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No Images - Opinion
Interesting point of view
Here's a list of tips, advice, rules and just things to know about photography from Eric Kim, a street photographer who also holds photography workshop classes.
Here's the full list:
1. Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn't mean that they're a good photographer.
2. Always shoot in RAW. Always.
3. Prime lenses help you learn to be a better photographer.
4. Photo editing is an art in itself
5. The rule of thirds works 99% of the time.
6. Macro photography isn't for everybody.
7. UV filters work just as well as lens caps.
8. Go outside & shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.
9. Capture the beauty in the mundane and you have a winning photograph.
10. Film isn't better than digital.
11. Digital isn't better than film.
12. There is no "magic" camera or lens.
13. Better lenses don't give you better photos.
14. Spend less time looking at other people's work and more time shooting your own.
15. Don't take your DSLR to parties.
16. Girls dig photographers.
17. Making your photos b/w doesn't automatically make them "artsy"
18. People will always discredit your work if you tell them you "photoshop" your images. Rather, tell them that you process them in the "digital darkroom".
19. You don't need to take a photo of everything.
20. Have at least 2 backups of all your images. Like they say in war, two is one, one is none.
21. Ditch the neck strap and get a handstrap.
22. Get closer when taking your photos, they often turn out better.
23. Be a part of a scene while taking a photo; not a voyeur.
24. Taking a photo crouched often make your photos look more interesting.
25. Worry less about technical aspects and focus more on compositional aspects of photography.
26. Tape up any logos on your camera with black gaffers tape- it brings a lot less attention to you.
27. Always underexpose by 2/3rds of a stop when shooting in broad daylight.
28. The more photos you take, the better you get.
29. Don't be afraid to take several photos of the same scene at different exposures, angles, or apertures.
30. Only show your best photos.
31. A point-and-shoot is still a camera.
32. Join an online photography forum.
33. Critique the works of others.
34. Think before you shoot.
35. A good photo shouldn't require explanation (although background information often adds to an image). *
36. Alcohol and photography do not mix well.
37. Draw inspiration from other photographers but never worship them.
38. Grain is beautiful.
39. Ditch the photo backpack and get a messenger bag. It makes getting your lenses and camera a whole lot easier.
40. Simplicity is key.
41. The definition of photography is: "painting with light." Use light in your favor.
42. Find your style of photography and stick with it.
43. Having a second monitor is the best thing ever for photo processing.
44. Silver EFEX pro is the best b/w converter.
45. Carry your camera with you everywhere. Everywhere.
46. Never let photography get in the way of enjoying life.
47. Don't pamper your camera. Use and abuse it.
48. Take straight photos.
49. Shoot with confidence.
50. Photography and juxtaposition are best friends.
51. Print out your photos big. They will make you happy.
52. Give your photos to friends.
53. Give them to strangers.
54. Don't forget to frame them.
55. Costco prints are cheap and look great.
56. Go out and take photos with (a) friend(s).
57. Join a photo club or start one for yourself.
58. Photos make great presents.
59. Taking photos of strangers is thrilling.
61. Natural light is the best light.
62. 35mm (on full frame) is the best "walk-around" focal length.
63. Don't be afraid to bump up your ISO when necessary.
64. You don't need to always bring a tripod with you everywhere you go (hell, I don't even own one).
65. It is always better to underexpose than overexpose.
66. Shooting photos of homeless people in an attempt to be "artsy" is exploitation.
67. You will find the best photo opportunities in the least likely situations.
68. Photos are always more interesting with the human element included.
69. You can't "photoshop" bad images into good ones.
70. Nowadays everybody is a photographer.
71. You don't need to fly to Paris to get good photos; the best photo opportunities are in your backyard.
72. People with DSLRS who shoot portraits with their grip pointed downwards look like morons.
73. Cameras as tools, not toys.
74. In terms of composition, photography and painting aren't much different.
75. Photography isn't a hobby- it's a lifestyle.
76. Make photos, not excuses.
77. Be original in your photography. Don't try to copy the style of others.
78. The best photographs tell stories that begs the viewer for more.
79. Any cameras but black ones draw too much attention.
80. The more gear you carry around with you the less you will enjoy photography.
81. Good self-portraits are harder to take than they seem.
82. Laughter always draws out peoples' true character in a photograph.
83. Don't look suspicious when taking photos- blend in with the environment.
84. Landscape photography can become dull after a while.
85. Have fun while taking photos.
86. Never delete any of your photos.
87. Be respectful when taking photos of people or places.
88. When taking candid photos of people in the street, it is easier to use a wide-angle than a telephoto lens.
89. Travel and photography are the perfect pair.
90. Learn how to read a histogram.
91. A noisy photo is better than a blurry one.
92. Don't be afraid to take photos in the rain.
93. Learn how to enjoy the moment, rather than relentlessly trying to capture the perfect picture of it.
94. Never take photos on an empty stomach.
95. You will discover a lot about yourself through your photography.
96. Never hoard your photographic insight- share it with the world.
97. Never stop taking photos
98. Photography is more than simply taking photos, it is a philosophy of life
99. Capture the decisive moment
100. Write your own list
I don't know the heroes... I just take pictures
101. Any list of photo how-tos that is 100 items long contains about 70 to 90 things that are total bullshit and is drawn up by someone who always use to write "the end" "the end" "the end" "the end" to get to the word count on high school essays, and never read the invaluable admonition at the heart of "Elements of Style" - AVOID NEEDLESS WORDS!
Eric is... Eric. I don't know for sure, but I feel there is evidence to suggest a lot of what he posts is designed to drive up his search ranking. If you google "street photography tips" Eric's website shows up frequently in the top links. Very smart marketing. I'm personally happy that at least someone out there has figured out a way to make a living doing street.
Post is for fun... excellent flame material... have at it...
I don't know the heroes... I just take pictures
#15 Don't take your camera to parties?--Well then how else to put it to good use for purposes of #16 Girls dig photographers--BTW, thank you for posting this, though I am straight, I am glad to know that girls dig me :)
Eric wrote the list you posted 3 years ago. He has recently revised his list. It might be better to comment on the more current list that supersedes the old list. You'll find that his new list directly contradicts his old list in many important aspects. I think it shows how much he has learned. That said, even some of these items directly contradict his more recent advice. I think it is fair to say that consistency of thought is not a hallmark of the Eric Kim blog.
1. A photograph is like a sentence. Aim to write a book.
2. Always smile and say “thank you” when shooting on the streets
3. Shoot with your heart, not with your eyes
4. Shooting with friends will make you feel much more comfortable on the streets
5. The most versatile focal length is 35mm
6. Don’t rely on autofocus – use zone focusing
7. Have a drink to loosen yourself up before shooting on the streets
8. Have at least 3 backups of all your photographs (hard drives all eventually fail)
9. If you shoot film, keep your images organized
10. The best critique is never online—always in-person
11. Don’t ask people what they like about your photographs, ask them what they don’t like
12. Having one camera and lens is bliss
13. Buy books, not gear
14. Style isn’t something aesthetic
15. “Shoot who you are” – Bruce Gilden
16. Harness the power of groups/collectives to spread your photography
17. Don’t focus on aesthetics in your photos—but rather the message
18. Shooting film is magical
19. Never upload your photographs immediately—let them marinate for at least a week before sharing them
20. Good projects often take at least a year to complete
21. Post-processing your images digitally should never take more than a minute
22. Printing your photographs out large is immensely satisfying
23. Share your knowledge & technique with others – never hoard it yourself
24. It is better to shoot everyday for 10 minutes than to shoot once a week for 10 hours
25. Only show your best work
26. Photo-sets with over 25 images are exhausting to look through
27. It is great to constantly experiment with your technique and gear—but once you find something that works reasonably well stop and stick with it
28. When in doubt, ask for permission
29. People love to be complimented while on the streets
30. Don’t take photos of people who look pissed off or walk extremely quickly. These are the people who often get upset when you take their photograph
31. If shooting digital, always shoot in RAW
32. Look at other forms of art for inspiration
33. Take photos of people’s faces, not their backs
34. Eyes are the windows to the soul. Get photos with eye-contact in your images.
35. Your photos are only as good as the photos you look at. Avoid the internet and look at photo-books for inspiration
36. Giving helpful critique to others will make you a better judge of your own work
37. “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” – Robert Capa
38. After a whole day of shooting, I am lucky if I get 1-2 good photographs
39. The more time you spend on online forums, the less you will shoot
40. Don’t think too much while taking photographs. Avoid “paralysis by analysis”
41. Don’t chimp while shooting on the streets (checking your LCD screen). You will lose many decisive moments
42. “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca
43. You can get luckier in street photography by spending more time out shooting in the streets
44. Don’t crop. Get it right in-camera
45. Look for the light
46. You will take the best photographs in the least-likely places
47. Always carry your camera with you everywhere you go. Everywhere
48. The smaller your camera is the less intimidating you will look
49. Don’t shoot from the hip if you have a camera with a viewfinder. Use the viewfinder—that’s why it’s there
50. Good composition alone doesn’t make a good photograph. A great photograph needs soul.
51. Don’t let inspiration be your main source of motivation for shooting. Go out and shoot even when you don’t feel like it—and the streets will re-inspire you
52. Street photography doesn’t have to have people in it
53. “Creepiness is proportional to focal length”. Don’t shoot street photography with a telephoto/zoom lens
54. The best place to shoot street photography is your own backyard
55. Crouch often when shooting to get at least eye-level (or lower) to get a natural (or unusual perspective)
56. The lighter your camera bag, the more you will enjoy shooting
57. Don’t forget to look down and up when shooting
58. When in doubt, click
59. Don’t try to just take photos of interesting people, but try to take photos of interesting gestures
60. It is better to take an extraordinary photo of something ordinary, rather than taking an ordinary photo of something extraordinary
61. The way people react to street photography (all around the world) is often more similar than dissimilar
62. There is no perfect camera for street photography. Every camera has its own strengths/limitations
63. Learn to memorize a focal length so you can frame your shots before even bringing up your camera to your eye
64. The best combo: one camera and one lens
65. Focus on hands – they communicate strong messages to the viewer
66. Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t get pissed off when you take photos of them (most people actually quite like it)
67. Street photographs are well-balanced with an odd-number of subjects (1 person, 3 people, 5 people, etc)
68. “Realize that most of your photographs are crap” – Charlie Kirk
69. Shoot to please yourself, not others
70. The best response to internet trolls who criticize your work (without helpful critique) is to ignore them completely
71. If you have the opportunity, don’t just settle for one photograph. Take multiple photographs if possible. “Killers shoot twice” – Thomas Leuthard
72. If you don’t ask for critiques, nobody will ever give it to you
73. If you are going to ask someone for permission for a photograph, always preface your question with, “I know this may sound weird, but…”. Works like a charm.
74. If you don’t make time to go out and shoot, you will never go out and shoot.
75. Learn to judge distances well- so you can prefocus before you anticipate the shot (1.2 meters is roughly two arms-lengths, and 3 meters is roughly half the distance of a room)
76. Spend less time arguing over the definition of street photography, and go out and shoot more
77. You only remember 5-10 photographs from some of the most famous street photographers who have ever lived. Aim to take 5-10 great photographs before you die.
78. Photography is incredibly difficult
79. If people notice you taking a photograph of you, tell them, “Ignore me—pretend like you don’t see me” and most people will laugh it off and continue doing what they were doing
80. If confronted by a person on why you took their photograph, take a step toward them and be open and honest about your intentions. Stand your ground and know your rights.
81. Simplify your photographs. Less is more.
82. Don’t put watermarks on your photographs. It cheapens your work.
83. Street photographs don’t sell
84. Travel as often as you can to open up your views to the rest of the world and society
85. Always carry an extra memory card and battery (in war two is one and one is none)
86. Don’t always hunt for shots—if you are patient enough, they will come to you
87. Shoot at ISO 1600 or above (keep your shutter above 250ths/second)
88. f/8 and be there
89. Black cameras draw less attention to you
90. It is more interesting to take photos of rich people than poor people
91. Never delete any of your photographs (you can rediscover hidden gems later in the future)
92. Silver Efex Pro 2 is the best black and white conversion software for digital
93. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretsky
94. Don’t aim to take pretty photographs, aim to take meaningful photographs
95. Don’t be sneaky when shooting—you will get in twice as much trouble if you get caught
96. A great street photograph both has strong composition and story
97. When it comes down to it, composition isn’t as important as the story
98. 99.9% of the photographs online are crap
99. Love your critics
100.Offer to email your subjects their photographs (they love it)
101.Break the rules
102.Make your own list
BTW I always enjoy reading your posts.
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