street photography 101: an introduction to street photography

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STREET PHOTOGRAPHY 101 Eric Kim / 4-20-2015

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Page 1: Street Photography 101: An Introduction to Street Photography

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY 101

Eric Kim / 4-20-2015

Page 2: Street Photography 101: An Introduction to Street Photography

What is street photography?

SF, 2014

Page 3: Street Photography 101: An Introduction to Street Photography

Why shoot street photography?

SF, 2015

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How to shoot street photography?

Downtown LA, 2014

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1. Work the scene

SF, 2014

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2. Don’t hesitate

Lansing, Michigan, 2013

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Martin Parr / GB. England. New Brighton. From 'The Last Resort'.1985.

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3. Ask for permission

Tucson, Arizona, 2013

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Eric Kim / Tucson, 2013

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Eric Kim / Tucson, 2013

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Eric Kim / Tucson, 2013

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Eric Kim / Tucson, 2013

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Eric Kim / Tucson, 2013

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Eric Kim / Tucson, 2013

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4. Ask your subjects not to smile

Istanbul, 2013

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Eric Kim / Istanbul, 2013

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Eric Kim / Istanbul, 2013

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Eric Kim / Istanbul, 2013

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Eric Kim / Istanbul, 2013

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5. Pretend you’re shooting something behind your subject

NYC, 2014

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3 Traits of Great Street Photographers

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1. Think long-term

Josef Koudelka / CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Slovakia. Zehra. 1967. Gypsies.

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“For 17 years I never paid any rent [laughs]. Even the Gypsies were sorry for me because they thought I was poorer than them. At night they were in their caravans and I was the guy who was sleeping outside beneath the sky.” - Josef Koudelka

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Josef Koudelka / CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Slovakia. Rakusy. 1966. Gypsy.

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“I’m willing to show my photos, not so much my contact prints. I often work on small prints. I look at them frequently, and for a long time. I put them up on the wall, and compare them, to make sure of my choice.” - Josef Koudelka

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Josef Koudelka / CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Slovakia. Kendice. 1966. Gypsies.

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“When I wake up in the morning, and I feel good, I tell myself: ‘Today may be the last day of my life.’ That is my sense of urgency. But I keep wondering about what you just said, that I am a conscience. People have told me that. People much younger than myself have told me: ‘I would like to work as you do.’” - Josef Koudelka

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Josef Koudelka / ROMANIA. 1968.

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“I am not interested in repetition. I don’t want to reach the point from where I wouldn’t know how to go further. It’s good to set limits for oneself, but there comes a moment when we must destroy what we have constructed.” - Josef Koudelka

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Josef Koudelka / CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Slovakia. Zehra. 1967. Gypsies.

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“I don’t care what people think, I know well enough who I am. I refuse to become a slave to their ideas. When you stay in the same place for a certain time, people put you in a box and expect you to stay there.” - Josef Koudelka

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“I always photographed with the idea that no one would be interested in my photos, that no one would pay me, that if I did something I only did it for myself.” - Josef Koudelka

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“I photograph only something that has to do with me, and I never did anything that I did not want to do. I do not do editorial and I never do advertising. No, my freedom is something I do not give away easily.”- Josef Koudelka

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2. Don’t settle

Trent Parke / AUSTRALIA. Sydney. Martin Place, Moving bus. 2002

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“I went each evening, for about 15 minutes, when the light came in between two buildings. It happens only at a certain time of the year: you’ve just got that little window of opportunity. I was relying so much on chance – on the number of people coming out of the offices, on the sun being in the right spot, and on a bus coming along at the right time to get that long, blurred streak of movement. If I didn’t get the picture, then I was back again the next day. I stood there probably three or four times a week for about a month. I used an old Nikon press camera that you could pull the top off and look straight down into, because I was shooting from a tiny tripod that was only about 8cm high. I had tried to lie on the ground, but people wouldn’t stand anywhere near me. I finally got this picture after about three or four attempts. I shot a hundred rolls of film, but once I’d got that image I just couldn’t get anywhere near it again. That’s always a good sign: you know you’ve got something special.” - Trent Parke

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Trent Parke / AUSTRALIA. Sydney. Dream/Life series. 2001.

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“If I can’t go 100 per cent at something, it’s over. I need to live what I do from the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep (and then to dream about it some more). I didn’t play sport to be average I played to be the best that I could be. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about making sure you are giving it your best shot with the abilities you have been granted…” - Trent Parke

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Trent Parke / AUSTRALIA. Sydney. Dream Life/series. 2001.

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“There’s definitely that point where you know you’ve got something special, but it’s when [you’re doing something such as] using the camera with movement or where you take a chance on something. You think, “that’s a great picture, but how do I make an even greater picture?” Often it’ll be something that I’ve been trying for maybe weeks before, that I’ll be working up to in technique, that might all of a sudden come to fruition in that particular picture. But I’ll push something, and push something and push something, until I get it.” - Trent Parke

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Trent Parke / AUSTRALIA. Sydney. From Dream/Life series. 1998.

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“It’s not enough for me just to be out on the street and shooting people – I need to be trying to push medium of photography as well. I want to create new and interesting pictures rather than stuff that has been seen before. It’s a multi-layered thing. I don’t feel I’m clever enough to be able to set images up. I’d rather see them happening around me, grab them and let chance play a part in it … And when the photograph works it has a kind of epic quality.” - Trent Parke

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3. Draw inspiration from other fields

Sebastiao Salgado / Greater Burhan oilfields, Kuwait. 1991

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“My pictures gave me 10 times more pleasure than the reports I was working on. To be a photographer was, for me, an incredible way to express myself, an incredible way to the see the world from another point.” - Sebastião Salgado

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Sebastiao Salgado / Serra Pelada gold mine, Brazil, 1986

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“You should have a good knowledge of history, of geopolitics, of sociology and anthropology to understand the society that we’re part of and to understand yourself and where you’re from in order to make choices. A lack of this knowledge will be much more limiting than any technical ability.” - Sebastião Salgado

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Sebastiao Salgado / Korem camp. Ethiopia . 1984

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“Photography is not objective. It is deeply subjective – my photography is consistent ideologically and ethically with the person I am.” – Sebastião Salgado

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Sebastiao Salgado / A malnourished, dehydrated woman in the hospital in Gourma Rharous. Mali . 1985

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“I don’t believe a person has a style. What people have is a way of photographing what is inside them. What is there comes out.” - Sebastião Salgado

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Sebastiao Salgado / Worker resting, Covered in oil, Oil wells, Kuwait, 1991

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“I very much like to work on long-term projects. There is time for the photographer and the people in front of the camera to understand each other. There is time to go to a place and understand what is happening there. When you spend more time on a project, you learn to understand your subjects. There comes a time when it is not you who is taking the pictures. Something special happens between the photographer and the people he is photographing. He realizes that they are giving the pictures to him.” - Sebastião Salgado

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3 Street Photography Assignments

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1. Compliment everybody for a day

Downtown LA, 2013

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2. The 5 Yes/5 No Challenge

San Diego, 2014

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3. The .7 Meter Challenge

Downtown LA, 2015

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Questions & Answers

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Let’s connect

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• Twitter/Instagram: @erickimphoto

• erickimphotography.com/blog