Why I shoot Street

I started to shoot street photography because it gave me the opportunity to be able to shoot every day, in a variety of locations, situations and conditions. I wanted to keep exercising my photographic eye but I felt that it was far too long waiting for a specific photographic excursion or planned shoot, so my camera would go for days without being used.So one day I decided to just put a camera over my shoulder and literally take it with me wherever I went.

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Street Photography on Sydney Hoardings

If you take a walk around Sydney these days you will notice that there is quite alot of construction going on.  Many of the areas that are under development are in historically important and even sensitive parts of the city.  Walking around this town during the beginning of the holiday silly season, you are able to get snapshots of what these places looked like in the past, and there is a profound sense of how important image making during these times was, and that street photography matters as a way of recording the way we are today so that others can get a glimpse of the way we were.

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Hey!! Lightroom hides JPEGs on your hard drive!!

Even though I shoot JPEG and raw, I always have Lightroom set to not import jpegs side by side with raw files.  Its just annoying and distracting that the catalog fills up with images that are not wanted or used.

But did you know that what ends up happening is that JPEGs you don't want are still copied into your destination folder by Lightroom on import when you do a copy? I didn't - and I found that my hard drive filled up with a load of unwanted JPEG files. Over time you it is surprising just how many there are, taking up space and not being used

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Four ways to avoid getting punched in the face when doing street photography.

If you are interested in getting started in street photography, you’ll no doubt be looking to get out on the street and start shooting scenes of every day life. If you have had any success capturing that amazing moment when an every day scene looks like some sort of conceptual art, you know how addictive street photography can be.  

However, it can also be daunting to step out into the world with a camera and make images on the street. Lots of thoughts come into your head. What will he say if he catches me? What will bystanders do, or think, if they see me taking photos of those unsuspecting citizens? Do I look like a creep crouching down like this taking a picture of this shadow? Will that guy punch me in the face if I take his photo?

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10 of my favourite tips for the street photographer

The internet is full of tips for street photography and I cannot tell you how many dozens of tips I have read over the years.  I decided to put a list together of those that have helped me and hopefully will add some value to your visit to this humble little site.  So without further ado fellow street shooter - Here are 10 of my favourite tips for the street photographer.

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Another year over

Another year over and a small start for this street photography blog. As 2017 approaches I can reflect on the year that was and think about my favourite street photography images and how much I was shooting and why.  

By far the biggest change for me in 2016 was the change in circumstances with my office location, which made it more inconvenient for me to go shooting before or after work. With all the construction and transport changes around Sydney it made it too difficult to shoot and get to work on time as well as get everything else done that our busy lives demand.

Thankfully a small adjustment in mindset allowed me to at least keep shooting every day, which really is the best way to improve. I started at a 365 project which, although not always and strictly street photography, has forced me to 'see' every day and actively seek out images. Given the time restrictions above the only time I had to do this was during my lunch breaks or in the evenings But it had to happen every single day. 

In order for that to work I needed something super small and portable. So I turned to the street photographers favourite, the Ricoh GR. As it is so small and compact I can slip it into a pocket and literally take it everywhere during the working week when I am not carrying around my X-T2 and 35mm combo. I also made a point of having the camera out and in my hand every time I stepped out into the street. This really makes sure that you just take the shot with no excuses for having the camera in the bag.

By changing my approach to my street photography I was able to navigate out of a disruption to my routine where I could have easily stopped shooting until I had 'dedicated' photography time. I am sure now that whatever the future may bring, in 2017 and beyond, I will keep shooting. 

If you have ever been in a photographic rut or had to make a shift in thinking for your photography, drop me a line in the comments below or on twitter

Happy New Year Everybody!!

Matt Stuart: Three F's of Street Photography

When you are out on the streets there are a variety of different approaches that you can take to getting your shots.  I heard a talk on youtube recently that street photographer extraordinaire {and recent Magnum nominee)  Matt Stuart coined the term “the three F’s of street photography” 

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Shooting without a camera

Thanks to the tiny yet powerful Ricoh GR and the size and convenience of my mirrorless ILC kit, times that I am caught without my camera are becoming few and far between.

Even so, it is sometimes not practical to stop to take a photo. Whether focusing in on a conversation, cycling along to work and running late, in a crowded bus full of people, hands full of groceries, or being tugged along by a puppy (that’s me), sometimes you just see the moments slip by, or they slip by without you seeing them at all.

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Three reasons to shoot jpeg + raw with Fuji. 

Most digital cameras have the option of allowing you to record your images in the camera in both the RAW and JPEG file formats. That is to say, when you press the shutter you are simultaneously creating each of these files on your card. The main reason that this feature has been used for by me prior to coming to the Fuji system is when I wanted to give the images I was making to someone who wanted them there and then, and of course that meant that I needed a processed file that could allow me to do this. The raw file would still give me the insurance that I wanted (as raw files do).

Since the move to Fujifilm cameras (my own journey has been the x100 to the X-T1 and now the x100t and X-T1 as a killer combo for me) some of the limitations and strengths of these cameras have encouraged me to use the practice of shooting raw and jpeg full time. Memory cards are plenty big enough these days so there should be no obstacle to get the benefits below.

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A place to explore and learn street and documentary photography. 

Welcome to  zonefocus.net  - a place to learn all about street and documentary photography. 

My name is Steve Dimitriadis and I am a photographer from the inner city suburb of Glebe, in Sydney, Australia.  I created this site to share my street and documentary learning experience with other, like-minded photographers.  On this site I hope to help photographers who are interested in documenting the people and places around them to discover, explore and learn about street and documentary photography.  

Several years back, in the first week that I discovered this thing called street photography, I took my camera and walked out the door with the aim of just walking the neighbourhood and trying to document the world around me. I was amazed at the freedom and enjoyment that I found by just meandering around looking for photographs. 

As someone who normally would take a swag of kit to a location and specifically ‘do photography’ the freedom of a random photo walk documenting what I saw was really just an amazing feeling - like seeing my city with a fresh set of eyes and for the first time. 

Then somewhere along the way I took this photo, and I was hooked. I realised I could freeze a slice of ordinary life, and that ordinary life was extraordinary.

Couple kissing with onlooker giggling

Couple kissing with onlooker giggling

From that moment on I threw myself into learning all that I could about documenting the world around me in the style that is commonly called street photography (I‘m not big on that label but it's the easiest way to explain how and what I photograph).  I am of course still on that journey but I’ve already had some of the most rewarding experiences of my photographic life, including meeting and photographing fascinating strangers on the street, discovering the streets of my city chasing light, meeting interesting fellow photographers, and even photographing my childhood heroes and being published in print.  All because I chose to always have a camera with me and be open to new possibilities.

I have lots to share with you.

For street and documentary photographers there are many challenges to tackle - developing a style, photographic composition, locations, technique, camera settings, gear, history, approach, ethics, printing and promoting our work to name a few.  We will discuss all of those things here on zonefocus.net.  I believe in life we are always learning so along the way I hope to share what I learn, write about how I feel about the images I make and hopefully have my readers learn a little more about street and documentary photography as well.

Like most of you, I’ve got other commitments - a full-time job, a family - and I want to go out and shoot as often as possible. So generally I will be posting 1-2 times a week on a range of topics dedicated to learning, sharing news and discussing street and documentary photography, and I want to take you along on the journey with me.

I’d love it if you would subscribe by entering your first name and email address in the box below.  

I hope to grow a community around this site and have some exciting plans in store for the future. For now though, subscribing will mean that you will be notified of any new posts.  I promise I will never sell your information and it will be completely secure.  

Finally, I'd love to get your feedback on ideas for topics to discuss and explore, as well as any questions or help you need.  What are your biggest questions about street and documentary photography and how can we work through them together? Drop me a line here and let me know.

Again, welcome to zonefocus.net where we seek the extraordinary in the ordinary.