Tunnel Vision.

One of the reasons why I took up street photography was that I enjoy people watching its been a favourite past time of mine for many years which then encouraged me to pick up a camera and start documenting the things I see. But I can easily forget why I took up this style of photography in the first place and I can find myself getting "Tunnel Vision" by that I mean I can start hunting for that one shot instead of letting the shot come to me.

The action is not always in front of you its going on behind you as well, if you see an interesting street scene move around it see what it looks like from a different angle try a lower or higher point of view and wait for the right subject to walk through. These are the things that I can easily forget about when I have "Tunnel Vision"  sometimes it's good to stop and wait.

So when I feel myself falling in to the trap of hunting for that shot I now stand on the corner of a busy street for half an hour i turn the camera off and watch the action unfold in front of me, yes I may miss that shot but what I'm doing is refreshing my photographic eye and I'm still taking images in my head.  Basically I go back to basics and start "People Watching" again.

 

 

Losing the Groove.

I think most if not all Street Photographers "Lose their Groove" at some point and this blockage of creativity can last for days or weeks and at this moment in time  i'm in that situation.

I can only speak of my own experience and it can be frustrating when you are out on the street and nothing is happening . I like to call it "Right Place - Wrong Time Syndrome" 

I can find myself questioning what i'm doing  and i can easily forget the real reason i do street photography. Maybe i'm too critical of my work ,maybe i'm looking to hard and should try and keep it simple. But what ever it is it can be disabling especially when you are gripped with this self doubt.

So how do i get myself back "Into the Groove" ?

The first thing is to have a break from the street for a few days and recharge the creative batteries and spend some time going over images from previous street walks that i have done , i have found loads of little gems that i forgot i had.

Pick up your favourite photography book and sit down with a coffee and really study the images , look at the colours ,the composition and the style of photography. My 2 favourite books for inspiration are Bruce Davidson's Subway & Ernst Haas Colour Correction.

Use your camera around the house - I like taking portraits of my son using different techniques like flash , playing with the  camera settings and trying something different to get the creative juices flowing again.

Limit the use of social media !! For me i can find this even more of a distraction as it can put that little seed of doubt into my head when i see all these wonderful images from exotic places and i'm sat at home watching the rain pour down in Manchester.

Listen to Photography podcasts- I'm a massive fan of the candid frame podcast presented by the wonderful Ibarionex Perello . For me this is the best photography podcast out there. - http://www.ibarionex.net/thecandidframe/

Plan a trip to another city. You can get stuck in a rut shooting the same streets day in day out , i know we all can't afford expensive trips abroad but i recently booked a flight to Brussels for £38, so it can be done on a budget. Fly out on the first flight and come back the same day on the last flight.. Or take a train to your nearest City and get lost in the streets.

Losing your Groove is never permanent and it always passes but its what you do while your stuck that matters.

Portrait of my Son using Flash.

Portrait of my Son using Flash.