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Murals with a Message: 23 Works of Statement-Making Street Art

22 May

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Banksy may be the most famous street artist addressing topics like capitalism, war, the refugee crisis and environmental degradation, but he’s far from the only one. These political works by a wide range of international artists call attention to the ravages of the palm oil industry, police brutality, climate change, rapid industrialization and human trafficking with powerful visuals in public places.

Ernest Zacharevic, Isaac Cordal & Strok: Splash and Burn

In western Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, the palm oil industry is ravaging the forests, cruelly killing and displacing species like the orangutan. The ‘Splash and Burn’ project, curated by Ernest Zacharevic, aims to call attention to these issues through art installations by international creatives. Ernest’s own contribution is a gut-wrenching mural of the forest on fire as an orangutan tries to escape, while Strok’s shows how workers attempt to rescue orangutans clinging to life in mostly-destroyed forests. Isaac Cordal, who’s known for his street installations of miniature figures, shows recovery efforts in action, along with a striking representation of those who get rich on the industry.

Sophia Dawson: Police Brutality

Brooklyn artist Sophia Dawson has painted many hard-hitting murals in her own city, including the two shown here, which say “We Want an Immediate End to Police Brutality and Murder of Black People’ and educate the public on their rights. “I endeavor to create a narrative art that addresses human and political struggle,” says Dawson. “In doing so my aim is to convey the true stories and experiences of oppressed people from political movements in ways that more broadly form, shade and convey the individual and collective injustices they face.”

NeverCrew: Environmental Tragedies

The Swiss street artist duo known as NeverCrew (Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni) created a series of public murals addressing climate change, women asylum seekers and other issues throughout 2016. Of ‘Black Machine,’ the image of the polar bear covered in oil, the artists say “Playing with the line of sight of the forced point of view from the sidewalk and inspiring us to the theater (on whose wall was made the painting,) we decided to work on the idea of representation intended in a broad sense as portrayal, as performance and as a figuration of reality. We used direct references to the theatrical context to define a ‘real’ proportion and a starting point, but we wanted to move the attention on global warming related to human habits. We have then developed these issues trying to evoke the position (and responsibility) of man in a delicate balance, into the ecosystem, and so the choice points of view, of real awareness and the idea of a passive condition in a system.”

Sr. X: Capitalism Critiques

Spanish artist Sr. X completed this rooftop mural on an old billboard platform on London’s Great Eastern Street, with a pointed critique that requires no further explanation.

Pejac: The World Going Down the Drain

The world threatens to melt through a storm drain into the sewer below in this Santander, Spain street piece by Spanish artist Sylvestre Santiago, better known as Pejac.

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Murals With A Message 23 Works Of Statement Making Street Art

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[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

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Dirty Car & Truck Art: Moscow Street Artist Adds Critters to Filthy Vehicles

14 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Massive deep sea monsters, jungle predators and swamp creatures lurk in the grimey shadows on the backs of trucks, thanks to interventions by illustrator Nikita Golubev. Most of the featured critters are of the potentially creepy variety, including a deep-sea angler fish, octopus, shark, alligator, lion, owl and orangutan.

Based in Russia, the artist works on cars sometimes as well, but finds the broad doors and long sides on larger vehicles particularly inviting as blank canvasses for light-on-dark works of art.

As a subtractive strategy, there is less risk associated with these impermanent pieces as well — at worst, some truck driver may be less than amused to find their dirty vehicle highlighted in such a way.

Reverse graffiti is nothing new, but most artists who work in that vein operate at smaller scales, cleaning up sections of door and rear windows rather than tall trucks. Naturally, these pieces are all temporary, destined to come off in the wash or rinse out in the rain (but live on in photographs).

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Google releases list of Street View-ready certified 360-degree cameras

12 May

Google has released a list of 20 360-degree cameras that are available or will be launched over the coming months that have been certified according to Google’s new ‘Street View ready’ standard. This means they can be used in conjunction with the Street View app to create content for the Google Street View platform. 

The cameras meet one of four new “Street View ready” standards, allowing users to choose the way of uploading 360-degree content that is most suitable for them.

  • Street View mobile ready: 360 cameras that can publish Street View directly from a mobile app, without requiring a desktop workflow

  • Street View auto ready: 360 cameras tailored for vehicle-based collection with the highest accuracy

  • Street View vr ready: 360 cameras or systems that collect geometry in addition to generating sets of connected 360 photos

  • Street View workflow ready: Publishing tools (sometimes bundled with cameras) that can upload to Street View accounts

You can see the list of certified cameras in the graphic at the top of this page. More information on the Street View ready standards is available on the Google developer website. Many of the cameras in the list will be on show at Google’s Street View Summit in Tokyo, Japan this week.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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6 Reasons Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

03 May

Henri-Cartier Bresson is well-known for his use of a 50mm lens, a standard lens on a 35mm film camera. If it’s good enough for Henri, then I guess it’s good enough for most modern street and travel photographers. When I worked at EOS magazine (Canon) we published an article about a photographer who traveled to India with nothing but a standard 50mm f/1.2 lens. His photos were beautiful.

But what is it about the standard lens that’s so appealing to street and travel photographers? I’m glad you asked! Let’s take a look.

Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

What is a standard lens?

A standard lens is a prime lens with a focal length roughly equivalent to the length of the diagonal measurement of the sensor (or film). A standard lens on a full-frame camera would have a focal length of 42mm. It is a lens that produces a field of view that is similar to the human eye or appears natural. 

In practice, the 50mm lens is considered the standard for full-frame cameras (although Pentax makes a 42mm lens). A 35mm or 28mm lens is standard for an APS-C camera, and a 25mm lens is standard for a Micro Four-Thirds camera.

I made all the photos in this article with a Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens, a standard lens on my Fujifilm X-T1 camera. Standard lenses have lots of benefits. Here are some of them:

My Fuji 35mm f/1.4 standard lens.

1. Standard lenses are relatively small

Standard lenses are easy to design and make. The optical quality is superb. They are not big lenses and don’t require as many raw materials as larger lenses. They are inexpensive to manufacturer and the savings are passed onto the buyer.

But that doesn’t mean you should buy the cheapest standard lens you can find. You also need to take build quality, autofocus performance and weatherproofing into account when buying a standard lens. That $ 100 standard lens may look like a bargain, but you could easily end up wishing you had bought something better.

The small size of standard lenses is good news if you are going to be walking around for hours at a time taking photos. The lighter your kit the more energy you will have for photography.

Smaller lenses are also more unobtrusive when taking photos of people in the street. If you use a telephoto lens and point it towards somebody it’s obvious that you are taking a photo of them. But use a standard lens and you could be taking a photo of a building, the street, or the scene in general. You can take a photo of somebody without pointing the camera directly at them (as long as you’re not too close). You are much more likely to be ignored.

Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

I made this photo in Hangzhou, China with a standard lens. The girls didn’t notice me. It helped that they were totally engrossed in what they were doing.

3. Standard lenses have wide apertures

This is good news if you work in low light or like to use wide apertures for creative effect. If you like bokeh you’ll love using a standard lens. I used a wide aperture on my standard lens to make this photo. I deliberately focused on the dragon’s head and blurred the background.

Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

4. You can focus close to the subject

Most standard lenses are capable of focusing quite closely to the subject. That means you can take close-up photos without having to change lenses or use an extension tube or close-up lens. This ability, combined with the wide aperture, make standard lenses incredibly versatile.

You can step back from the subject and take a photo that includes plenty of the scene. Likewise, you can move in close and take a close-up. You can open up the aperture and create bokeh, or stop it down and get much more of the scene in focus.

The close focusing ability of a standard lens helps you create a variety of images that show both the entire scene to small details and everything in-between. It’s a great tool for building a body of work around your subject. I used my standard lens to create both these images below, taken in the same building in Beijing, China.

Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

5. Standard lenses teach you to see

When you use the same lens for an extended period of time you get to know it really well. You’ll understand how it sees the scene. You’ll know what to expect in terms of perspective and depth of field, and how that changes as you get closer to the subject.

There is nothing wrong with zoom lenses, but they add an extra element to the photo taking process as you have to decide what focal length to use. An 18-55mm kit lens, for example, can be very useful. But there’s also a dramatic difference between the 18mm and 55mm focal lengths in terms of composition and angle of view. Deciding which focal length to use wastes precious time, especially in a situation where something interesting is happening.

For example, in China, I often didn’t have much time to think. Something happened in front of me, like this boy posing for a photo, and I had to react quickly. A prime lens helped me do that as I didn’t have to think about focal length.

Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

With a standard lens (or any prime) you are committed to that focal length. You don’t have the option to zoom in or out. You can only change the framing by moving closer to or farther away from your subject. It simplifies the photo taking process and helps you create photos with simpler, stronger compositions.

6. Standard lenses occupy the middle ground

Telephoto lenses are great for taking photos of people from a distance, but photos taken with them can lack a feeling of intimacy as they are shot from a distance. It’s also harder to stop down and get the background in focus as well.

Wide-angle lenses are a real challenge as they tend to include too much of the background. It’s hard to create a simplified composition with a wide-angle lens, especially in the street where lots of things happen that are outside your control. You also need to get much closer to your subject, and may need to invade their personal space. It’s hard to do this and not have the subject react to you in some way.

Standard lenses occupy a good middle ground between these two extremes. You can get close to your subject without getting too close. You can create simpler and stronger compositions than you can with a wide-angle lens, but can still stop down and keep the background sharp.

This photo is a good example. I was fairly close to this couple. But, I if had been using a wide-angle lens I would have had to get even closer, invading their personal space and changing the dynamic. A photo taken with a telephoto lens would have a greater sense of distance and separation from the couple. In either case, I wouldn’t have made a photo capturing a candid expression like this.

Why You Should Use a Standard Lens for Street Photography

Your turn

What lenses do you like to use for street and travel photography? Are standard lenses part of your kit or do you prefer something else? Let us know in the comments – it will be interesting to see which lenses DPS readers prefer to use.


Andrew is the author of the ebook The Candid Portrait.

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THE HAUS Berlin: Abandoned Building Taken Over By 165 Street Artists

25 Apr

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Set to be demolished in June to make way for an apartment building,THE HAUS in Berlin is a formerly abandoned 5-story building filled with site-specific works by 165 street artists. Dreamed up by artists Kimo, Bolle and Jörni of Die Dixons collective, THE HAUS was once a bank on avenue Kurfürstendamm, but fell into disuse over the years. The artists activated their network of creative contacts to temporarily turn it into a street art free-for-all that’s so popular with visitors, there’s often a two-hour wait outside.

The artists, who range from Berlin locals to international activists, worked almost nonstop from mid-January through March 9th to complete the project, and installations include geometric patterns made of tape, video projections, interactive exhibits and sculpture.

The exhibit opened April 1st, and guided tours run almost all day long on Tuesdays through Sundays with a donation-based, pay-what-you-can system and a ‘no phones’ rule. “Look through your eyes and not through the screen of your phone,” the website urges. You can see each individual installation on THE HAUS website, and learn more about the artists who created them.

Even beyond the art itself, the project is definitely a community effort. Nearly all of the supplies were donated by supportive businesses, and a four-star hotel even put up all the artists free of charge. Berliner Pilsner donated beer. In an interview with Vice’s The Creators Project, Kimo stresses that THE HAUS is “not a marketing joke,” noting that nothing was for sale.

“Feel the freshest urban art gallery ever with a guided tour!” says the site. “108 dope artworks are waiting to be seen, to be experienced and to be memorized by you. Every single piece is created by one of the 165 artists from Berlin and all over the world. But be aware that THE HAUS is created to be destroyed – in the end of May the gallery is going to close and the wrecking ball will follow.”

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NK INK: North Korea Graffiti, Stencils & Street Art

17 Apr

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

North Korea may be making the headlines like never before but the world’s graffiti artists have been featuring the Hermit Kingdom’s leaders for years.

When it comes to North Korea, there’s a lot to look down on. Take the country’s unique leadership – a communist dynasty? Who knows what the late Karl Marx might think of that (though it’s not hard to guess). In any case, NK-themed graffiti and street art should never be looked down upon, at least not by those living outside North Korea. Flickr user _eddie999_ brings us our lead image featuring Team America: World Police’s take on Kim Jong-il, snapped in Brighton, UK early in 2012. Just below, Mauricio Balvanera’s (maubrowncow) 2007 photo of a stenciled North Korean soldier with a flower in the muzzle of his rifle gazes out from a wall near the Toy Factory Lofts in Los Angeles, California.

The Sun Is (Still) There

Kim Il-sung (“Kim become the sun”) was North Korea’s first supreme leader – the “Great Leader” in official parlance – who held power from 1948 to his death from natural causes in 1994. Among his most lasting accomplishment was the establishment of the Kim ruling dynasty, now into its third generation in the form of Kim Jong-un. Speaking of lasting accomplishments, Flickr user Loïc Brohard snapped the above artwork captioned “Vote Kim il Sung” in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in April of 2010.

The Son Is Here

Kim Jong-il inherited power from his father in 1994 and was known in North Korea as the “Dear Leader”. Flickr user Larry Jones (westbymidwest) captured this full-color portrait of Kim Jong-il in full panhandler mode on September 20th of 2009 at the Albany Bulb, an artificial landfill peninsula extending westward from the the east shore of San Francisco Bay. It’s uncertain whether the splash of orange paint across the portrait’s “HELP” sign is part of the original composition or a later amendment.

A Spectacles Of Himself

Kim Jong-il was over 50 years old when he assumed North Korea’s leadership but he had been groomed for the position since the early 1980s. Kim the Second raised the cult of personality established and encouraged by his father to ever-greater heights. The stencil above, found in NYC’s Koreatown district, dates from 2009 and was captured in April of that year by Flickr user e.yamasaki.

The Future’s So Bright…

Kim Jong-il’s designer shades take center stage in the above NYC photo pastiche snapped in late 2011 by Flickr user allan molho (amolho4). Sources state Kim Jong-il was a fervent fan of Western cinema, boasting a collection of over 20,000 titles including every Elvis Presley flick. His fascination with “The King” in his late-1960’s rhinestone jumpsuit phase may have influenced Kim’s sartorial preferences, at least when it came to prescription and fashion eyewear.

Thanks, Obama

First rule of tinfoil-hat prognostication and doomsday cult propaganda: never predict near-future events! The unknown creator of the above paste-up mini-manifesto evidently didn’t get that memo. To their credit, they did manage to evoke the spirits (and images) of Lincoln, Churchill and an alarmingly youthful FDR to add weight to their shrill Cassandra callout. Bonus: stating “Prime minister of North Korea said so its the God truth.” Kudos to Flickr users shoehorn99 and allan molho (amolho4) for capturing these ravings in August of 2008 and April of 2009, respectively.

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7 Ways to Become More Spontaneous with Your Street Photography

16 Apr

As you become more experienced and comfortable doing street photography, you will notice that the way you shoot will begin to change. You will notice more, focus more on what you like, and your work will improve significantly. At this point, it can be important to embrace spontaneity in the way that you shoot.

street photography NYC

So often the first shot of a scene that you take will be the best, for reasons I can’t explain, except that your gut and instinct are something to embrace with this type of photography. The more experienced you become, the more vital they will be.

Here are some tips that have helped me to shoot in a more spontaneous fashion.

1. Choose your camera settings so that you can forget about them

The first step is to figure out your camera settings so that you can forget about them. You don’t want to worry about your camera or changing settings as you’re shooting. When you’re feeling good, it often feels like the camera isn’t there.street photography

If it’s a shady day and the lighting is consistent, then it’s easy to choose your settings and not have to worry about them. But it becomes tough when you are shooting in direct sunlight, where some areas are lit with extreme light and others are in the shadows.

For these situations, what I will do is change my camera to Aperture Priority mode, around f/8, and I will put my ISO up high, to around 1600. I will make sure that when I point my camera at shady areas it will still give me a fast enough shutter speed, like 1/250th of a second, to freeze motion in people. Then, when I point the camera in sunny areas, the shutter speed will be something insane, maybe 1/1000th or more of a second.

Obviously, these settings are not perfect for sunny areas since the ISO is high, but with newer cameras, ISOs of 1600 look beautiful. I prefer to shoot with these settings because it allows me to forget about my settings regardless of what light I walk into. It makes the day much more fun and relaxing, and I can spend more energy looking around.

2. Slow down and shoot quick

street photography NYC

When I work with newer photographers, I often seeing them run from place to place, searching for that elusive spectacular moment, as if the more ground they cover will yield more of those moments. Those moments will occur whether you are moving fast or not. Except when you are moving fast, you’re not focusing on the area that you’re in at the moment. There are interesting photos everywhere, particularly in places that you might have previously disregarded.

The slower you move, the faster you will be able to react when something happens. By increasing your awareness, you will allow yourself to be more spontaneous. You will have more gut feelings to follow. This will allow you to react much quicker when actually capturing the photograph.

3. Spend more time looking with your eyes than the viewfinder

street photography scene

In street photography, your eyes should be the real viewfinder. Focus your energy on looking around. It’s actually hard to do, especially if you are easily distracted or going from place to place. Notice the potential for something to happen with your eyes and get in position, then the viewfinder and camera will follow. But it should almost feel like the camera isn’t there – the hard work is done before you even bring it up to your eye.

4. Figure out how to take good photographs anywhere

street photography - garbage

Stop taking things for granted. The more you think an area will not provide you with a good photograph, the more you should try to get a good one there. Much of the time you’ll get nothing, but you will be surprised how often this works out, and it’s a fantastic way to train your eye.

This will also allow you to create unique and interesting photographs. By shooting in areas where not many others photograph, your good shots will be unexpected. They will stand out.

5. Go with your gut

street photography - crosswalk

We’ve talked a lot about going with your gut already, but what does that really mean? When you’re out there shooting, you’re going to get feelings that moments are about to happen. Most people wait to actually see something happen before they shoot, and often the moment has disappeared by then.

When you feel something good is about to occur, capture the moment in a quick and spontaneous way. Go for it instinctively – use your instincts to your advantage and develop them. While many of these shots will turn out to be nothing, when you hit one at the perfect moment, you will be left with an incredible image that you could not have captured otherwise. Be spontaneous.

6. Don’t worry about perfection

street photography

It is common for newer photographers to worry about cutting people’s feet off, something getting in the way, or the shot being skewed. I have heard so many comments about wishing that a person, group, or object wasn’t in the background or in a certain location. This is, of course, important stuff to consider. But when I hear these comments being made, I detect that the reason they find these things annoying is because they ruin the perfection of the image.

Have you ever shown an image to someone and the first thing they notice is this random background detail that’s barely noticeable? This is part of having too much focus on perfection, and it can drive you crazy. You’re trying to get the most perfect and clean image possible, and that is rarely possible in street photography. You take what is given to you, and an interesting moment is an interesting moment.

Street photography is supposed to feel real, and so many of those imperfections can add to that feeling of it being a spontaneous moment. They can improve an image just as much as they can ruin it. Try to embrace these imperfections when you can as being part of a real and special moment.

7. Don’t be afraid to take weird photographs

street photography - weird

These photographs are for you. You don’t need to take photographs that appeal to everyone, and not everything has to be perfect, grand, and pleasing. Capture photos that are not standard, off in some way, and weird. Focus on what interests you and try to foster that. This is where the voice in your work will begin to shine.

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5 Tips for Photographing Street Portraits

16 Apr

Isn’t it always the way that the most daunting things in life are usually the most rewarding? It takes a certain amount of backbone to shoot street portraits. Whether it’s walking up to a total stranger and asking their permission, or taking a more candid, reportage style approach, many photographers get put off through lack of confidence.

It’s a great shame because there is no more fascinating photographic subject than people.

Street portraits Thailand

If you follow the Humans of New York project, you’ll know that every single person has a story to tell; sometimes uplifting, often heartbreaking, occasionally hilarious. The very best street portraits give us a glimpse at those stories in a single frame.

If you’ve always wanted to give it a go but have yet to summon up the courage, hopefully, the following tips will give you all the motivation you need.

The approach

The first time you approach a potential subject is going to be the hardest. It can sometimes feel like an insurmountable hurdle. But try and think about it from your potential subject’s point of view. He or she is going about their daily routine, possibly doing the same thing they have been for years and finding it all a little boring. Then, out of nowhere, someone has judged them interesting enough to want to take their picture. Chances are, you’ve just made that person’s day. At the very least, you’ve given them an anecdote to tell their friends.

He or she is going about their daily routine, possibly doing the same thing they have been for years and finding it all a little boring. Then, out of nowhere, someone has judged them interesting enough to want to take their picture. Chances are, you’ve just made that person’s day. At the very least, you’ve given them an anecdote to tell their friends.

street portraits photography China

Different methods

So, what’s the best way to approach someone? Different photographer’s stand by different techniques. Some just come straight out and ask if they can take a picture. Others want to try and make a connection first in a more roundabout way, striking up a conversation or asking questions.

One psychological technique favored by many salesmen is to first ask for a small, unrelated favor, such as directions or whether they have the correct time. Studies have shown that once someone has done you one favor, they’re much more likely to say yes to another, bigger one. Don’t ask me why—people are complex!

In any approach, confidence is obviously vital, but enthusiasm is just as important. Enthusiasm is contagious. Be genuinely interested, listen carefully to what they’re saying and be respectful. Also, if you can make them laugh, or at least smile, you’ll find all their barriers will start to lower.

The environment

Street portraits market London

Where you find your subject (i.e. their environment) can sometimes tell you as much about them as what they look like.

Finding an impeccably groomed city trader striding around the financial district is to be expected. But finding him in a crowded flea market hints at a story. If the environment adds to the portrait, include as much of it as you need to enhance the photograph.

If you want your portrait to be all about the person, if they have an interesting face or you want to highlight the way they dress, try and find a background that won’t distract from them. A busy background can confuse the eye and take away from the impact you’re trying to make. If you need to, open up your aperture to throw the background out of focus and bring attention back to where it should be.

Street portraits photography East Timor

The eyes have it

The most important part of your portrait will always be the eyes. The eyes tell us everything; how the person is feeling, what they’re thinking, if they’re happy or anxious, and even if they would rather you stopped taking their picture.

street portraits photography China

Eye contact

Eye contact is incredibly powerful in real life. If you’re talking to someone and they maintain a natural, unwavering eye contact, there’s something primeval that makes you trust them and creates a connection. It’s the same with a portrait. You need that eye contact to make a successful shot.

If you photograph a subject who’s not looking directly back at you, the natural instinct is to follow their gaze to see what they’re looking at. You can sometimes use this to your advantage to draw the viewer’s eye towards an element of the picture you want them to focus on. For example, in this shot of a man carrying baskets full of rabbits, the eye line of the two children always brings us back to the cages.

street portraits candid photography China

On a technical note; as I’m sure you’ve noticed, people tend to blink. Try to take a quick burst of shots of your subject to ensure you capture at least some with their eyes open. Autofocus systems can also tend to hunt around, and taking more shots increases your chances of grabbing a pin sharp image.

The candid street portrait

If you’re looking for a way to ease yourself into this genre, shooting candid street portraits holds some definite advantages. You do away with the whole nail-biting business of asking permission and perhaps suffering a rejection. You capture people as they really are rather than the front they put up when a camera’s pointed at them.

But that’s not to say candid street photography is easy. If anything, it’s more difficult (or, at least, a different kind of difficult) and can be just as nerve-wracking.

street photography portrait candid Jerez

Your timing has to be split second in order to capture the spontaneous moments that occur all around you. You need to know your equipment inside out in order to be able to frame a great composition and adjust settings as needed quickly.

Capturing great candid street pictures takes a great deal of practice and a lot of luck. Whatever your personal feelings are on the ethics of taking someone’s photo without permission, there are people who really don’t appreciate it.

It would be very unlikely you’d get into any serious trouble, but it’s worth using your street smarts and common sense. As a personal rule of thumb, if a certain person looks too mean for me to even consider asking permission to photograph them, there’s no way I’d try and sneak a shot.

The technicalities

Whatever type of street portraits you’re taking, the one thing you don’t usually have on your side is time. With candid shots, you’re constantly reacting to the world as it unfolds in front of you at its usual breakneck pace, and with the more posed approach, you’re still cutting into someone’s, probably busy, day.

You need to be able to work quickly, without fussing over settings or lens changes or tripping over bags. Keep your equipment as simple as possible—a single camera body and a zoom lens that covers all eventualities. I put a lot of trust in my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L. It might not have the widest aperture in the world, but I’m happy to trade that for the versatility.

I generally shoot in Aperture Priority as well. So I only really need to think about the depth of field I want in a shot and let the camera’s far superior brain work out the rest of the details for me.

street portrait photography China

One area where you do need to stock up is memory cards. Make sure you have plenty of storage space with you, you’ll be taking a lot of images—especially if you’re heading out for a day of sneaky candid shooting. Throw in a couple of freshly charged batteries as well, just in case.

Conclusion

Like every area of photography, shooting street portraits has challenges all of its own. By far the most difficult thing to overcome is finding the courage to approach your subjects.

The good news is, if you’ve always felt too intimidated to attempt this genre of photography, you’re in esteemed company. Legendary names such as Diane Arbus and Elliott Erwitt have said they’ve used their cameras as both a kind of license to take photos and to act as a barrier between them and their subject. There’s still something mysterious about a camera that intrigues people—even more so these days when most photos are taken on phones.

street portrait photography candid Jerez

All it takes is a little daring, a projected air of confidence, and you can capture some unique moments and great street portraits.

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Anatomical Street Art: Sliced Animal Murals Reveal Disturbing Details

04 Apr

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

sliced spider

Marvelous if also a bit morbid, these highly detailed murals show the complex workings inside giant-sized animals, revealing muscle, sinew, tendons, veins and bones in various different configurations.

animal mural

Nychos is a street artist from Austria who creates spectacular, detailed artworks. He “grew up in a little village near Graz (Styria, South of Austria). He calls it the green hell. Born into an Austrian hunter’s family, he saw, at a very young age, things which normal people would consider as cruel and brutal.”

exploded whale

The scale of works by Nychos plays to the level of detail, and each piece is crafted differently, almost like an experiment in sequential dissections by a scientist or medical student. His subjects span the animal kingdom as well, from kangaroos and rats to whales and alligators (as well as humans).

cut dog

Some of the murals are sliced cleanly while others operate like layered x-rays, revealing various depths at different points along their length.

anamial

sliced snake

Still others feature intertwined animals at various stages of dissection or translucency, like the two snakes above, or act alike exploded axonometric drawings with pieces pulled out from the core.

translucent

While Nychos also exhibits in galleries and makes smaller-scale prints, his large public pieces are particularly compelling (if somewhat disturbing).

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Window Shades: Contextual Street Art Frames View of Greek Cityscape

04 Apr

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

shades

A turn of phrase meets art in this mural made to look like a face, with glass-framed eyes reflecting the world outside.

shades-at-night

Graffiti interventionist Achilles likes to put art in context, using walls and spaces as backdrops for layered works that wouldn’t work quite the same way anywhere else.

streetartsurprise

angles

twistedart

Many of his site-specific works play with perspective and create visual surprises by tucking elements onto different surfaces to create reveals as the viewer approaches.

Compared to his complex works, his artist bio is short and to the point: “Achilles lives and creates in Athens, Greece. He loves street art, graffiti and painting. He works as a freelancer creating murals, portraits, paintings, illustrations etc.”

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