Street Photography Week
Hello, my name is José Calheiros, and I am an architect that really loves to take street photos.
I don't like concepts or labels on things, I really think that feelings are the most important thing when we take photos on the street or when we are in the middle of the action or even far away. After that I think composition is very important. My architect genes come out and speak to me saying so, so let's see what I can tell you
I only take one photo of the subject, because that is, for me, the right moment and not the moment after. If the photo is wrong I delete and move away, I was not able to catch it.
When I am ready to go out and take photos, what do I do first?
What i do?
I first choose a lens. Usually I have my 24/70 mm (2.8) but when I travel I also use my 14/24mm (2.8)
My destination is unknown if I am in Lisbon I just go. If I am in a new city, I do my homework and study the best places to take photos (and for sure have the touristic/architectural views that are also important for me).
I am on the street and my eyes and my head are full of things; views, people, colors, smells, feelings about all of this. So I look for a story behind what I see. If I feel I can catch one I don't need to look, the composition comes without any effort and only the speed or the dof need to be changed in a second and a click.
That's easy because I do a lot of photography. Several years ago I worked for a motor racing magazine and I went to the F1 races, Rallies, Moto Gp's so I think fast and that helps me a lot with my street photos, to be able to catch the action.
Sometimes it's not easy, because most of the time you miss THAT perfect moment and it makes all the difference.
As you know, photography has a big personal component and we can think that we got an amazing photo and nobody cares about it. And sometimes you have a normal photo, and everybody likes it, and that I cannot explain.
Maybe it will be easier to show you some of my work and talk about it, so you can understand what I am talking about.
First one is my most "famous" photo, which won several international competitions, was published in magazines, exhibitions and here on DA.
For me there is no doubt that this is a street photo, but it does not follow the "rules." I am not in the action, I used a 200 mm lens to take it, everything is "wrong" but I think it tells a story, about real friendship, a man and is dog, sharing a sad/poor life, transporting plastic bags with their things inside. The DOF with the blur on the background, the perspective of the trees and the man and the van make the composition work.
Playing outside of the "rules" can make a good street photo in my opinion.
Another unconventional one:
165mm lens in the middle of the square, but I needed all that space to make the composition right.
The bench, the two people, two ways of making tourism, the connection with the electric tram and the word "sightseeing" make the story
And even another
Again, a 135 mm lens, but also again we have a story, about age, attitude, and generations.
For me only the fence in first plan is not right in the composition, but is not possible to take the photo without it.
Going into the "rules" but not at all
70mm lens, closer to the subject, just in time, the big kiss (30º Celsius).
The table, the glasses show us a meal with wine, it was hot and she couldn't resist kissing him.
In the background a couple is passing by ..."
What to say
75mm and it looks like a comic character, an Enki Bilal one
The "enemy" ? her or us? Maybe the strange world where we live
And now the opposite
14mm wide angle, NY subway, a very interesting couple, we can imagine so many stories behind those two... Look at her face looking at him, he is kind of asleep trying to escape
As you can see we can make all kinds of street photography.
All that is important is your feelings when going out.
Pay attention, there are a lot of stories out there.
Go and catch them!
Surprise us with amazing moments