As you may realise I use a fixed 28mm Ricoh GR3 as my main street camera. 28mm was not something I was familiar with before I got this camera - jumped into this blnd. I always had a zoom point and shoot camera. 28mm is a whole new game. Every shot is wider than it seems when you are looking at it with your own eyes. So if you want to really get those detailed pictures you have to get in close. I mean really close. Cropping helps but you lose resolution.
I never really understood it until I really started practicing. How close really depends on the situation and the direction everyone is moving. The only way to really illustrate this is by seeing a series of pictures. You can even see that I miss the auto focus in one of the shots. Still need to learn how to zone focus.
This a typical scene in Jamaica. Other people will be able to explain it better than I can. I am only here to explain 28mm focal length. In this set of pictures I never bring the camera up to my face because I do not want to attract the attention of the people in the scene as I past them by. So I am firing from the hip as I approach them - trying to keep them both in the frame.
How close do you need to be to get the shot you want?
Lots of distractions. See that tree stump there on the ground? Try not to trip over that while you are walking.
Shopping cart catchs the auto focus. Its still a usable photo but not what I intended.
I switched to black and white pretty early after I started street photography. I found that it solved many problems that I faced when taking pictures in such a varied environment. Unlike more developed places like in New York where all the streets and buildings are "neat", I find it is much harder to take clean colour photos in Jamaica.
Shooting black and white also reduces or often eliminates my editing time. Add on to that the high contrast filter makes it hide many faces and unnecessary details in the pictures. BW doesn't work in all situations especially if it's dark or the colours are very close to each other at which point you will find BW hard to maneuver.
I avoid editing as much as possible. Before heading out I usually choose whether I will shot in B&W or colour - some days are colour days, others are bw. I rarely switch while I am shooting. If I take a picture in black+whiite it usually stays that way forever. I have started to crop alot to get rid of details at the edge or make a photo vertical. Besides that I bulk auto contrast or brighten all the photos in Picasa.
The general process;
I shoot pictures until my 32gb SD card is almost full. Usually takes a month depending. If I am going to an event I clear my card or fall to the slower 64gb card.
Once full I remove SD card from camera, put it into a SD card reader, stick it into computer. I can connect a USB cable to the camera directly be the port cover seems very fragile. I do not want to lose that rubber cover.
Make sure the My Pictures folder is empty.
I Use the windows import tool to download all the new pictures from SD card into my pictures folder. (open as portable device).
Wait, depending on the speed of the card and the USB nterface.
Backup folders in My Pictures to external hard drive.
Bulk auto contrast photos in Picasa.
Spend the next 4-5 weeks organising the photos into folders, groups sets, picking some to print etc. Posting random shots on social media and this website.
After a set has been posted I move them to a "used" folder
Delete used folder (because I made backups earlier in this process).
You will notice that I backup, then edit because sometimes it can take weeks to go through all the pictures and I might forget to backup. So to avoid that lag time I just backup the unedited pictures right away. I dont really need to save the edited versions because I do minimal edits. If you edit alot then you know what you need to do.
There is also the aspect of working a scene. In this set I popped into a supermarket to buy something and I took a few shots. I could have taken more but I try not to over stay my welcome in these commercial places. You never know sometimes the staff gets edgy or they think you are a mystery shopper. I think the best shot out of this set is the one with the guy staring at me as I take a picture of the cashier whos face gets obscured by the car key - total accident.