A Guide to Mobile Street Photography

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Mobile devices have been used to capture images that touch people’s curiosity. Oliver Lang, co-founder of Mobile Photography Network said, “I believe that mobile photography is an incredibly personal journey, shared by millions of people around the world.” Street photography can make that shared connection more powerful. A good mobile street photographer can give valuable insights to lives, evoke emotions and give the viewers a perspective on the human condition.

Mobile Street Photography 1

Photo credit: Ed Sweeney

What Makes a Good Mobile Street Photographer?

There are so many mobile devices to choose from. It would certainly help if you have the newest device. We have read about the Samsung Galaxy S4’s 13-megapixel camera, which is the largest in the mobile market so far. It would certainly produce clear and sharp images when taking snaps on the street.

Now that you have your photography gear set up, it’s time to go out and find a subject. It is best that you set one of your phone’s shortcuts to camera after unlocking it. This would lessen the time that you spend fiddling with the menu of your phone to turn the camera on. Keep your applications on the front menu as well.

Mobile Street Photography 2

Photo credit: Jesus Leon

Keep it quiet. Discretion is very important in the streets, especially if you are planning to take candid photos. Keeping things in low profile sets the mood of a more natural looking photograph. It allows you to capture real emotions as they happen. Along with being discreet comes respect. Do not take photographs of people just because you can do so without being noticed. Think of the message that you want to send across.

Another basic but important thing that you have to remember is having enough power. Charge your battery before you go out for a shoot. Don’t forget to bring extra ones if you think that you will be out for a long time. Looking for a place to charge your battery takes out precious time and you might miss out on great opportunities.

One of the golden rules in street photography is quality over quantity. Remember that not every shot is worth sharing. Follow your instincts. Opportunities and street moments happen randomly and fleetingly. If you feel like taking a shot, take it. You can delete unusable photos at a later time. You can also choose to be patient and wait for the right moment. Observe people and what they are doing. Look at the surroundings and see if you can incorporate the things around you to tell a story.

The Good and the Exceptional

There is nothing wrong about taking photographs of common things that you find interesting. Make your images stand out by showing passion, creativity and social relevance. Composition is the key to creating powerful images. Let your photos transport your audience to the world that you presented to them.

Mobile Street Photography 3

Photo credit: Geraint Rowland

Are you new to street photography or are you experiencing some creative block? Try hunting for some of these items to help you take that phone out of your pocket and start shooting again.

  • Look for items that cast interesting shadows
  • Reflections
  • Children playing
  • People waiting for a bus
  • Train station
  • Feet
  • Looking outside the frame
  • Heads turned back
  • Traffic
  • Empty streets

Helpful Tips to Protect your DSLR camera and Maintain its Optimal Performance

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DSLRTips on how to use the Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera are found on many photography sites. It also doesn’t take long to dig up helpful guidelines on choosing the right lens, tips on how to change camera settings, and ways on how to manually control the camera focus. However, you will rarely see tips on how to take care of your most valued possession – the camera itself. As a novice photographer, you’ve probably spent hundreds or even thousands of your hard-earned cash on your high-end Canon or Nikon DSLR. To protect your investment, here are some tips to make sure it will continue to work at peak performance for as long as possible.

Properly clean your lens:

According to the professional photographers’ website and community Light Stalking, the most common mistake made by new photographers is not budgeting enough for lenses and undervaluing their role in photography. As lenses can cost as much or even more than the price of the camera itself, many newbie photographers treat them as something they can save money on.

One simple trick is to avoid having to replace lenses is by prolonging their life. Learn to clean it properly. First, it’s best to purchase a lens cloth to get rid of any dust on the lens surface. A reliable lens cloth cleaner is the 3M Microfiber Electronics Cloth, usually found for $5- $6 a pack at a Walmart or Costco near you. You can try some lens cleaning solution and lens tissue paper available at any camera shop. Remember to apply the solution onto the lens cloth or tissue and never allow it to drip straight into your camera body. You can also get a lens blower brush to remove the dust as well.

Protect your camera from extreme conditions:

Nature photographers, such as Art Wolfe, have to take great care of their camera equipment while in the field. They always ensure their kit is stored in a waterproof camera bag. Also make sure it’s safe from extreme heat and cold as well as from moisture and dust.

If you’re planning to travel to places where the weather is extremely hot, make sure not to expose your camera under too much direct sunlight to avoid overheating. However, if you’re dying to get the best shot at the height of the day, make certain your camera is covered with a hand towel or work under an umbrella and occasionally give your camera a break for five minutes, but don’t let it cool down abruptly. Just like humans, cameras don’t benefit from large temperature swings, so make sure you not to place it in front of the air conditioning immediately after using to avoid any internal damages.

Insure your camera for full-protection:

All attempts to protect your camera are insufficient. Unforeseen instances such accidents or even technical problems may arise that may result to repairs or even replacements that’s why it’s best to obtain a camera insurance plan.

This is ideal for professional photographers who often shoot outside a studio. These conditions will most likely cause camera problems due to extreme weather exposure, loss equipment, and even theft.

Before signing up for a camera insurance policy, take your time to research the coverage you plan on getting based on the nature of your photography whether it’s for professional, semi-professional, amateur or even for leisure as well as the activities involved in your expected activities. An insurance agent may be of great help in finding the best suited policy to your preferences. Therefore you can make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.

These are just a few tips on how to take care of your camera. By following these tips, you can save money on repairs and maintain the overall value of your DSLR camera.