On Shooting Yourself…in Street Photography

Street Photography (13)

If you become a student of street photography, the curriculum is littered with advice and maxims on what defines and makes a “good” street photograph; I use the word “littered” intentionally – because much of that curriculum is just that… things that can be tossed out. Within that heritage, I don’t claim to be a master, let alone a division chair or associate professor, or even a teaching assistant. But I am a student, or a ‘disciple’ of the genre if you will – one that realizes that that I will never stop learning the craft, and that beyond the techniques or gear used or the aesthetic of an image I am working to create, the genre is itself as much about a process of self discovery, growth, and expression of who I am as it is about the final “result.” That may sound out of place in a discussion of street photography, but to that end, I want to state that – in this student’s opinion – what matters most in street photography is the choice and act of your presence, and shooting “who you are” in an image. Grab some coffee, as this isn’t going to be another “three essential ways to improve your street photography” kind of article.

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Travel Photography Tips

4-Beijing Opera House Sunset

Unless you have the luxury of close access to National Parks or scenic destinations or can travel during the off-seasons, visiting a destination for the first time is something hard to plan for. Prior to each trip, I always browse the internet to look for interesting locations I may want to visit. It’s especially hard to fully explore some National Parks such as the ones in Utah in only under a week. Therefore pre-planning some hiking trips doable by the whole family within the limited time is a must.

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How to Photograph the Northern Lights

Photographing Northern Lights (4)

I have thoroughly enjoyed the response from my first article here at Photography Life – both the encouragement as well as the advice to follow my photographic instincts than to be led sideways. It is nice to have allowed a wider audience a peek at my work and hear some constructive feedback on my images and thought process. This article is a bit of a throwback post and is intended to be a general starter guide to photographing the Northern lights. The title is perhaps misleading as the “Northern Lights” are not just a phenomenon of the Northern hemisphere but also occur in the Southern Hemisphere. In the North, it’s generally referred to as the Aurora Borealis whereas in the south, it goes by Aurora Australis. However, my experience, though not vast, has generally been shooting the Northern Lights in Norway and Iceland and this is what I will now expand upon.

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Waterfall Photography Tips

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Most landscape photographers, myself included, love to photograph gigantic, thunderous, raging waterfalls, quiet little babbling brooks, and just about everything in between. Successfully photographing them is not always easy, though. Here are some tips that I am constantly reminding both myself and tour participants alike while in the field:

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Long Exposure Photography Tips

Salt Lake Sunset at Mandurah

Long exposure photography can produce stunning photos. Nighttime shots can bring out unexpected detail and create amazing light effects. Daytime long exposure can create images with haunting moods and ethereal imagery. None of this is actually hard to achieve, but it does take a little thought and preparation. Here are some tips to ease you into long exposure photography.

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Macro Photography Tutorial

Crab at Sunrise

Macro photography is one of the most popular forms of photography, and with good reason. It is easily accessible, and it is a very broad genre of photography. Studio pros can enjoy taking macro shots of leaves, flowers, and sluggish insects, maintaining total control over lighting. Nature lovers can spend hours outside, searching for hidden treasures among flowers and leaves. Plus, in non-photographic locations (like most people’s backyards), macro photography makes it possible to take great images of nature without traveling at all.

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Focusing on the Entire Process of Capturing Images

Man Ching Cheung (3)

This content sharing contest came at a fortuitous time; for a while, I had posted essays on books. I let that lapse because I decided to spend more time on photography. Like many others, I have opinions and have wanted to jump back into writing. Great thing for Photography Life to ask for guest posts!

Recently, I have come realize that Mike Johnston’s phrasing of photography as its own thing, is a profound statement of an approach and appreciation of the craft. He has a whole recent series on it at The Online Photographer. At the very least, it is something that appealed greatly to me.

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Capturing Your Everyday Workplace

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In my dream life, I would be a fashion and documentary photographer, but until that happens, I’m a barista. Every day I show up to work, serve the same customers, make the same drinks, hit the same cash button on the register, wipe the same tables and bake the same pastries. It can get a little mundane after two years. Everyone has to work, pay the bills, put in your due time so you can play later, right? This was my thought process for years. I always thought I would need to work a full-time job in order to support my true passion, creating images. But in reality, why can’t the two go hand-in-hand?

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The Versatility of Prime Lenses

Amiens Cathedral

Zoom lenses are convenient, as everyone knows. I’d imagine that the vast majority of us started our photography with a simple 18-55 kit lens – I know I did, and I used it to take some of my favorite photos. However, it never seemed like a good fit for my style of photography. My first prime lens was the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR macro, a truly fantastic lens. At the time, I had never attempted macro photography. It is no exaggeration to say that the 105mm macro opened new worlds for me, and its sharpness was unbelievable. I had discovered the magical world of prime lenses.

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