My best 2018 street photography tips and new year resolutions

A collection of all the things I learned during this year:

1. Capture humanity

Nicolai-PT-Hoyerswerda-Germany-2018-McDonald's
Hoyerswerda, Germany 2018

Street photography is often wrongly associated with being entirely about capturing people on the streets.

I think that street photography is about capturing humanity. It doesn’t matter if there are people in it or not, there are infinite opportunities out there to make epic street photos without people.

I can shot everything that document humanity like: shooting urban landscape, a way to document the fake world created by humans or shooting stuff on the ground.

2. Always take a camera with me

Nicolai-PT-Southern-Italy-2018-ho
Southern Italy, 2018

We don’t know when a good photo opportunity can happen. I’ve miss tons of good shots just because my camera was not always with me.

To take always my camera with me I use a phone because it is lighter than other cameras out there.

Now my camera is always with me and I’m able to capture these ‘decisive moments’ which happens at the most unexpected times.

3. Shoot simple

Nicolai-PT-southern-Italy-redandyellow
Grandfather. Southern Italy, 2017

I use to shoot with a mobile phone in auto mode. No obstructions between me and what to photograph, meaning that phones are not heavy like many ‘real cameras’ and my subject feels more comfortable to be photographed with a small camera instead of a big one.

I don’t worry about the technical settings of the camera, in this way I don’t waste time and I’m more likely to take photos. Every time I go out from my home I take always my phone with me.

4. Make eye contact

Nicolai-PT-hoyerswerda-germany-2016
Hoyerswerda, Germany 2016

Sometimes street photographs with eye contact are the best. Why?

In this way the subject of the photo is looking at the viewer, the viewer can feel uncomfortable because he’s observed.

A street photograph looks more emotional, because at the same time we feel nervous and excited when someone is making eye contact with us.

5. Don’t show people faces

nicolai-pt-kill

This is also called the ‘decapitation technique’. I usually try to not include people faces in my street photographs. Sometimes, I use to focus on capturing hands, people’s details and hand gestures, without including human faces.

By not showing peoples faces I’ve the opportunity to create more mysterious pictures

6. Wait for the subject enter the frame

Nicolai-PT-Hoyerswerda-2015-0001

This technique is also called the ‘fishing technique’. When I see a good background, like an advertising boards or something simpler like a wall, I stop and wait for people walking into my frame. I shoot them candidly so if they notice me I continue to shoot the background

7. Tilt the camera

Nicolai-Petito-southern-Italy-2017-0100
Southern Italy, 2017

Tilting the camera and making the horizon of the photo tilted in photography is called ‘Dutch angle’ or ‘German angle’.

With this technique is possible to create more dynamic pictures with dynamic composition that are “unusual” to look at.

It’s a way to breake the normal composition rules by avoiding traditional angles and create a more interesting photograph.

8. Get low

Nicolai-PT-Southern-Italy-streetphotography
Southern Italy, 2017

Many street photographs are shoot from eye-level. To get a different and unique perspective from a street photograph, get low.

Crounch down or maybe shot with your camera at waist-level -if you won’t be noticed- and shot your subject from a low angle.

In this way the subject looks bigger and menacing, in a good sense, than in real life.

9. Study the work of the masters

Nicolai-PT-southern-italy-2017-0001
Southern Italy, 2017

Study the work of the masters of street photography. In my free time I look at their work to better understand their way of shooting on the street and how to take good photographs.

New Year resolutions

New year is right around the corner, so time for new year resolutions. I don’t know what will happen in 2019 but this is a list of thinghs I would like to do in 2019:

  1. Attend a street photography workshop
  2. Shot more street photographs with permission
  3. Buy a more ‘serious’ camera
  4. Meet others street photographers
  5. Go to art exhibitions
  6. Start a YouTube channel

Here is a review of my 2018 in terms of my photographic journey:

My 2018 best photographs

Nicolai-PT-SouthernItaly-2018-man20180811_162701-01-01Nicolai-PT-man-hoyerswerda2018

Nicolai-PT-Hoyerswerda-Germany-2018-McDonald's

20180108_145111-01Nicolai-PT-Southern-Italy-2018-ho

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