Urban Photography – Revealing the Character of Megalopolises
The culture of big city promotes the development of new types of art which decorate concrete jungles. Each megalopolis has its own unique character which can be best revealed through the art of urban photographer. There are no strict rules of what you should picture; it may be some building, city personage or some minor detail of urban landscape. It is essential to feel the pulse of the city and reflect it in your works.
You can get inspired by the works of the most famous urban photographers. Personally I like the photos of Keegan Gibbs who is most interested in shooting graffiti artists at work. Martha Cooper and her “Subway Art” book are also worth mentioning. Her works became a real discovery in the sphere of subway representation. I recommend also to have a look at the works of Norman Behrendt (his recent project is called “Burning down the House”), Jonas Lara, Edward Nightingale, who focuses mainly on train and subway graffiti, Ian Cox and Alex Fakso.
To become an urban photographer you will not need much – just your camera and the desire to explore. You should always carry your camera with you and not in your bag or pocket but close nearby to be ready to shoot immediately as a crucial moment may come unexpectedly.
However, it is not enough just to carry your camera to become a good photographer. You have to use it as often as possible. Shoot every interesting detail of streetscapes, improve your skill of observation and capturing the moment by constant practice.
If you want to make a photo of some person on the street you should ask for permission even if the necessity of it is not provided by law. However, it is always better to behave polite and smile to your model than to hide in the bush trying to catch good image.
Another useful technique you should learn is a hip shot. Carry your camera on the level of your hip and make photos without looking in the view-finder. In this case, people will not notice that you try to shoot them and continue to behave natural.
One of your main tasks is to remain unnoticed, so any sounds produced by your camera, like beeps, clacks and whirr should be reduced to the lowest possible level. You should try to capture natural images, and the best way to do it is to give people no clue that they are being watched and captured by your camera.