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    • I tend to do a lot of street photography as i'm always traveling, its quick and easy but making it look good, not always, so there is a simple technique I use to get good Bokeh in a shot.

      Firstly, so we're all on the same page Bokeh for those who aren't familiar

      In photography, bokeh (/ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə or /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay; Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light".

      The background can make a huge difference in how your street photography final image will appear.

      Walking around it kind of 'is what it is', the old adage of F8 and be there works well, but doesn't always give you great bokeh. I'm not a shooter that is comfortable approaching people to ask to take a shot, I prefer to speak to them afterwards, if I can, because of being in so many foreign lands. Most of my walk around shots I take 'from the hip'

      An example, good, but not great because its shot at F8, this would have been amazing with good bokeh, but I doubt I could have got the same expression

    • Sniping, sitting in one location, 'trying' to blend in and shooting images/ people as they come into view.

      The technique I use is very simple.

      Position myself somewhere comfortable, and let people walk into the shot. Prior to the first photo I check where my focal point will be...you need to use your imagination for this.

      I'll set the camera wide open, F2 or higher if possible on a prime, or with some zoom applied if its a zoom lens and the as open as possible, smaller F number

      Next focus on that spot on the ground and then not release but move the camera up to a position where the person 'would be', and take the shot empty (minus the person). This will have a mid-air focus point, but it will show you your background/ bokeh and at that point you will know if the background deltracts or not from the final image...make sense?

      Your Bokeh doesn't need to be totally blurred, sometime a just little is good

      or maybe a little more is better

      or the full gamut is best, but knowing that before you start shooting might just help you get that shot that you may only have a split second to take

    • Thanks for sharing. I was really interested to hear about your approach to street photography, and wouldn't mind hearing more. When you're shooting from the hip, are you composing first, or just spamming shots, or just that good? I only have one lens that gives good bokeh, and it's a 50mm that I bought for portraits and floral shots. I have to admit I haven't used it much. My old approach to street photography was to use a longer lens, but when I changed my kit to Sony I ended up without one (so far). I find all the shots you posted to be quite effective, yet they all seem to have different Depths of Field.

    • All the above I took with a 18-135 zoom, I try not to take too much time to take a shot, and because of this probably have about a 80% failure rate, but I'm ok with that, not every shot is a winner.

      I was really interested to hear about your approach to street photography, and wouldn't mind hearing more. When you're shooting from the hip, are you composing first, or just spamming shots, or just that good?

      To answer your question about the street photography 'shooting from the hip' I use a camera hand strap similar to this so I know the camera is secure and help make it easier.

      I literally let my arm hang loose, and then just rotate my wrist upwards and not have to be holding the camera that tight and then guesstimate where the subject will be in the frame. Generally the shots are big and require cropping obviously, and sometimes straightening.

      ...and you need to be ok with portrait shots unless you can crop them to landscape

      As for the camera, I generally set it around F8, so I have a fudge factor, also have it set to silent mode. If you are with another person, if they will, get them to engage your subject and you can unknowingly shoot as much as you like, or you talk to them and shoot during the conversation.

      There are a lot of areas of the world where people simply do not like their photo being taken or are shy and will generally turn away.

      Another option is to sit on a park bench with the camera in your lap and shoot from there, if you have a rotational screen this can help you and not look like you are taking photos

      These are all shot from the hip, seated subjects work the best so you are close to their eye level, it does take practice for sure but once you master it you rarely need to bring you camera up to your eye level, I've been doing this for years so it seems natural to me. This collection was taken last year in a market in the village of Caraz, Peru and you can get great results

    • I like this shot, I would probably at this point because you've been caught and the subject looks approachable, walk over and show her (and boyfriend) the shot and say something like..."I'm trying to break into street photography, what do you think?"

    • When you're shooting form the hip, I assume you're shoot wide more than long, right? Maybe 18 to 28mm hand held dangling at your side.

      I have a friend who shoots with a DSLR with a 24mm lens and he can shoot all afternoon at a county fair and never raise the camera to his eye. He prefocuses about 6 feet or so, and like you, stops down to f8 or f11, and goes with it.

      With mirrorless bodies with pivotable LCDs it is even easier, I suspect.

      But good bokeh, with wider apertures, is much harder without actually focusing the camera, isn't it?

    • the topic got kinda switched from bokeh to shooting from the hip...lol

      Most of the time the lens I had on at this time was a 18-135 set to about 5.6, nowadays I use a 20mm/2.8 pancake set at 5.6, and have a better success rate because its so much smaller so I can get away with a lot more

      Bokeh doing from the hip shots, yeah not easy at all, but occasionally it can be achieved