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First time attempting street photography, thougts?

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Ugly photos with telephoto lens
In reply to sigala1, Mar 22, 2013

sigala1 wrote:

fad wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

You need to use a wider lens and get close.

Practice with iPhone until you are ready to move up to a more obvious camera.

Would you be kind enough to post your street photos that are better than William Klein's taken with a telephoto lens?

Failing that, at least better than mine taken with a 70-200?

OP has a better than average eye and could be a better than average street photographer, if he cares to put in the hours. SP is not for everybody, and the doing is a lot harder than the talking about it.

One doesn't need to be a great street photographer in order to be able to identify good and bad street photographs. (But on the other hand, you cannot be a great street photographer if you don't know what's good and what's bad.)

However, below is a photo taken with an appropriate focal length which I like to think is better than just a random photo of someone walking down the street:

There are two things I like about this photo.  One, the scowling face reminds me of the famous 1871 photo of Baudelaire, one of the grandparents of street photography, by Carjat.

The other thing I like is that it illustrates how hard it is to make a good wide angle street photo.  The right and left quadrants are wasted space.   The interesting part of the photo, the face and torso in the dead center, make up about 3.5% of the image and is too small to have maximal impact.  The other figures seem strangely distant from the main subject and could use a little more compression to have any impact.  The foreground subjects could have benefited from more DOF, which is a virtue of WA's, but was not used here.  Ironically, this is actually a telephoto subject and way of seeing taken, and ruined by using a WA lens.

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shot in downtown Manhattan.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

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