Note: Click on individual images to enlarge for better viewing.
I’ve posted about Street Photography before; the ethical questions involved, as well as some of the techniques utilized. I won’t go into all of that again on this post, rather I will just post some of my images from this morning’s walkabout around Quito, Ecuador. Street Photography is much different than Wildlife Photography, and in many ways takes more intestinal fortitude to pursue. I don’t make any claims that I’m very good at it, quite the contrary in fact, it’s not really my forte. However, I do enjoy the challenge once in a while.
My personal taste runs more towards black & white images, I really like the retro look that they provide. But occasionally color can make a really bold statement, so I am not adverse to slipping a few of those in as well. These images were all captured with my Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 full-frame digital camera and my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM zoom telephoto lens. I typically shoot wide open at f/4 to enhance the bokeh (the soft out of focus background blur).
My main goal is to catch candid street scenes as they appear, while at the same trying not to offend too many people by invading their sense of privacy. My approach is to remain friendly, present a big smile when appropriate and to be as non-invasive as possible.
Many times I will pay for a shot if the subject appears to be in need. Many times I will ask permission before shooting. But just as many times I will not, this is usually done in an effort to preserve the candid nature of the shot, and to present a more documentary look and feel.
I am always on the lookout for unusual situations and/or interesting people and faces. That’s one thing that I really love about photography, it forces you to be in the moment and to be aware of your surroundings. So much to see if you just take the time to look.
In a city like Quito you will see many street performers, young lovers, children and older folks. There are bums and hookers, as well as priests and nuns. Everyone is interesting.
Traveling the world provides endless opportunities. Whether it’s in the big cities, or the small rural towns and villages, you can always find something or someone to photograph.
And you don’t even have to be a world traveler, just look around you wherever you are. Everywhere you look there are interesting and wondrous sights.
If you’re a photographer, consider doing some Street Photography. Is uncomfortable? Does it force you out of your comfort zone? Probably. So what?
And if you’re not a photographer, well then just turn off your damn cell phone and put it in your pocket—then take a walk and look around you. It’s a big beautiful world, so don’t let it pass you by.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer and World Traveler
Reporting from Quito, Ecuador