people that stand out, patterns, contrasts, shapes, moments I can steal –without coming across as a creepy bastard.
What you won’t find here is what typically passes for ‘travel photography’, shots meant for a tourist bureau brochure or promotional snaps for a ‘Visit Us!’ Instagram account. The best street photography captures moments, the heartbeat or sweaty palm of a place, reducing and distilling it to its barest essence. Successfully pulling that off is extremely rare which makes strolling and shooting such an addictive high.
Viewers have wildly varying comfort levels with street photography –both in what and how they shoot (if they’re photographers) and what they like to see. When shooting people, closer is usually better. That’s an especially big challenge for some, but to succeed, there’s not avoiding it.
If I’m shooting in obviously public places, I think pretty much anything goes, but I do follow two simple rules: never snap images of children and if I’m shooting a person, to never compromise their dignity.
Processing, or “look”-wise, these are all over the map. This month I’ll work on at least narrowing that down a little bit. Consistency is important.
The rest of my October gallery is below.
Got a favorite? What works? What doesn’t? I would love to read your thoughts. If you’re a blogger and have a similar best-of monthly gallery, drop the link in the comments; I’d love to check ’em out.