How to take great pictures in a big city?

Question by Calla: How to take great pictures in a big city?
I’m trying to get into photography, and live in Los Angeles. I have a Canon Rebel XS. Three questions:

1. Getting into photography. Any tips, suggestions, like on composition/exposure?

2. How do I get pictures? I mean, I feel kind of awkward walking around a city taking pictures. Also, wahat about places like parks? It would be weird for someone to just start taking pictures of you, wouldn’t it? What is the social standard – like do you just start taking pictures? Do you ask? If so, how?

3. Any ideas of pictures I could take in LA? Can anyone direct me to a good LA photography album?

Best answer:

Answer by sam
There’s nothing wrong with taking pictures in public! People do it all the time

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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2 Responses to How to take great pictures in a big city?

  1. AYK says:

    1. For aperture, if you are taking a photo of a scenery or nature, or you want as much objects to appear clear (in foreground and background) then use small aperture (high f/number, f/16 or f/22 would work fine). If you want to take a photo of specific object and blur the surrounding to isolate it then use wide aperture, (small f/number, depending on the lens you are using it could be f/4, or f/2.8 or even lower).
    For the shutter speed it depends on what you want, to stop action use fast shutter speeds, to show that an object is in motion decrease the shutter speed so there is a motion blur.
    Try keeping ISO as low as possible so the picture will be clear and no noise is introduced.

    you can try different settings and see how the photo comes out to be. Try different modes and settings and see what happens, this way you learn.

    2. Don’t feel awkward, everyone do it. There is a field of photography “street photography” that is all about taking photos in open public areas, mostly streets and roads. You don’t need to ask people, but if the photo is mainly about them then probably ask because some people are not comfortable with people taking their photos, but if there are hundreds of people in the photo just start snapping photos.

    3. Sorry I can’t help you, never been to LA

  2. deep blue2 says:

    1. Read up on the exposure triangle & don’t be afriad to go off into manual & decide what exposure YOU want rather than letting the camera decide. There are plenty of online sites to help with photographic composition. Lighting is everything in an image – it sets the mood and can reveal textures & form. Avoid shooting when light is overhead – shoot early morning or late evening when the lower angles give more depth to your image. The colour temperature of the light (warm/cool) affects mood – you can change this creatively. For example shooting in the tungstne setting in daylight will give a blue colour cast to your images which might work in some instances. Flat grey light will give you flat grey images – so consider converting to B&W if you ahve to shoot in those conditions.

    2. Street photography confidence comes with practice (I’m principally a street photographer). If your subject is in a public place, where there is no expectation of privacy, it is perfactly legal for you to take their picture – you don’t need their permission. You can use those images for self promotion in a gallery or online blog or for editorial purposes (newspapers, magazines) without a model release. You only need a release from the subject if you were to use their image to sell a product. Do also be aware that you must not caption your image with anything untrue about the subjects, or you could be sued for libel. Also note that some places where people have access may be privately owned (train stations, shopping malls, for example & here the rules for photography are set by the owners.

    3. Sorry can’t help – I’m in the UK!

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