My first street photos

Six months passed after I got my first digital camera before I thought of going out to just capture photos of unknown people on the road. I’d done several photo walks before that. But I’d concentrated on getting photos of places while avoiding photographing strangers. I have photos of Rome, the Italian Tyrole, Malmoe, Duesseldorf, Hamburg, all looking strangely deserted. The only people who appear in my photos from those months are friends and family. Why did I change my subject abruptly? I don’t remember for certain, but I remember coming back to India after six months in Europe, and being delighted with the number of people on the road. The photos you see here were taken days after I returned.

I remember watching a street vendor selling white shirts. The heap of white cloth acted as a reflector, lighting up the faces of the vendor and his customer. This was the first of the street shots from that day. The banana man in the featured photo was the second. I had some trouble getting him. I was shooting from far away, and people kept passing in front of him. Looking at the photos that didn’t work out, I remember trying again and again.

This photo was even harder. I was shooting close to the stock exchange around midday, just when this guy with the fruit plates was doing roaring business. It was my first shoot, and I was trying very hard not to be noticed taking a photo. I had to stand there are time my shutter release to find a small gap between people. This was not all. The man was much darker than most of the others there, and I had to find the right exposure for him. Between fiddling with exposure and looking for a gap, this photo took time. I learnt later that it it better to go close. After some time the subjects forget about you. But if they don’t, they interact with you, giving you even more interesting photos. I leave you with the example below, coincidentally taken a decade later.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

14 comments

  1. Those are a couple good suggestions. I have always felt if I interacted with the person, the photo became “posed,” but I think my problem is I am not taking enough time with them; I need to be more patient. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for allowing me to post your post on the Just One Person for next week , Feb 17! Look for it then! I think many folks are unsure how to go about getting street photos and are uncomfortable with taking them at first. This will help! I can’t decide which photo I like best! The shirt guy has great contrast and the colors are awesome with the fruit guy! The last photo just pulls everything together……I take all my photos now on my IPhone, which I think come out better than my photos on my camera because I don’t have to manipulate it so much and I can just click and go!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting to read about your first attempts at street photography as they echo my own, feeling so unsure about people noticing your camera. I still worry about that at times, but I’ve managed to improve my street photos (I hope!) by learning to be a bit more confident 🙂 I love your final shot but I have to say that the others are also successful, especially the fruit seller. I assume it’s coincidence but the colours work so well, with the shirts worn by the men either side of him toning with the fruits while his is a contrast to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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