Category Archives: street photography

THE STREET MUSICIANS OF NEW ORLEANS IN PHOTOGRAPHS/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

3ws Street musician at dusk in New Orleans 

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 To me there is no other place like New Orleans.As a “people”photographer” It is my heaven made to order!

I  love photographing the many street musicians.If I get a chance to hang around and talk to them I try to get some contact info so I can send them the photos.

One of my favorites, I met him on a chilly December early evening near the river.

New Orleans,streetmusician

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The Gentleman  below I happen to run into twice,the second time I was with my couple who just got married and he played music for them and invited us into his home,it was magical!

DSC_0934playing musicby the rivadancin in new orleansa17

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GRANDPA ELLIOT one of the most well known street musicians.I have seen him many times on documentaries about New Orleans. I just had to stop and talk to him, I mentioned that I also play the harmonica, he actually gave me his phone number and asked me to call him sometime!

a granpa elliott2agel

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MUSIC IS EVERYWHERE!! I love just walking along the street,some of the best music I have ever heard! Jazz musician in New Orleans NewOrleans street musicianStreet musician New Orleans

 musicians hat David in Musicians village NewOrleans Musicians of NewOrleans

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FOR THE LOVE OF “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY” PART 1 /creativefreedomphoto

I have a lot to say on the subject of street photography so I am going to have several blogs on this subject,I post approximately once a week, sometimes more when I have the time.

WHAT IS STREET PHOTOGRAPHY?

” Street photographs are mirror images of society,displaying unmanipulated  scenes,with usually unaware subjects”
street musician,french quarter,new orleans at dusk
 Street photography shows a pure vision of something,like holding up a mirror to society.Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter,and often concentrates on a single human moment,caught at a decisive or poignant moment.On the other hand,much street photography takes the opposite approach and provides a very literal and extremely personal rendering of the subject matter,giving the audience a more visceral experience of walks of life they might only be  passingly familiar with.

 

Growing up in New York,It was my first photography class in ninth grade.My Mother would drive me into the heart of New York city ,she was very impatient and I had to roll my window down and shoot from the car, she would say “shoot,Shoot,life is happening fast “! .I wish I still had my work from that time,I do still have these photographs in my mind; angry faces of NYC cab drivers cursing at the traffic,   old ladies looking at the world from the safety of their windows.I have just one photograph from around that age.
 the Bowery NYC,1972
I started to take the train into the city by myself and wander down into”the bowery” a “very bad neighborhood” I was told to stay away from, of course that  intrigued  me!    I started talking to the street people, back then they called them”bums” I asked this old man, bottle of whisky between his legs,sitting against the tire of an old truck ,wisdom and pain displayed on his many wrinkles”Hey,Whats going on,how are you doing today”that would  strike up  a conversation, He then started to tell me a bit about his life while I listened and photographed him,periodically putting my camera down.
      I would bring the film back to class and develop it in the darkroom watching the photo  come to life before my eyes in the developer, in those days I had to wait a long time before I could actually see the photograph .
     I was born with amblyopia and only have sight in one eye), I learned much later in life this is a good thing, close your eye and see the world with one eye, after all that is what the camera does
   ,My photography teacher loved my work,at that time in my life I did not have any confidence in myself,(coming from an abusive home ) it felt strange to me to be complimented, I did not believe in myself all I knew was that I fell in love with photography,It was a way for me to not only express myself but a way to capture a moment forever..I was hooked!!
There seems to be a sentiment out there that somehow “legitimate” street photography involves only candid shots. I began with candid shots myself. It was when I began interacting with my subjects, however, that my photography truly began to stand out. By involving your subject in the process, you can not only compose your shot better, but also reveal more of the subject’s personality.
   I tend to do both,it depends on my subject
 New Orleans Lady

Start in a crowd.

I encourage new street photographers to start with a busy public place such as a street market or an outdoor event as a comfortable start.  You are more invisible in a crowd and can more easily overcome your fear of photographing strangers. Street performers are excellent street photography subjects to start shooting. After all, they are there to be seen and are used to being photographed plus they are part of the culture of the place you are visiting. Buskers perform to make a few bucks, so shoot away, and be generous with what you toss in their hat!

Jah Bless

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I photographed the shot above of a street  vendor  at the Goombay festival in Key West. There is always that one face in the crowd that stands out, that particular day, this man was the one face.At that time I was photographing for the newspapers.

nola-2

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Now that I am older,I enjoy getting to know my subjects,getting up close and personal and listening to their stories.

I was starting out in my career,not as bold as I am now and shot mostly candid with a 300mm zoom lens.I walked up and down the crowded streets that day,hoping for that one shot that would capture this colorful Caribbean festival. I kept my eye on my subject waiting for just the right moment. I had my camera ready and zoomed in on him,a tourist stopped by his set up and asked to see a particular item, that is when he stuck his head through the beautiful material that framed him perfectly with abundant color,that was it!, the photograph that captured the festival, even though I was using film and couldn’t see it right away, I knew in my heart that I had gotten “the one”!

New Orleans,streetmusician

The street musicians of New Orleans among my favorite subjects to photograph (in my favorite city on the planet!)

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“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
~ Imogen Cunningham

Capturing emotion in Photography by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

we often find that the most beautiful photographs are often the ones capturing the strongest emotion. After all, human emotion is something we all experience every day of our lives.

a for thumt n re size-001

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Unless you’re a wedding photographer, where emotions are running high, and therefore are all over people’s faces, it’s not so easy to capture emotion. When they see a camera, people tend to freeze like deer in the headlights or they over react with big, cheesy grins or scrunched faces. This makes capturing raw emotion a bit tricky for any photographer. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, you just have to have some tricks up your lens hood. -Capturing emotion in photos is no easy task! It can be especially tricky when people know they are being photographed we all want something more from a photo… genuine emotion. As the photographer, it’s your job to help people feel relaxed and comfortable!a1-003http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

When you’re shooting street shots or candids, capturing genuine emotion isn’t too difficult because you’re recording moments as they happen and your subjects are often unaware of or unconcerned with the camera’s presence.It takes a little effort — mostly in the form of simply being a thoughtful photographer — but getting your subjects to display some unfiltered emotion is certainly an attainable goal and one with a huge payoff. The following tips apply whether your portraits are formal or spur of the moment, for pay or for fun.,

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Talk,Talk,Talk…is particularly important if the person you’re shooting is a stranger. Talking helps you, the photographer, get a feel for your subject’s personality and helps your subject forget about the camera. You can put them at ease by asking questions about themselves; don’t be intrusive or overly personal with your questions, but do express a real interest in their responses.

http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/A PXL

It’s actually quite likely that some of the best photo ops are when they think you’ve put the camera down. The in-between moments are when your subject becomes authentic again. If you can sneak in a few photos during this time, you’ll be golden. When you pull this off will be spontaneous. If there is more than one person that you’re photographing, that spontaneity will be more likely to occur as they engage in conversation or an activity while you’re changing out your lenses. Stay on your toes and be ready for the unexpected!-

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Pulling emotion from people takes tack that comes more naturally to some than others. It helps to visualize a shoot before going into it. Imagine how and where you’re going to position them, the gear and equipment you’ll use, and how the actual images might look when done. Going into the shoot with a vision of how it would unfold will help you relax, which helps your client relax.fi1http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

saying ‘photography is done with the mind and heart’ continues to perfectly define the dividing line between an aficionado of the craft, and an artist.
The fascination with equipment and lenses is understandable; the same goes for passion for watches or cars, but all the best equipment or the best range of lenses in the world won’t do much to transform you into a great photographer.

When people argue over the grain of the photograph, or the lens that you really must use for this or that, they are losing sight of what is actually important: the content of the image, and the way in which the photographer sees his or her own reality. The first and essential thing needed to be able to argue above a photograph is to know what is actually being made. And in order to get something worth discussing, all we need is a camera and a lens, not the best camera and twelve lenses.

New Orleans/capturing the soul of a place/travelphotography by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13vqqs_nObw&feature=em-upload_owner

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Traveling to a new place that you have never been to is so exciting! You feel like a child,everything is so new to you.

I love capturing the “soul” of a place. I cant think of a better place than New Orleans.,music and art everywhere, the architecture ,the colors,most of all, its the people!

Acopy 1 playing musicby the riva

When I venture out with my camera,( best not to go alone).Get right into it,walk around,talk to people. For candid shots its best to have a zoom lens so that people are not aware of you taking their photograph.Sometimes I will strike up a conversation, and then politely ask if I can photograph them,I continue to talk to them so that they feel comfortable,often times offer to send them the photos in return.

nola 21vDavid from musicians village the ninth wardacopy4-001

include people in your frames. Try to feature local people rather than tourists. Folks buying their daily paper, selecting flowers at the market, having coffee at the outdoor cafe or chatting as they walk their dogs. And if you have the time for doing some street photography, pick a spot and wait a bit. Something interesting will surely happen and a story will unfold for you to capture and take home. The human element always adds interest to your images.

Take your photos during the best light of the day.

Staying on the center of town, or having a room with wonderful views can create a lot of great photo opportunities.

14ws faces of New Orleans collectiona tappin

The best light comes at the beginning and end of each day and the first and last sunlight of the day is what we call the “magic hours” The warm light is much more flattering

What I bring.First and very important is a camera back pack,mine has wheels on it,make sure it is regulation size so that you can bring it on the plane with you,never ever check on your camera bag! Extra batteries,chargers,S.D cards, two camera bodies,wide angel and zoom lens,shoe mount flash.If you are taking a tri pod, pack it in your check on bag,you will not be allowed to carry it on the plane.Most airlines have a weight limit,Southwest is the only airline that does not,so if you are not flying southwest,make sure that you dont go over in weight. The best walk around lens is one that is both wide and telephoto.

 Reflection of the french quarter a shotgun16ws_JMP0787

If Its raining take advantage of this beautiful overcast light that makes color pop! Photograph the reflections ,have fun but most important protect your camera!I use a plastic bag.

Get up Early

The best light to capture most kinds of subjects is in the golden hours- one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset (depend off course on where you are on the globe). So get up early to get that amazing photo opportunities, while all the other tourists are still asleep.

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Have someone go with you . Do get lost! Wander down alleys. Sit in cafés and watch life pass by. Don’t eat where the tourists do, but where you see locals. Just set off down a street and see where it leads. Look around the bends, over the rises. Get away from the crowd. I find that if I meander away from the tourists and tourist sites, away from what is too familiar and comfortable, it’s much easier to adapt to the rhythm of a place, and to be more observant.

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