Street photography with a smartphone: 5 useful tips | Video
16 September 980 1
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The street photography has existed since cameras became “transportable” objects, great masters of photography have expressed by immortalizing scenes of life lived in cities, everyday moments and exceptional events.
In the age of social networks, however, street photography has entered a new whirlwind chapter , caught by the masses through smartphones and eagerly disseminated thanks to the network. Our devices are always in your pocket, ready to be extracted and taken into action and are increasingly performing and versatile, capable of giving high quality images even to those unfamiliar with photographic techniques.
But a smartphone is not enough to take a good photo, need more reflection, patience and many attempts . In this piece, in the company of Realme GT Master Edition we have put together some practical tips to never miss a shot again.
NOTE: all the photos in this article were made with Realme GT Master Edition
1. USE THE SMARTPHONE
Having a smartphone in your pocket offers a lot of possibilities, it has some limitations compared to a camera, it is evident, but if well fruity it can be an added value.
First of all you need to know at least a little technically your instrument, knowing which cameras it is equipped with is the first step but when you are lost in the software it is equally important to orient it to your own favor.
- The speed in shooting
- The points of view taken by the different objectives
- The big handling
Realme GT Master Edition comes with a “Road” mode which automatically adds a filter (light for truth) but above all activates a quick stabilization that allows us to take pictures by canceling hand shaking. There is also a second wide-angle camera, with fixed focus, which allows you to have a different point of view.
Both functions make the smartphone ready to use and very flexible, without the need to worry about the best setup to take the picture. A considerable advantage in street photography, as long as you pay attention to some precautions.
All smartphones are in fact “intelligent their way”, so be careful to keep all the automatisms activated, because you could find yourself with a photo already “worked” maybe not exactly in the direction desired. Better to disable AI functions or automatic improvements.
Be aware of the technical features of your device, one of all avoid “digitally zooming”, rather get close to the subject, immortalize yourself in the scene you want to capture and make the most of the compact size. With a small articulated tripod like this, you can anchor your phone anywhere, gaining unprecedented points of view.
PHOTOS STOLEN, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
Then there is the discourse related to the possibility of going unnoticed, if it is true that the smartphone makes us almost invisible compared to a photographer with reflex and lens kit in tow, it is equally it is important to know to ask for permission to take a shot , to know the privacy law and to act accordingly.
Often it is better to declare one’s intentions, armed with a nice smile and good manners, rather than trying to steal an image without being seen with the risk of making people suspicious and probably get kicked out. Similarly, in some contexts, it is better to show yourself without deception while taking pictures, so that everyone understands what we are doing.
2. KNOW THE LAW
Street photography brings together street furniture with the people for whom you have to pay the right attention before taking a photo and even more before publishing it.
The law 633 on copyright protection the image of the people portrayed “the portrait of a person cannot be displayed, reproduced and placed on the market without its consent, subject to the provisions of the following article “ for this reason it is authorization must be obtained from the person involved, subject to some well-defined circumstances.
The main rule is to understand if the subjects or the subject represents the main part of the photograph, as for a portrait for example, or if it is simply part of the context. When a person is recognizable and undoubtedly the protagonist of the image, it is automatically necessary to have an authorization for publication.
Another important rule is based on the purpose of the publication: if they are different from didactics, news, justice, police then you need consent. This clearly includes all commercial and advertising purposes.
Finally, things change in the presence of a minor or a famous person: in the first case, an image with a recognizable face can never be published without a consent signed by the parent or legal guardian, in the second case the photos are freely publishable if the character is portrayed within his or her sphere of notoriety (a football player in the game, a singer on stage, an actor on stage, a politician in parliament and so on) .
TO these rules are then added to a series of borderline cases or on which it is easy to have doubts. We refer you to two very useful links of the National Association of Professional Photographers.
- PUBLICATION OF THE PORTRAIT PHOTO | link
- CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF ADVERTISING | link
3. MAKE A PLAN
There are essentially two approaches to street photography: go around the city hoping to be in the right place at the right time , or take up a position in a chosen place and wait for something interesting to happen .
Leaving the house aimlessly and without a predetermined goal can be fun to experiment but involves a good dose of luck. It will happen that suddenly a “photo” scene appears in front of our eyes, but it certainly cannot be our strategy if we want to try our hand at street photography with a minimum of pretension.
A instead, a good idea could be to imagine “at the table” the photo or reportage we want to make, at least think about a theme we want to communicate, a message or a feeling that our photos will have to convey.
At that point it will be easier to decide whether to hunt for the photo actively or by lurking in a frame previously studied and identified as the ideal one. The photos of the great masters have almost never turned out to be “spontaneous” to the end, in most cases there is a preparatory study on light, on the ideal moment of the day, on people.
4. PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION AND EDITING
In any photography course, after dealing with the technical bases of the instrumentation, we move on to composition, i.e. how to position the various elements that compose it within our photo.
The same instant can be immortalized by chance or by taking into account some simple rules, the final result will be completely different.
RULE OF THIRD PARTIES
Imagine dividing the frame into three equal parts vertically and three parts horizontally, you will get two vertical lines and two horizontal lines that cut the image into thirds . Well, by placing the main subject on one of these lines, the photo will assume proportions that are immediately pleasing to our eye.
SYMMETRIES E PATTERN
Playing with symmetries can be an easily feasible option in the urban environment, ditto for the patterns that abound among city buildings. Any surface can become a perfect background for your photo, just use a little creativity.
Surfaces can be reflective, a glass, a fountain, a puddle have inspired photographers of all time, you just have to try.
The city offers a multitude of straight lines to lean on as on graph paper, they can be converging to focus attention on one point, or oblique to give dynamism to the scene, or parallels to convey stillness and calm. The advice is quite simple, open your eyes and look with curiosity at the world around us, it will not fail to give interesting ideas.
Post production in photos is essential, especially if they are taken with a smartphone. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but keep in mind that you will start with a photo already loaded with contrast, saturation and sharpness.
With Realme GT Master Edition there is a pre-installed tool for editing photos, already quite complete and very easy to use. A valid free alternative for Android and iOS is Snapseed , very complete and with boundless potential.
5. READ AND INSPIRED
There are probably photographers born with the talent of knowing how to look at reality with different eyes, those with a taste for proportions and those capable of seizing the moment. But the world is also made up of many ordinary people who take great photos because they applied, studied and were inspired.
Read, browse the manuals, nourish the eye with the photos of great photographers, to draw heavily on what has already been done. After all, it is so a bit for everything, even for the great discoveries that are almost never the result of an enlightenment, or for the products that are successful not at the first attempt but maybe after years, when someone takes over the project adding that extra quid .
A banal but effective advice? Go to Flickr (which for the record has the claim “Find your inspiration”) and look for images similar to the one you want to create, maybe find the ideal location and you can try to recreate the photo with some ingredients brought by you.
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(update of 16 September 2021, hours 13: 07)