I’ve been trying my hand at street photography this week. It’s something I’ve always been keen to focus on and in preparation I bought a sweet old Rangefinder film camera from Ebay – The Zorki 4K for a steal at $35.00!
I’ve been reading up on the best way to go about it from one of the best in the game right now – Eric Kim. I found stories like this one ’10 Tips for the aspiring street photographer’ to be really helpful in getting into the right mindset.
It has been a refreshing change from shooting digital as I dont have instant feedback to see my results. It can be days or weeks between taking a shot and seeing the results. I’ve found this change to be both good and bad – the bad is I may have missed a shot and I have no way of knowing.
But the good outweighs the bad by far; I’m more patient with every shot I take. The Rangefinder is more discreet and doesnt draw as much attention and the time delay between taking a shot and seeing the results helps to remove the emotional connection to each shot so I’m better able to judge each photo on it’s own merits. I’m also less concerned about ‘pixel peeping’ – worrying about getting a super sharp, perfectly exposed shot. Street photography is more about the story, the frame, the decisive moment. Noise and sharp focus are secondary concerns.
Having shot with DSLRs for so long, I’ve become very reliant on the auto exposure of the digitals so I’ve been using an iPhone mod – Pocket Light Meter (It’s Free!) to help judge my exposures with the film camera while I get my bearings with it.
I eagerly await the results of my first rolls of film from the Zorki. I’m sure there will be a period of adjustment where I learn the quirks of the camera and slowly get over my self consciousness when shooting out on the streets.