‘An Unflinching Eye : Introducing Street Photography’


‘Sometime a crow visits my balcony and its harsh calling wakes me up. Those mornings often turned me down. In such meaningless morning I just pack my bag, give myself a break and walk out in a nameless street. My endless journey welcomes me ahead and I picked memories one by another from my unknown destination. Capturing a definition of an indefinite street is street photography to me’- GMB Akash

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Stop being bookish, follow your own theory’

‘Make yourself comfortable’ or ‘feel being at home’ these advices are too bookish to me. In practical, my heartbeat goes up and my knees shake a bit when I stand in a place that I want to express just accurately the way I am encountering. When a cat suddenly popped up with an old woman and their astonishing-frightened-funny stunt gives me a command in my head ‘click-click-click’. ‘But what I shoot!’ I missed a second and that took out all. Yes, this is the biggest challenge that street photography offers you. You have to seize the moment before your cerebrum read it. So the question is, ‘are you afraid being in street’? I believe when a person become photographer he/she leave ‘afraid/anxiety’ behind. I rather call it hesitation/nervousness and insecurity. When you jump into the street by carrying your camera you already killed your 50% fear.  Now it is your nervousness that holds you back and just after clicking your first shot you are ready to rock in the road.

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‘A photographer next door image’ or ‘an invisible photographer image’?

In the middle of a big crowd, surrounded by so many people different than me sometime I become unusual. And when people started noticing me by raising their eye brows then my big smile helps me out being abnormal. Yes, as a photographer it is very important that you have a familiar face with a universal smile at least an ability that tells people you are reliable. When you learn to merge in the ground then surprisingly you will see that you learn the method of being there but unseen by people. It depends on you either you want to earn a ‘photographer next door image’ or an  ‘invisible photographer image’, pick one that serve your intention and that helps you to shot well.

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Get the hint

The street that I often visit is not only familiar by me but I am also familiar by it. A common place I visit has a triangle turn where then comes the street corner; there I usually followed by one or two street dogs. In the beginning it was not the same. In the very first day they suspect me and even after touching them they suspiciously moves with me whole day. Now when I appear in the street they wave their tail and follow me obediently. Inhabitants know well that I am no longer a stranger. So whenever you are new to a place make a relation, get a hint or balance yourself repeating something people can understand that photography is your passion not any venture. When you are totally in a new place and you might never get another chance to be there even then try to find a mutual intimation. Trust me your understanding and relation will show in the picture you will take.

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Enjoy discovering yourself

Every street is different, people belong to the street is different, smell is different, color, texture, light all are different. Indifferent is you and your camera. Discover a different you in every different street is your voyage. The biggest challenge is to discover the unique thread by this common with your third eye. For me the photograph is only a wow – when I take a picture of the street and after showing it to the curious inhabitant they express, ‘when it happened? Does it really look alike?!’ when people laugh, shout, surprise and question then I get the picture is happy to be about. It’s a treat for yourself when seating at your lab you suddenly bumped in a folder where you found the expression of a European shopkeeper is the same with an Asia shopkeeper just difference is in place and circumstance. Discovering this similarity is way more interesting than finding differences. Enjoy discovering yourself in everything that is the wow factor will keep you motivated in long run.

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Inspiring trigger

Try to answer yourself why you are fascinated about street photography. What will it bring to you? Why are you passionate to be in street? Are you stopped yourself because there is no fame or name after continuing do it! Find your inspiring trigger and forget about expectation. Keep yourself motivated, ignore critiques. Find an inspiring space which appreciates that what you are doing. It can be a friend circle; it can be your blog or your website or just your facebook. It is very important to be inspired to continue your work that you are doing.

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What actually Street Photography gives you?

-          Street Photography helps to be a good photographer. Street photography has a trial and error method that helps you to enrich yourself as a photographer though whatever your field is.

-          It brings you the utmost courage to go to that much close to the people that someone allows to welcome a stranger. Its helps you to mix with unknown people and to know about their attitude towards you

-          It bounds you to take challenge. Finding a way of a maples road is aspiration of street photography.

-          It will help you professionally to gain new concept, unconventional idea and will help to create your masterpiece.

-          People said in street photography 99% are wasted. I said street photography teaches you photography 99% and rest 1% you have to gain.

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In Patan Darbar squre the woman is feeding pigeons

How to do good out in the street?

-          What you are carrying who cares, carry that much you can effort, just remember you have to walk a lot and you cannot annoy people by your baggage.

-          Street photography helps to stay focused but you have to make the connection. Smile a lot and try to make fun with people you are meeting.

-          Make street photography one of your favorite time pass. Discovering new things everyday is like surfing in a new you.

-          Street photography is like swimming. I am not kidding! When you learn to swim (photographing) you will desire to go deeper.

-          Learn to handle yourself in the street. It is you and your personality that will help people to look at your camera naturally.

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-          Until you are not enjoying your walk your camera or your mind will not take your demand.

-          Take a company or a friend with you at the beginning to break the ice. Shooting alone is way too enjoyable when you know how to treat yourself best in a lone journey. Do not go out with more than three friends then shooting will be secondary.

-          Keep wakening your third eye

-          Look at things in the streets like you are watching a movie. Find the characters, drama, action, humor and romance.

-          Carry the camera that follows your command. Do not juggle with new equipments in the street without run it previously.

Daily life in Kathmandu, Nepal. 2006street_akash (20)

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In the journey of photograph limitless experiences remain uncounted. Bad news won’t keep navigators from the open seas. The street photographer who loves the work he/she is doing will never stop. The courage of such ONE gives birth of His/her kind of street photography.

Instructor :

I teach street photography in The compelling Image: The Compelling Image: Online-Interactive Courses in Photography and Multimedia Storytelling

If you are interested to join in my street photography course sign in: Street Photography Classic and Creative

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21 thoughts on “‘An Unflinching Eye : Introducing Street Photography’

  1. These pictures are unbelieveble good! I did not often see pictures that were showing humans in their environment as good as you are doing it, and that even though I would say some of them could be technical better. But seeing the content of the images I don’t care about the technical quality!

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  2. I am so excited to have found you here. Both your work and your comments inspire and stimulate me enormously…especially since I’ll be leaving for South Asia in 4 days! Thank you.

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous! Your hints and instructions are very useful as well. I’ve been nervous to try street photography because I don’t want to bother people. I have a question, if you don’t mind. Do you think it is necessary to know the language when you do street photography?

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    • Thank you! The more you will shoot outside the more you can contact yourself with people. It is an advantage to know the language in the street you are visiting, but when we travel outside our zone we do not know people language. So one thing keep in mind, our smile is universal, so as some attitude, when you can make people feel that you are friendly then you can overcome the difficulty of language. language of heart is understandable by everyone of the world. Try it my friend.

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  4. খুব মন খারাপ করা অবস্থাতেই আপনার ছবিগুলো দেখতে বসেছিলাম…… জানতাম , ফটোগ্রাফি এমন একটা জিনিষ, যা আমাকে সব কিছু ভুলিয়ে রাখতে পারে…… আপনার ছবিগুলো দেখে খুব ভালো লাগলো… দোয়া করবেন একদিন আমিও যেন অনেক ভালো ছবি তুলতে পারি……… :)

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  5. Bro your pics are awesome. I m inspired much from ur thinking n ur pics !! thanks for that!! u rock !! I also want to be photographer like you m beginner n i love street photography plz sgst me few things to be a successful street photographer..accepting a reply from u !!! thankx :)

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  6. Couple of things that keep me worried when going for street photography are fear of surrounding people objecting and fear of getting mugged. ;) While the latter is probably me being too realistic, the former is important, at least in Bangladesh. I know photographing public places is lawful but you and I both know in Bangladesh, might is right.

    Another problem I face when attempting street photography is finding a subject. I’m at the very early stage of photography. I barely know anything about photography. Still learning the camera settings, composition and things like that and I don’t have a ‘photographic eye’ to see things differently. Perhaps it’s something people are born with?

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