Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Two Guys

GRD III, f6.3, 1/310, ISO 64, RAW

Street photography or picture taken on the street?
Whatever it is, it is not a very good picture ányway but will help me for my Street photography workshop as an example of bad street photography. ;)

Now the reason why I posted this picture is to hear your thoughts on what is good street photography and what is bad street photography?


  1. Cristi,

    I hope you get a good discussion going here, I often wonder what is the difference between a good street photo and a bad one.

    Anyway some comments on this one:

    (1) The two characters are certainly interesting enough to be subjects.

    (2) Unfortunately they are not shown in a clear cut way, with distractions around, particularly the balloons and the third man in the doorway.

    (3) If no cropping is allowed (as per HCB!) The GXR with the 50mm efl would have been better as the picture would then just have had the two men plus the poster behind.

    Probably not practical to move closer to achieve the same effect.

    (4) The fact that one man has seen you taking the picture spoils the spontenaity.

    That's my 5p worth I look forward to others comments and, of course, what you think yourself...


  2. This picture doesn't convey a story of any real consequence or let the viewer imagine a story other than the two men went back into the bar after they had finished their cigarettes.

    It fails to capture any emotion, drama or incongruity.

    The subjects are too distant to determine if they are interesting characters or not.

    That's my rather rambling two penn'orth.

  3. All you need to know, read

    Street photography for purists
    Chris Weeks

    Download it here for free.

  4. Yesbuts:

    Thanks that is a very useful reference...


  5. Thanks for your comments guys, they are very good!

    Peter, I agree with your point and think you've nailed it pretty much.
    As to point 3, I have already cropped this pcture or it would have been even worse and I did not want to make it too obvious.

    Regarding point 4, this is a interesting one. I try to avoid people looking at me when I take pictures but sometimes people looking at you create a more intimate picture and one with more impact. So it depends on the circumstances but at tmes I like to have people look at me when I take the picture.

    Thanks Calvin, you are right that there is no story, emotion or drama of any kind and the two guys are not really interesting enough in the way I photographed them.

    Thanks Yesbuts, I have seen this before but could not find it anymore so thanks for providing te link to it.

    Now my thougts on it are that the composition is really bad with a lot of distracting elements as Peter has said.
    There is nothing of real interest in the picture.
    The exposure is bad and the picture is blurry, which does not matter much in street photography as long as the composition and the picture creates a story or captures any form of emotion or drama as Calvin has mentioned.

    I would say probably the biggest mistake I have made is to be too far away from the subjects and just snap a picture while walking past instead of be involved in and part of the moment. Simply in getting closer and spend a few moments anticipating the shot, most of the problems with it would have been fixed automatically.