Success In Street Photography

Street photography has taught me a lot about photography – proper exposure, composition, seeing things differently, and anticipation. I am certainly not the best photographer, nor do I pretend to be, but I take my art very seriously and go about it honestly. My success with this blog is minimal, but for me it has been monumental, and I think that whatever degree of success I have reached has been a result of that honesty.

toronto queen st bakery

I’m in my thirties, but I think I’ve learned a lot in life. You see, I once played in a rock band in Toronto during a time when the city was going through a bit of a musical revival. We began as four high school friends who came together again in our twenties to have fun and play some music. At first it was just fun and honest, but we began to get a bit of a following. Our popularity grew, and more and more opportunities began to open up. We played with a big UK band called Editors, and then again a few weeks later with The Killers.

But, when external influences began to creep into our little small town music-playing bubble, things started to unravel. I had a pretty major falling out with my best friend (we’ve since matured and moved past it), and the band continued on for a while but to no avail.

I think I’m writing this post as a little reminder for me to keep it honest and genuine. I have no idea how my photography stacks up against other street photographers, or Canadian, Toronto, or Ottawa photographers, but I’m not sure I care, because I enjoy it. The one constant bit of praise I’m truly proud of with this little endeavour is that I’ve hear on many occasions that I am very approachable and engaging. I love talking to, and learning about my fellow bloggers, Β and I think we learn a lot from each other. Isn’t that the whole point of blogging? Many of you comment regularly on my posts, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the interaction. I try to do the same with many of you, but when life steps in the way it is sometimes difficult… so please excuse my lack of friendliness as I settle into my new home and city.

The image above is anything but spectacular, but it’s one that I love. I was walking along the street one day, and in a split second, I saw this baker rush to the open window to greet what I presume was her pooch who was out for a walk with someone. I’m not even sure that I had the time to raise the camera to my eye before clicking the shutter, but I’m proud of the imageΒ because it’s a testament to my preparedness and having the right settings. I also like the organic nature of the interaction between the girl and her dog, and the out of focus passer-by in the foreground looking on the scene. I think he helps direct the viewer to the subject.

I hope you all have an excellent Wednesday, and I promise to post photos from Ottawa very soon.

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28 comments

  1. A nice, honest post, and a great photo. You’ve captured the moment and grabbed hold of it in the same way that the baker’s grabbing her dog. Nice work, Shane! πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Shane.
    Great post. I feel you and can reflect in most of what you write.
    Blogging and photography is not about comparing yourself to others but that we ourselves grow from our own starting point.
    That being said I think it is a great street picture and getting that shot – as you say yourself – is all about being prepared with the camera settings and being determined to find the scene.
    I’m glad I follow your blog.
    Take care.

  3. I think that street photography is a little bit of luck too … capturing at the very precise moment something that will never happen again. It’s not like taking photo of a flower that will stand still for hours or sunset on a lake that will come back evening after evening

    1. I agree Nelson. I’m beginning to think that it’s similar to photojournalism in that you’re looking to capture the emotion of the moment. In either case, it’s the candid moments that get me going πŸ™‚

      Thanks for leaving your thoughts!

  4. It is important to remind ourselves why we share our craft. That underlying intention, especially for you Shane, comes through easily on your blog. I think that is why folks have words to share with you. Love the pop of pink in the image. Looking forward to seeing Toronto through your eyes!

  5. I loved this post Shane. I think you’re a wonderful photographer. Every one of us has a journey behind the lens and what it means to us. Thank you for letting us in a little more. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Shane.
    This is an excellent photo and the passerby does add to the composition wonderfully!
    I’m taking a class soon on shooting in complete sunshine – since on-farm shoots are often in glaring light. That lighting is so different from your city streets.
    All the light is beautiful. πŸ™‚ I like to shoot right before dusk to get similar tones to what’s in your city picture.
    Great work!
    Emily Grace

    1. Hey Emily,

      That sounds like a great class. I’d love to hear how it went once you’ve completed it, and see some of the shots that come out of the process. You’re right, country lighting and city lighting can differ greatly. Every time I turn a corner the light seems to change so I have to stay on top of my settings and make the appropriate changes. I’m always moving from light to shadow, and back.

      Thanks for the visit.

  7. I love your photo! I am a bit scared to try street photography because I’m worried about looking like a stalker. Do people get mad at you when they see you snapping a photo of them? I assume you have to try to be somewhat unobtrusive. Any tips?

  8. I hate people! Well, that’s not quite accurate. I hate interacting with people because I am not the most outgoing of people. But lately I’ve wanted to attempt some street photography and finding your blog has pushed me over the edge. I will be trying it out soon- as soon as the daytime temperatures drop to a more reasonable degree- right now it is over 100 degrees daily and even landscape photography has been put on hold! But I now have the itch! Thank you for your photos and insights!

    1. Haha, I love that you said you hate people πŸ™‚

      I shall watch for your street photography posts in the future. Just in case I somehow miss it when you post about it, be sure to link over to me so I get the notification. Good luck, and stay cool, geez, that sounds crazy hot.

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