Alf Myers travelled up from Preston this evening to talk to us about street photography, what it is and how to go about it. He has been taking photographs for 29 years and was accredited as an L&CPU judge last year. His photography revolves around people, whether street, portrait or events.
Kicking off with a slideshow of fabulous street images, Alf then defined what he meant by street photography.. He showcased some famous photographers of the genre, including Valerie Jardin and Henri Cartier-Bresson He went on to explore our fears about taking street photographs and how to increase our confidence. Anticipation is key to successful street images, and he discussed two approaches: find the person or find the place and wait for the person (hunters or fishers) - either way, wait for “the decisive moment”. Look for interesting light. Look for opposites, contrasts, connections or similarities. Look for emotion and action. Look for humour. Window reflections and other interesting backgrounds can be helpful.
Typical camera settings might be F8 at 1/500s, ISO 400 - but always consider the light! Processing can include cropping, dodging and burning, and mono conversion. There was considerable discussion about the law and ethics of street photography. Your best asset is your smile.
During the second half of the evening, Alf talked us through some of his street images, what he thought about while taking the images, and what the judges said! Alf invited questions and discussion, which resulted in a lively interactive atmosphere. An engaging and informative evening which will hopefully encourage LPS members to have a go at street photography themselves.
...and don't forget to smile!