Saturday, June 24, 2017

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS (Photographing a stranger)

PHOTOGRAPHING A STRANGER 

      Photographing a stranger is something that is intimidating to a lot of photographers and its completely understandable why. we are indulging ourselves into another persons life, and they might or might not be willing to let us photograph them. we might get turned down or forced to be in an awkward situation. but this struggle is something that is really fascinating because in a few short moments you can go from barely knowing someone to creating an image with them that captures their true personality in photographic form. Most people who enjoy street shooting, live for these pictures. Often unrehearsed, they are the product of year of practice or sometimes  dumb luck. but behind the camera, there are photographers who are constantly working of the nerves to take one more picture.
             People around the globe see photography differently. Nothing makes this more apparent than pointing a camera at someone. some are natural exhibitionist and others believe with religious conviction that photographs are evil. Unfortunately for photographers there are no name tags declaring, " i enjoy having  my picture taken."we must feel out our subject, maybe even interact with them first before they will allow their picture to be taken.I have been photographing strangers for long  time now, some were successful than others. luckily, there have been no disaster just a few sour faces. some agree to be snapped while others ask you a lot of questions like, where are you taking my picture?, who are you?..there are many challenges when you try to advance to a stranger asking them for  picture pose ..but below i will  give ideas on how to approach a stranger.

THE IDEA OF PHOTOGRAPHING STRANGERS

you see an interesting person by the side of the
road, before you stop him you must have an idea of the shot that you want to create of this person. what will they be doing?how will they be posing ?what will be the background?.


Old is Gold.  photo by Jessy Kigen  (Cyprus,Lefkosa)


street photography requires a lot of balls, you have to get close enough to your subject, and with people, invading personal space is uncomfortable (and possible hazardous to health) for both photographer and subject.shooting with a longer lens, it appears to be slightly snobbish- it isn't seen being hardcore enough. In fact , those days it seems if your not  at f/8 hyper-focal (the distance between a camera lens and the closest object which is in focus when the lens is focused at infinity.) and sticking your camera and flash right up to somebody's nose then you're not really doing street photography 


The original  photo by Jessy Kigen  


Actually there's another approach though. in my own opinion its much harder to shoot wide open with a relatively wide lens - say nothing longer than 35mm - and shoot without your subject knowing you're there. This is what i like to call stealth method - you dont want to draw attention to yourself and  better yet, shoot without even bringing the camera to your eyes . Normally it takes a huge amount of skill and practice to nail shots  this way, because you must be able to both guess focus correctly ( if manual focusing )or know where you AF box is going to go - and at the same time know your lens well enough to visualize the field view.
The eye should learn to listen before it looks  photo by  Jessy Kigen



HOW TO APPROACH  A STRANGER

It doesn't matter what you say to people, the most important aspect of approaching people is being genuine, warm, friendly and calm. people will read your body language before you open your mouth, so if you come off as tense they will probably think you are shifty. If you are not smiling, people are going to to think you're unfriendly of course being a bit nervous is natural, i still get nervous too. its totally normal but the more you practice, the calmer you'll become. Then you'll settle into yourself more, got a little pattern going and it'll be much easier, it doesn't matter much what you say , how you say it, or what  you are working on, how people  react to you is almost 100% because of your body language and the feelings you have when you approach them.                                                         

 "you can find pictures anywhere, its simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. you care about whats around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy".
                                                                                                                                  Elliot Erwitt. 
                                         BE QUICK, BE PREPARED 

Golden hour  photo by Jessy Kigen 

I took the photo above in Cyprus few weeks ago, i was heading for the sunset with my girlfriend on a project called TTRE (Through The Readers Eyes )which i will talk about in the future articles, As we were walking towards the sunset an old man driving a tractor passed at my frame and bang!! there it was. Because i was prepared with my camera and because i always see whats going on around me i was able to capture it straight away.  

SUMMARY
To sum up -be friendly , smile,enjoy yourself. Remember this is fun, what we do!!!
have been doing this for 5 years now and i feel more rejuvenated to go and shoot more, meet new people, interact and learn from them.
please leave a comment below.

"If your Photos are  not good enough, then you're not close enough - Robert Capa.




written By Jessy kigen






Thursday, February 25, 2016

Black & white vs color for street photography. which one is better?

Hi guys its been awhile since i published on my blog .....now am back . I recently went through my email address and i got a question from one of my readers Martin,  Martin asked me the following,
 " have been a loyal reader of your blog and i noticed in your photographs they all in black and white and not even one is color "....
 Q: Whats the mechanism behind all this, why not use color in street photography ? color or black and white. Thank you. 
I really appreciate  Martin asking  the question. This has been day to day issue that i encounter as a street photographer. why do you photograph the street in black and white and not color?  

There are many pros and cons to both color and black & white in street photography.... i will talk about it below. 
Before we get started a simple google will do, search street photography, you will realize that you will get most of the images are in Black & white. further more, when people think about street photography they always think about classic black & white images taken by the likes of Ansel  Adams, Dias Arbus and Robert capa. 

for me i don't believe that street photography is meant to be taken in black & white or color. There are cases that black & white are more appropriate and in other  times color is more appropriate. In this article i will outline the difference between both mediums, while describing when it is appropriate to use either. 
                                        BLACK & WHITE STREET PHOTOGRAPHY.
"when you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes, but when you photograph in black & white you photograph there soul"  Ted Grant    photo by Jessy Kigen 
when you check out a black & white photograph you likely to see the classical and nostalgic look all together. Black & White reminds us of our past which we often romanticize and idealize. Not only that, but we don't see the world in black & white which makes this image more interesting to look at. Black & white photography creates more artistry intensity than color... that's for my own opinion.

Below are the points at which i feel its better to shoot in black & white for the street photography.    

TIMELESS  LOOK. 

Photo by; Eric kim
All the masters in the history of photography, they are all taken in black & white (as black & white was the only type of film available back then). Think about all the memorable images you see in post cards or posters.... all of them are in black & white .
when we think of the past, for some reason we always imagine the memories and pictures in our mind in black & white . 

 SIMPLE.

Photo by Jessy Kigen
-Black & white allows you to concentrate on the image itself, rather than  color . you can pinpoint certain details in the composition, which may have been obscured by color. At times i also noticed that certain images can get far too busy when in color, and black & white allows you to cut back on some of the distraction.  

COLOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 
-In my pictures you will find color reason being that color  has a different feel and life to it when compared to street photography. In my opinion , it makes things come to life and feel more real and vivid. Not only that but when you are shooting in color you can color a variety of hues and tones that black & white cannot. 
below are some reason why it is better to shoot in color than black and white.

*It allows to highlight certain element in an image.  

Photo by Matt Stuart  
-With color you can highlight elements of an image which often get forgotten in black & white , for example in the above image by Matt stuart , the juxtaposition between the red and yellow add to the composition and balance of the image. Had this image been in black & white the red color may have been obscure against the background not only that, but the color red is strong symbol of mischief --which would have once again been lost in Black & white. 

*Grab's your attention 

Photo by. Trent Parke
In this image by Trent Parke, the red color of the sign almost screams at you for its attention. This is due to the fact that we have emotional and psychological connections with certain colors - especially with the color red it yells "look at me!" therefore when shooting street photography and you really want your  audience to look  at something. color is definitely the way to go.

-Martin hope this Article will be of help,  thanks for being a loyal reader of my photography blog. 

--whats your take on the subject of black & white  VS color for street photography? please tell me your opinion by leaving a comment below. Thank you. 

check out more pictures and photo updates on the following links.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/51108747@N04/? flickr
https://www.facebook.com/slickphoto  facebook page.

                                                                        - The End-






Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Light Trials of Moving Cars (Thika Road) Kenya

Lifes light. Life is light. You can make light do anything you want to. Photography means 'light writing'...Jessy Kigen


Light Trails continue to be popular subject matter for many photographers and they can actually be a great training ground for those wanting to get their cameras out of manual mode and to experiment with shooting in low light at longer exposures.

Here is my story;
        From a long day shoot on my way home i was  amazed by the lighting and the way cars was moving up and down the great  road of Thika road.
The sun had gone home there was slightly beam of light from the sun ....."The Golden moment"
 I took out my camera to shoot the Golden Moment, but i realized for me to get a nice  light trails from a moving car i need a tripod 
Nooo!!!!!  i had no tripod with me but i could improvise the Bridge Pavement or the wall to place my camera for steady shot with no shaky movement.

See what i photographed.
The mighty Thika Road.(kenya) photo by Jessy Kigen







  

Camera Model: Canon Eos 600D
Iso speed : ISO-100
F-Stop  f/20
Exposure time. 30sec.









                               How  to Shoot Light Trails 

Equipment:

There is not just one particular type of camera and kit that you’ll need to capture light trails – however it is important to have a camera that allows you to have some control over exposure settings – particularly those that allow you to choose longer shutter speeds. This means you need a camera that has the ability to shoot in either full manual mode and/or shutter priority mode (something that all DSLRs and many point and shoot cameras have).
You’ll also need a tripod (or some other way to making your camera completely still) as you’ll be shooting with long shutter speeds which will make shooting handheld pretty much impossible.
Not essential but helpful to have with you are lens hoods (to help block lens flare from ambient lights), remote shutter release cables or wireless remote controls, patience and some warm clothes if you’re going out on a chilly night.

Setting Up Your Shot:

Photographing light trails is not difficult – it’s as simple as finding virtually any road with cars going down it once the sun goes down. But getting a shot that grabs attention means putting a little more thought into choosing your location, thinking about timing and framing your image. Here are a few tips on how to set your shot up:
  • Timing/Light – one might think that the middle of the night is the best time for light trail photography (and it can be) – however one very effective time to do it is just as the sun is going down (just before and after). If you shoot at this time you’ll not only capture light from cars, but ambient light in the sky which can add atmosphere to your shots. You also might find that earlier in the evening you get a little more ‘action’ in your shot with more cars and even the movement of people through your shot.
  • Creative Perspectives – some of the most effective light trail shots that I’ve taken and seen from others were taken from perspectives other than at the height of a normal person standing up. Get down low or find a place looking down on your scene that will create an unusual angle.
  • Location – the most obvious thing with location is that you’ll need it to be somewhere near a road – however there’s more to think about than that. Choose a location that adds interest to the shot in some way. This might be one where there are well lit buildings along the road, one where multiple roads merge together to create light trails in different directions, on the bend of a road so that the trails sweep through the image, near a roundabout so the trails create circular shapes, in the middle of dual carriageways (on a triaffic island) so that you get traffic coming in two directions etc.  
  • Framing – the normal ‘rules’ of composition apply in this type of photography. Images need some sort of point/s of interest, the rule of thirds can be applied effectively, draw the eyes into your image using lines smartly, foregounds and backgrounds should add to and not distract from the image.
    The mightyThika Road(Kenya)  Photo by. Jessy Kigen



Camera Model: Canon Eos 600D
Iso speed : ISO-100
F-Stop  f/20
Exposure time. 30sec.





  
  • Choose a low ISO setting - this will give you images with as little noise as possible.  
 
  • Shoot in RAW if you have it -this will enable you to have more control in your post production work – particularly in getting white balance right (something that can be important as you’re shooting in a situation with lots of artificial light that can cause all kinds of color casts in your shot).
  • Manual Focus - In low light situations cameras can struggle to get focusing locked correctly. The last thing you want is for your camera to be in and out of focus just as you need to hit the shutter release. Switch to manual focus and make sure your focus is upon a part of your image that is visually strong.
  • Using Bulb Mode

    Many digital cameras have a mode on them called ‘bulb’ mode that allows you as the photographer to keep the shutter open as long as you wish. This can be very handy in this type of photography to time your shots with precision. If you use this you’ll want to be using a remote shutter release to stop any camera movement while the shutter is open. 

    Am sure when yo follow up the process above yo will come with Amazing light Trails. Thanks for Reading.
     
    Got some good light trail shots?   i will be delighted if you share and we  learn more on this  blog......Am out #slickphotobyjessykigen......My story There life's. Article by. Jessy Kigen.courtesy of Digital photography school.

     


     

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The streets from Above.(Aerial photography) of Nairobi city

The streets from Above.  photo by Jessy kigen
Sorry Guys i had to break  the rule, i had to go above the streets , normally i shoot the street from below getting the interesting geometric composition of the streets and its day walkers,  but this time i wanted to have a view of the streets  and how it looks from aerial view.

The streets look so stunning from above, sometime i wish i could have a pilot friend to fly me around while shooting the streets from above. Anyway that's my wish, besides  that, there are many ways to shoot the streets from above, the most efficient and affordable way is by trying to find the tallest building in your city get the legal access from the management then  climb to the top ....Mount your camera in your tripod in this  case to get steady and a balanced picture.

other ways of shooting the streets from above are ,  aircraft, helicopters, multirotor Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, parachutes Drones.

I prefer using the tallest building because  it affordable, efficient, yo can do a lot, you take your time Adjusting your camera and mounting it..then shoot at your own pace unlike the helicopter where everything is limited and expensive.....

when  i shoot the streets i normally use my free hand because of the flexibility not unless am shooting light trails (long exposure)...this will force me to use  a tripod .(You need a tripod (or some other way to making your camera completely still) as you’ll be shooting with long shutter speeds which will make shooting handheld pretty much impossible.).

On  aerial photography above  i used a Tripod because i was in a flat surface where i could mount my camera...and this enable me to get a nice city scape or a street view from above....the photo above was shot at KICC Nairobi courtesy of Slick photo by Jessy kigen .......Am out..My story there life's ..   Article by Jessy Kigen. check more on my photography story and share out thank you.

You don't take a photograph, you make it..... Ansel Adams





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Photography and lighting.

Photo by: Jessy kigen


"Where light and shadow fall on your subject - that is the essence of expression and art through photography" jessy kigen 

Light is more than just how bright or dark it is; it’s also the key to the look, mood and atmosphere of your images. The direction of the light will affect how the shape and texture of your subject appears, while the colour and how soft or harsh the light is can totally change a shot’s appearance.

The picture above was shot inside a train wagon, A model was sited in a coach where  natural light was coming from the window..

There is something beautiful and incredibly engaging about photos that have been shot in natural light. The natural light of the sun can create stunning colors spanning the whole spectral range, something that just can’t be achieved with artificial lighting. Learning to harness the power and light of the sun in your photographs is a fantastic technique for taking your photography to the next level.
Playing with natural light in your photographs will likely take a bit of practice and of course, experimentation. You will need to learn how your camera handles natural light, and begin to understand what settings work best for you. But we’ve put together a few digital photography tips to get you started shooting in natural light. - See more at: http://thebeginnerslens.com/digital-photography/photography-tips-for-shooting-in-natural-light.html#sthash.IjAVxaEs.dpuf
 There is something beautiful and incredibly engaging about photos that have been shot in natural light. The natural light of the sun can create stunning colors spanning the whole spectral range, something that just can’t be achieved with artificial lighting. Learning to harness the power and light of the sun in your photographs is a fantastic technique for taking your photography to the next level.

Using shadows to create a mood on your photos----
You already know that shadows can give a photo dimension and become part of the subject of your photograph. But did you know that shadows also create a “mood” in your photo. A photo that is heavy with shadows, where there is more shadow than light creates a dark, intense, or even ominous mood. - 

your photos is a technique that is best practiced with outdoor shooting, you can also use natural light to your advantage when shooting inside. Using the natural light from a nearby window can create dramatic effects.  The photo above you can easy tell the mood of the model and the effect that was created just from the direction of the light from the window,  mostly dark photograph automatically conveys a sense of looming terror.

Try use natural light and experience stunning effect in your subject, best time early at the dawn and when the sun sets...perfect moment i call it the "Golden Moment"...am out......#slickphoto#photography....My story there life's ..share out the post.......Article by: Jessy Kigen
A mostly dark photograph automatically conveys a sense of looming terror - See more at: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/1546/how-lighting-affects-the-mood-of-your-photos/#sthash.AbKJcPda.dpuf
You already know that shadows can give a photo dimension and become part of the subject of your photograph. But did you know that shadows also create a “mood” in your photo. A photo that is heavy with shadows, where there is more shadow than light creates a dark, intense, or even ominous mood. - See more at: http://thebeginnerslens.com/digital-photography/photography-tips-for-shooting-in-natural-light.html#sthash.IjAVxaEs.dpufA mostly dark photograph automatically conveys a sense of looming terror -
There is something beautiful and incredibly engaging about photos that have been shot in natural light. The natural light of the sun can create stunning colors spanning the whole spectral range, something that just can’t be achieved with artificial lighting. Learning to harness the power and light of the sun in your photographs is a fantastic technique for taking your photography to the next level.
Playing with natural light in your photographs will likely take a bit of practice and of course, experimentation. You will need to learn how your camera handles natural light, and begin to understand what settings work best for you. But we’ve put together a few digital photography tips to get you started shooting in natural light. - See more at: http://thebeginnerslens.com/digital-photography/photography-tips-for-shooting-in-natural-light.html#sthash.IjAVxaEs.dpuf

There is something beautiful and incredibly engaging about photos that have been shot in natural light. The natural light of the sun can create stunning colors spanning the whole spectral range, something that just can’t be achieved with artificial lighting. Learning to harness the power and light of the sun in your photographs is a fantastic technique for taking your photography to the next level.
Playing with natural light in your photographs will likely take a bit of practice and of course, experimentation. You will need to learn how your camera handles natural light, and begin to understand what settings work best for you. But we’ve put together a few digital photography tips to get you started shooting in natural light. - See more at: http://thebeginnerslens.com/digital-photography/photography-tips-for-shooting-in-natural-light.html#sthash.IjAVxaEs.dpuf
There is something beautiful and incredibly engaging about photos that have been shot in natural light. The natural light of the sun can create stunning colors spanning the whole spectral range, something that just can’t be achieved with artificial lighting. Learning to harness the power and light of the sun in your photographs is a fantastic technique for taking your photography to the next level.
Playing with natural light in your photographs will likely take a bit of practice and of course, experimentation. You will need to learn how your camera handles natural light, and begin to understand what settings work best for you. But we’ve put together a few digital photography tips to get you started shooting in natural light. - See more at: http://thebeginnerslens.com/digital-photography/photography-tips-for-shooting-in-natural-light.html#sthash.IjAVxaEs.dpuf

There is something beautiful and incredibly engaging about photos that have been shot in natural light. The natural light of the sun can create stunning colors spanning the whole spectral range, something that just can’t be achieved with artificial lighting. Learning to harness the power and light of the sun in your photographs is a fantastic technique for taking your photography to the next level.
Playing with natural light in your photographs will likely take a bit of practice and of course, experimentation. You will need to learn how your camera handles natural light, and begin to understand what settings work best for you. But we’ve put together a few digital photography tips to get you started shooting in natural light. - See more at: http://thebeginnerslens.com/digital-photography/photography-tips-for-shooting-in-natural-light.html#sthash.IjAVxaEs.dpuf

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Blur day walker

Photo by; Jessy Kigen 

"Am not interested in shooting new things-Am interested to see things new" Jessy Kigen

Woke up to a very Gloomy mood, checked my fridge and there was  nothing to drink and eat, i thought coffee would do a great favor  for me on a chilly Sunday at my favorite restaurant "Kapital coffee House" But then i remembered i had  mission on the streets with the day walkers.

My Motto still remains My story there life's.

Before i could go to the coffee place i decided,  let me try take a few shots of the streets and its walkers, the streets was  chilly with less walkers. I just needed one shot and am done with the day after all it was a gloomy day and i came to have coffee, am that loyal....so i  went to Kapital Coffee House, i sat at an angel where i could see the exit of the Restaurant simply because i still needed that one shot of a day walker walking, and at the exit of the Restaurant that was the better place to get the shot. Guess what? i got the shot that i really wanted ,  you would think it was all staged but this was real, i used my iPhone to archive this shot.   but it took me awhile before i got the photo above.

lesson learn t; as a street photographer always be passionate and be Patient. The streets belong to us. Am out ...#slickphoto#street photographer  story by Jessy kigen .

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Make your Street photography interesting.

Photo by, Jessy Kigen

Sometimes i pretend to focus on anything close to me but all i need is a day walker....check out the day walker at the end of the street....  

 Lets make this more interesting, Am a great follower of  a street photographer Eric Kim simply because he is so precise on his photographs and his articles are Amazing. Today i want to talk more  on how to  make your street photography interesting even when you are bored.

 "One of the most exciting ways to live life is to avoid boredom. By following what makes us curious, passionate, and have fun create meaning in our life.
one of the great ways to guide our work in street photography is to avoid boredom." Eric Kim

Tips to make Street photography interesting. 

In street photography, i always make sure that i listen to my self, By making street photography interesting we should avoid boredom at all cost. we need to be Passionate.

for a  street street photographer is really hard to avoid boredom and make it interesting when one is not passionate. There are days where we get mishaps. There are days  we feel Gloomy  and  we just want to stay indoor lazily. or maybe walk all day on the street and not find anything to shoot.

Through my Guide, we should try avoid boredom and make street photography interesting,i think its important to switch things up. check this few points:

1.Shoot in Different Areas 
As a  street photographer you should not shoot in the same old place every time at your exploration. try to find  different location, streets and interesting scenes. you don't need to travel all the way to Paris,china or Germany to shoot or get lovely scenes. Start with your own street at your home town, find  a strategic place that looks busy and interesting, exhaust the place then move to the other street.  If you have a  car much better, yo can drive to the next town and explore more just to make you street photography interesting and not bored. Avoid boredom at any cost, if you are brave enough yo can take a bus and  get off at random stop then start shooting.

As humans, we love to explore. We love serendipity, and discovering new places (think about all the guys who sailed around the world in search of new lands). Be a “street photography explorer”...Jessy Kigen 

2.Experiment on your skills
when shooting  and it  makes you feel bored, find something more interesting try switch up  things.Most important is lens, try use different lenses  when shooting. if you dont want to get close to the subject try a long range shots by using zoom lens.If yo are used to zoom lens try switch it to a prime lens, more wider angle.
Most of the time we  feel bored shooting with digital, if thats the case switch up to film.. make your photography interesting
If you are bored shooting like Henri Cartier Bresson (looking for an interesting background and waiting for someone interesting to walk into the scene), switch it up by trying to shoot more aggressively like Bruce Gilden (more head-on). Eric Kim

3.shoot in different Time Zone.
You want to make your street photography interesting try use different time zone, if yo are used to day time try late night shoot. try to  shoot the lighting on the streets near you,trust me you will love the street at night.

Life is short. When it comes to your street photography, follow your curiosity and what makes you happy and excited.  Make your photography interesting. Am out........#slickphoto#streetphotography#B&W...My story there life's ....Article by Jessy Kigen.