Is there really a need for another book on Street Photography?
I imagine that you are opening this book because you haven’t found the answers to the many questions you have about shooting great street photography. The books you have already read probably disappointed you because they put forward traditional ideas about what street photography needed to be and in doing so sucked all the inspiration and creative freedom that you were feeling. These ideas probably struck you as recipes for turning out predictable, ordinary, uninspiring shots resembling too many photographs that you had already seen and had not been particularly taken by.
Or it could be that the books you have read in the past are too basic. You already know how to focus your camera, how to set the shutter speed and aperture, and you know what effect an aperture of f2 will have on your shots, as opposed to f16. You really do not want a book that covers all that again. Or perhaps it’s just because like me, you have an insatiable thirst for anything related to street photography.
I do not mean to suggest that any of the books I have read previously were necessarily bad, I just felt a little deflated at the end of some of them because they mostly left me feeling that something was missing, I yearned for more.
In this book I’ve tried to offer something slightly different by providing plenty of practical ideas of things you can work on while you are out shooting, and while you are developing your skills as a street photographer. Things that I hope will get you thinking a different way, get you moving a different way and most importantly get you seeing a different way, and continuing to do so long after you have finished reading this book.
Any book of this type can only put forward the authors ideas and points of view. Throughout the book I explain my own personal approach to street photography, and I try to give you the benefit of all the mistakes I made along the way and things I learnt before I started to be happier with the results I was getting.
I have shot thousands of images. Most of which I discarded, particularly in the early days. However, having now adopted the techniques and thought processes outlined in this book my hit rate is significantly better.
I am not arrogant enough to guarantee that you too will not be left wanting more after reading this book, in fact I hope like me you do yearn for more. My aim to encourage, energise and enthuse you to get out there and take your street photography to a new level.
I will never stop learning and developing my own techniques and neither should you. I hope that the information you find in this book will give you some of the missing pieces that you have been looking for and help you shoot the images that you are seeing in your mind’s eye. This is probably not the first book you have read about street photography, nor is it likely to be the last, but I hope it goes some way towards increasing your knowledge, confidence and enthusiasm in relation to the art.
So, to answer the question posed at the beginning of this introduction, my answer has to be – yes, I think there probably is a need for another book on street photography!
If you have found this interesting, all I ask is that you tell your friends and spread the word through your social media channels, and please consider making whatever donation you can to a fund created to help photographers around the world dedicate time to interesting and often essential projects.