22 August 2022

Starting out with Street Photography

Street photography can be one of the most deceptive types of photography. It seems as though it should be easy enough to walk around looking for the ‘perfect street shots’ but it is never quite that simple.

"This is a guest post by Lisa Crisp. Lisa is a freelance writer and mother of two. When not writing on subjects she's passionate about, she likes to take her dogs on long walks." 

Street photography can be one of the most deceptive types of photography. It seems as though it should be easy enough to walk around looking for the ‘perfect street shots’ but it is never quite that simple. People with experience in street photography sometimes even struggle with the feeling of awkwardness when photographing strangers as it can often be viewed as an invasion of privacy; although experience certainly does not eliminate this feeling, it can help a lot with your own confidence and skill in street photography. For someone who has decided to try street photography, there are some useful tips and tricks to try when you are on your first outing, mainly for boosting your confidence and avoiding as much awkwardness as possible.

 Preparing For Your First Street Photography Outing

 If it is your first time trying out street photography you may struggle over what to take and where to go. If you have a range of different cameras and you are considering taking multiple different ones for different shots, stop right there and just pick the most suitable one out of them all. Although sometimes you may end up kicking yourself for not having one of those other cameras or an additional lens, you will also be thankful you aren’t lugging them around with you all day. Research in advance the area you plan to visit for your first photography outing to see whether there are any events taking place that you could visit - events generally mean there will be more people present and more activities taking place, which in turn means more chance for that perfect photograph and less suspicious over having your camera out 

 Trust your instincts, be brave and alert to every possibility and wear sensible shoes – all that pavement pounding will pay off eventually 

 Tips for a Successful First Day Trying Street Photography 

 The level of nerves you experience on your first street photography outing will vary depending on your level of self-confidence. If you find yourself feeling very nervous, you may wish to ask a friend to come on your outing with you. This allows you to have what some may consider a stooge, allowing you to use your friend as your supposed photograph focus when in fact they are just standing near the location or shot you are actually aiming for, taking a lot of the stress of photographing strangers away from you. If you have no friends available or willing to fill this role, try visiting a local tourist attraction as you will not look out of place here with a camera, allowing you to easily get natural photographs of strangers without too many suspicious or accusatory looks. 

 There are a number of options available if you are finding yourself struggling with taking photographs of complete strangers. One of the easiest ways to combat this is to line up a shot that seems perfect in your mind, and to wait for somebody to walk into it. This avoids the awkwardness of raising a camera as somebody walks into the intended area, and usually allows you to get your ideal photograph without a second glance. A second option when struggling with photographing strangers is to capture images from behind your targets. Although these pictures do not contain faces, they can often tell just as much of a story as a shot containing faces and facial expressions could. If close-up facial expressions are not a necessity for your photography style, another option for avoiding awkwardness is to get above street level and take the photographs from there. Most people do not look up as they walk through the streets so it can be the perfect way to get natural street shots and poses without being noticed. This method of street photography does work, but you can often miss some levels of emotion when faces are not clearly included in the final shot, however sometimes a photograph can tell a story perfectly without this. 

 Street photography can be very rewarding, especially when you head home after a day of taking photographs to see that you have multiple shots that capture exactly what you had intended in your mind. Remember, a smile goes a long way if you do get noticed when taking pictures of strangers and sometimes a quick explanation can save you a lot of hassle, and can even get you the perfect shot that you have been imagining. If the thought of street photography appeals to you, put your confidence issues aside and go for it – there are many ways around awkwardness and you are sure to blossom into a brilliant street photographer if you persevere.

 "So if you are a newbie or a seasoned blogger, you sure have stories of how it felt going and shooting on streets the first few times, or even later after that long break you took. Do share your comments"

27 October 2015

Happiness - is it a state of mind, a place or....

If Happiness is a place ... it has to be Bhutan. A small country in Himalayas , east of India.

Read about this Himalayan kingdom on wiki

With this post, I attempt to revive this blog. Well the intentions is to really come back to this blog and treat it as a journal of significant updates about my photography and street photography in general.

Over last 2 years (almost), i am sure the blog has suffered and would have lost following, however, its never too late for anything.

The post is about people from Bhutan and as is customary in Bhutan, let me begin with very handsome king and beautiful queen of Bhutan. Bhutanese are good looking folks, as you will also notice in the photographs.

Local - many are almost always engrossed in prayers

A young Monk.
Buddhist Nun - Shot in a nunnery in Thimpu. She laughed and told me she is not good looking with so many wrinkles. 

This post is after months. And I know photo-street deserves more. I also think its time, I collaborate with fellow photographers, that is probably the only way i will be able to do justice to the readers and to this blog. 

Share your feedback - the brickbats as well. And do drop in a message if you would like to use this space to share your views on photography.

16 February 2014

Gabi Ben Avraham - Street Photography is an adventure

Gabi Ben Avraham brings streets to life. Gabi, who lives in Tel Aviv and most of his work is from streets of Tel Aviv. Gabi's work is remarkable and distinct. His forte with light and ability to turn everyday scenes into dramatic compositions is outstanding. He is equally apt with Black n White composition as well as color and his style is probably best described as fun and deeply philosophical. We are pleased to showcase and interview Gabi on Photo Street.

Q. Tell us about yourself, where do you live and some background.
 I am 53 years old, married with three children. I work in a software company as an IT manager and live in a quiet neighborhood of Tel Aviv, the city which I grew up in, have never left and which is a part of me and my photographing

Q: How did you get started with photography and what motivated you to shoot when you started?
It all started long ago but I did not know it was "it". During the 1980’s I photographed using film cameras. Even then I used to wonder in the streets of Tel Aviv in search of the extraordinary. I then stopped and have not touched a camera for 20 years until I received a digital camera as a gift for my birthday from my wife 4 years ago. The rest is history….

Q: What gear do you use? How important in your opinion is gear for a photographer?
I started with Nikon D-90 and Sigma 10-20 mm lens but nowadays I am using a Nikon D-800 with a 24 mm prime lens. Sometimes I am using 20 mm prime lens. I believe that SF needs wide lens and I work only with prime lens, I really do not think it matters what gear you use in order to be a good street photographer. The camera is only a tool while the photographer is the main factor. My next camera will be a mirrorless camera. It is small, invisible and quiet, ideal for SF.

Q. Your preferred style is obviously street photography. Tell us about how you started street photography. What or who inspires you.
My personal style has changed and developed during time according to the exposure to the art world, other artists' works and theoretical and practical knowledge of photography. First, I was looking for shadows and reflections, I exercised some techniques and focused on different issues such as complicated compositions, working with light and finding a story with an idea, till I found my own style.

I am inspired by what I see, hear or even smell on the street, I absorb the images and let them leave after they are being "processed".
The most inspiring photographers for me are: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alex Webb, Felix Lupa, Steve McCurry.

Q. How often do you shoot. When you shoot do you usually wait for subjects or move around trying to find interesting frames. Tell us about your style
Usually I shoot during the weekends and on special occasions. Like a fisherman who goes to his daily work without knowing what he will catch, I take my camera and dive into the streets without knowing what will happen 5 minutes later. It is an adventure. I have my favorite places and I never come with the same photos. It is always different: the people, the light and shadows, the atmosphere


What do you feel about street photography in comparison to other forms of photography like
 travel, landscape, portrait, fashion etc. 
I believe one must find the place where he feels the most comfortable. For me it is the street. I am excited to wonder throughout  the streets towards my new adventure. It changes constantly: situations, people, light. It is very dynamic and therefore interesting. I wait for things to happen and they always do. I try to achieve photographs which are a combination of the ‘decisive’ moment with mis-context and a feeling of surrealistic disorientation. I try to make the spectator uncertain of the familiar and create a new vision of reality.

There is always a story to catch. The street is not a studio. Sometimes I stand and wait for things to converge – a cyclist, a dancer, a child – moving along. They are not aware that they are moving towards a certain object, but I am. Via the camera lens I am constantly looking around me, searching for that moment that will never return, unless I catch it. When pushing the button, I try to make some sense, restore order to the chaotic scheme of things in the composition. The components 'speak' with each other in a special dialogue, either by color, shape, or light. Capturing the elusive, special moment after which things will never be the same and making it eternal – that is my goal. Forgotten, transparent people in urban surroundings are being granted their moment of grace. The shadows, fragile outlines, reflections within daily lives that are not noticed in the busy and thick urban landscape and sometimes are even crushed by it – these are precious to me.

Q. What is your most satisfying achievement as a photographer. Anything that you are proud of.
I have just returned from Cuba and nowadays I am working on my second Cuba series. I am very proud of my first Cuba series:

Q. What are your plans for future. What do you plan and look forward to doing in future. 

 I am working on an on-going series of religious ceremonies and cults as a long-term project. I plan to travel abroad in order to make some new series. From time to time there are some exhibitions which I take part in.

Q. What is your advise to aspiring street photographers. 
Look at other photographers' works on the Web and try to build your own style. Exercise a lot with the camera, find your own Master and be open to critics.

All Photographs and Video posted here are Copyright of Gabi Ben Avraham. Copy of the content without permission is not permitted.

To see more of Gabi Ben Work visits

01 February 2014

Faces from Spiti - the desert middle land

Kunzum La, On way Manali to Kaza

Spiti happened to me in July 2013. I traveled solo to the cold desert of Spiti, and returned back with endearing memories and warmth of people.

For more than 6 months my life refused to return back. Its only now that the images have started to fade.. names of places that are on tongue tip but refuse to speak when you want them. It was thus that I thought that I should do this post.

But I landscapes and landscapes. And that is not exactly what this blog is about, so I thought of doing this post on candid portraits from the Spiti Valley.

After a 12 hour backbreaking ride from Manali, we reached Kaza, the largest town and headquarter of Spiti Valley. At height of 3650 mtrs/ 12000 ft, Kaza was the lowest altitude stop for us. Kaza town situated next to Spiti River with a growing population of 3000 is the most densely populated.This was shot on the first day we landed in Kaza. The valley was awash in golden sun light and the lady was checking her shots out on the DSLR LCD.
Local Women in Kaza

Monks / Lamas are a friendly lot and their warm smiles make them great subjects to shoot. 

Her intense look was not anger, I am sure of that. But she wasn't amused why she was subject of interest. I didnt tell her that I loved the way how the lines on her face resembled the lines on the wall behind her.

The sun is harsh, even when the temperature are cold. It is usual to see small babies on the back, while mothers work hard during the day.

A young girl in Demul village at the sundown. The cattle are returning home.

Another monk in Tabo Gompa.

These are images shot in Komic, the highest inhabited village in Asia at 4500 mtr above sea level.

Hope you enjoyed the series. Tell us what you thought about it. 

23 October 2013


The lines on her face mimic the lines on the mud wall behind, is a mere coincidence. If you believe me. The old woman is resident of Tabo, Spiti. This portrait was shot in Tabo Gompa - one of the oldest in Spiti Valley.

29 September 2013

What is Street Photography?

“Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth” - Pablo Picasso

Photograph by Elliot Erwitt

25 August 2013

Street Photographs from Reay Road

It was a sunday, and I decided to step towards an unknown part of Mumbai. Its always interesting to visit new streets. I have no idea what to expect, how will the people in the area react. It makes the shoot more challenging.  The streets we moved around are around Byculla. Its on the harbor line, the erstwhile industrial belt, close to coal bunder and near well known Reay Road railway station.

This part of the city is grim and crowded. The roads are full of lorries and trucks moving goods - coal, iron, scrap..

This is also the first post with photographs from my new Panasonic DMC LX7 with a Leica Sumilux F 1.4 super fast lens. LX7 is a small monster packed with features. This being the first day, I ended up shooting in JPEGs. Am very pleased with the color rendition and overall quality. The autofocus is fast and the step zoom lends to 'zone focusing' - best for streets. I have a feeling that this will be my new companion on the streets now on. Anyways, here are select photographs from the day.