Recently I've had a lot of new blog sign-ups, so I want to start of this blog by saying thank you for following! I hope you enjoy!
Last week I had the pleasure of sharing my Travel and Street Photography presentation with a great audience at B&H Photo in New York City. The group had a ton of excellent questions, so I thought I would share some of them here along with the video for those of you who couldn’t attend. The link to the video is below, so when you find time check it out, and YouTube Thumbs UP are always appreciated.
Q. How do I get faster with my camera?
You should you know your camera intimately, which means knowing where the ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and exposure compensation menus/buttons are located. To learn these things, you need to practice. Also, many “pro” photographers emphasize the need to shoot in manual, but I think this is greatly exaggerated. I shoot nearly all of my images using Aperture Priority or Shutter Speed priority. I find that many of my workshop attendees benefit from this advice and find themselves doing a better job of creating a solid composition when they’re not worried about the Exposure Triangle. When you’re out walking around, pre-set your camera with a proper exposure, so that when you see a shot you can just compose, focus, and shoot without having to adjust your exposure.
Q. Why do you use 35mm?
I think there are two schools of thought when it comes to prime lens selection: Those who love their 50mm and those who swear by a 35mm. I think of the 35mm as more of a journalistic lens; it allows me to capture more of the story. If I need to get tighter then I can always zoom in with my feet. Also, I find a 35mm is a slightly more versatile lens for landscapes, streetscapes, architecture, and especially environmental portraits. However, Staci loves her 50mm because of it’s beautiful bokeh and ability to get close the subject and focus on the details. There’s no right or wrong. What matters most is which lens helps you create your compositions. If you want a wider range then a great focal length for travel and street is photography is a 24-70mm.
Q. Do you need a model release to show us these photos? (Assumption being we’re talking about photos taken in public space in the United States.)
You NEED a model release when you plan on using images for commercial purposes (e.g. to sell products or services). If the person or property is clearly identifiable and the photo will be used to endorse a product or service then a model or property release is required.
You Do NOT need a model release if you plan on using your images on a blog, website, to sell prints, or for editorial purposes. Once again, model releases are only required for commercial purposes.
I cover these details, how a public space is defined, as well as more on libel in my Travel and Street book along with suggestions for easy and comprehensive model releases.
Q. What types of filters do you use?
My absolute favorite filter is a Graduated Neutral Density filter, and next I’d have to say a polarizer filter. Screw on filters are wonderful because they’re small and portable (and my only option when using my rangefinder), but when I’m shooting with my DSLR then I prefer using a Lee or Hitech filter kit with ring adapters.
Q. Do you use auto ISO?
I don’t use auto ISO because I prefer to set my ISO manually to maintain more control over the quality of the file. I’ve trained myself to set my ISO and change it as needed, but if you find that remembering to change your ISO is problematic then consider using Auto ISO with a quality threshold range with which you’re comfortable. You can set a range in your camera of ISO 100-1600 to make sure your camera isn’t automatically setting you to 3200 where you’ll definitely start to see the quality suffering.