Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Street Photography Tips


If you’re into the look of candid, natural, unposed photos, you can’t beat the genuine quality of street photography. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it’s  not so much about taking pictures of people on a street, it’s a style of photography. It’s about capturing people doing their everyday things; like a musician playing his guitar on a street corner or the captivated expression a person has while they listen to it.

As beautiful as people can be in their natural state, generally speaking, people don’t like to be photographed without their permission- maybe they’re just having a bad hair day or in this digital age, they could be worried that their photo might wind up as the subject of the next viral meme.

So how do you photograph people if they might find it objectionable? Well, you could ask permission- which depending on your artistic goal, might destroy the authentic, candid look you’re going for. Or you could get crafty and do it on the sly. Here are some tips and tricks that we’ve found to work well.

Don’t be creepy

Although it may seem like a great idea to employ your best ninja photographer skills and stick to the shadows and back alleys and catch people unawares, people are going to think you’re up to no good or worse, a pervert or something. So, avoid creeping around like you’re doing something illegal.


Be Discreet

All of the best street photos have something in common: They’re genuine shots of people doing normal, everyday things. If your plan is to take street photos, do so in the least conspicuous way, not only to avoid being detected but so that your subjects are relaxed and doing what they do. If you’re racing from corner to corner snapping photos like the paparazzi, you’re going to destroy the mood of the people around you. So, just take the photos you actually want and do so discreetly.


Be Ready

When you arrive at a destination, like a market, and start feeling inspired by the sights around you, take a few photos right away and get your exposure settings correct so, when the time comes to take your photo, you can quickly snap it and be done. Pretty hard to look casual when you take a photo of someone, stop and adjust, take another photo, stop, make adjustments….

And since every blog post needs a class plug, let’s go for it here- if you understand the manual settings on your camera but still struggle to achieve proper exposures quickly, check out Getting Proper Exposures!


Be Prepared for Confrontation

Even if you follow the “rules” and use common sense, chances are you’re eventually going to tick someone off at some point. If you’re approached by someone who you’ve offended by taking their photo, usually a sincere apology and escorting yourself from their vicinity is enough to appease. But if that doesn’t work and the situation starts to escalate, decide if the shot you just captured is worth the fight. Chances are, it isn’t- apologize, delete it and move on.

Interested in trying out some Street Photography? Come May, we’ll be hosting Photo Walks again and we often hit up urban locations, with fantastic photo opportunities! Was that another shameless class plug? 😉

Winter Photography Tips

Icy roads, freezing temperatures, dead batteries and unbearable wind chill are just some of the many joys we have living here, in Alberta. But once in awhile, you can’t help but look around and think how beautiful everything looks under fresh fallen snow… The way it accumulates on the branches and how it seems like you can stare off into the landscape and see white forever. Those are the days you need to grab your camera and get out and capture something that you could never capture in one of those lame tropical countries that are just boring sandy beaches all year round. (dare to dream!)


Now that I have you feeling all inspired to capture the beautiful scene around you, shooting in the winter is not without a few challenges- preparation is key.

  1. Grab extra batteries! Nothing sucks your battery power quite like the cold.
  2. Use the biggest memory card you can find so you can save your freezing fingers the challenge of changing it out later on.
  3. Be smart with your gear and don’t shock it with sudden temperature changes. Coming directly inside from a -25 afternoon feels like a warm hug to us but your camera might hold a grudge. You could wind up with condensation in your camera or lenses so, acclimate your gear slowly afterward to avoid costly problems.

camera-gear-in-winter- calgary-photography-classes

Get Creative

Ever stare at a beautiful winter scene, take a photo and realize that you just didn’t do the scene justice? It winds up looking flat and boring? A great way to add some dimension to your winter scene is to practice shooting with a shallow depth of field- if you’re unfamiliar with this, we cover it in our class Using Your DSLR Camera. Also, try adding something interesting to the foreground, maybe a splash of color or, instead of trying to capture the entire landscape around you, focus on something small.


If you’re every feeling starved for inspiration or you want to connect with other photographers, join us for a photo walk! This is a great way to practice and reinforce the principles learned in class. Have fun! Be sure to share your winter photos with us on instagram, @thecplc!