march 10 – 11 i was in a street photography workshop in downtown los angeles. bellamy hunt (aka japan camera hunter) and rinzi ruiz ran the workshop with elizabeth wang-lee adding to the slides and discussion. i loved this workshop. we did a ton of shooting. a ton! each day was about 8 hours total … 10am – 6pm … day one we shot for about 2 hours, day two we were on the streets for about 6 hours … and i loved it. we hit the fashion district, jewelry district, santee alley, city hall, central market, little tokyo, union station, olvera street and more … i’m sure i’m forgetting some places … (my 5 favorite images are at the bottom of the page)
what did i learn from this workshop? i think the main thing i learned this weekend is that street photography is a very individual process. each photographer has a different idea of what street photography is to them. each photographer has a different style of street photography and different ways of approaching it and different ideas of how to achieve it.
i learned that some photographers chase light and others chase people.
some photographers prefer to move on the streets while others like to find a great location and wait for the right subject to walk through.
i learned that the fear of shooting in the streets is mostly in your head. 95% of the time people either don’t notice you or don’t care. and that the words “thank you” immediately after the shot can disarm many situations.
while i do not have a street style yet, i learned that i prefer eye contact in my images, most of the time.
i learned that film is making a huge comeback.
i learned that there’s a difference between a street photograph and street portrait.
i learned that people have different opinions about bokeh …
i learned to start looking for and chasing light.
i learned that all of the streettogs i have met are very willing to help. they are willing to share their knowledge, share their opinions and share their gear all to help others improve.
this weekend reinforced the idea that, when photographing someone walking … look for the triangle. It gives the image energy.
i learned that the central market has great tacos (i actually learned this in jordan’s lightroom class).
i learned that i should stop watermarking my images that i put on line and just post them in a low resolution so if someone wants to use them without permission they will be basically unusable.
i learned that i over share my images. i already knew this, but it was reinforced: i need to edit, edit, edit.
i learned that i can win a raffle.
i learned that my generosity is slow take hold because when i won the raffle of an item that i purchased 24 hours prior, i should have had them re-raffle the item so someone else could have won it.
i learned that downtown is a lot smaller than i realized … we walked from the staples center to olvera street (and back).
i think what i really learned is that no one can actually teach you how to be a street photographer. they can help you, they can give you tips and pointers and let you know what works for them, but in the end, street photography is a personal experience and expression, you choose what pointers you want to take and which ones don’t apply to you.
finally, i learned that if rinzi and/or bellamy hold any more street workshops, i’ll be there.
some shots from the workshop weekend: