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Developing an Eye for Street Photography

Why are pro street photographers so good at what they do? Some say that they have the 'eye' - an innate ability to recognize and capture beautiful scenes. But this doesn't come from magical powers or even investment into gear. Rather, it comes with practice and a strict editing process.


The most important step in capturing stunning street images is to take lots of photos, and the more shots you capture, the better the results will get. Try grabbing your camera and just walking your neighborhood for an hour. Shoot everything that you're interested in. It can be a person, an object, or even light striking a surface - as long as you're creative and original, the results will work. Don't be afraid to experiment and go off-course. On a recent street photography shoot, I abandoned the busy thoroughfares of Manhattan in favor of a shady park - and the textural, moody results (-5 EV exposure compensation) were far better than my street shots from that day.



But no matter how unique your ideas are, there will be shots that don't work - hundreds of them - and it's crucial to leave these out of your collections. With some practice, perhaps 15 out of 20 images will be properly exposed. 5 of them will be good, and one outstanding. Your overall collection will look infinitely more professional if you choose that single incredible image for your portfolio, rather than the 5 average 'keepers'. All you'll need to do is shoot more and more images, and build up your collection of outstanding shots. But having the 'eye' goes beyond having stunning images on your computer - it's about sharing them. Because ultimately, having the 'eye' is about sharing the joy depicted in your images.

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