Street Photography: energy that never sleeps

Cities are a dream for any photographer. I love big cities. For those who love street photography is a never ending land of opportunities. So many circumstances, energy, people, movement, traffic, noisy, avenues, buses, taxis, buildings, cafes, metros, everything! There is life! No matter how you photograph cities, one thing is for sure: all of them are exploitable.
It is magic when you see all the dynamism and energy translated into interesting images, no matter if black and white or colorful. Feeling the vibration of the city is part of the deal.

Clockwise: Dublin, Lisbon, Paris and Berlin.


On Top

For me to photograph a city from the top is alluring. To watch the flow of the city from up is impressive. The massive chain of cars in constant movement, waves of pedestrians running to catch the green lights, the tail light of ambulances, the distant sound of the city. From the top everything seems very peaceful to see, very relaxing. Feels like a slow motion movie, where I am the director and the only one running the show. If I have the opportunity to be in a sight where I can be alone, to shoot from the top feels like almost a meditation to me. It is a blaze to be able to walk around, alone, and catch different glimpses of the city, different angles, different perspectives. From the top we can see how insignificant and small we all are and how magical life is.

São Paulo

From the building where I live, I have total liberty to photograph the city from the top at night and go with the flow ...


Human Element

Life goes on frenetically. No matter if in a pacific way or in a turbulent way. Human elements in the city are a plus in street photography and one of the things I love the most. But as we, street photographers are very aware, to shot people in public spaces can be very intimidating. My advice is: simply relax, act naturally and quickly. The more you try to hide the fact you are photographing people, the more attention you will drawn to yourself. Street photography is about the capture of spontaneous moments. It is a condition of human life through our lens. When I photography people, I am in a way, telling their stories.

Berlin is one of my favorites cities for all photography themes.


Rainy Days/Nights

To capture street photography during rainy days or nights is a nirvana to me. I am a pluviophile, a lover of rain. The rain brings me peace, joy and the perfect atmosphere for my photos. When you see my work, you will notice an enduring appeal of seeming simplicity and beauty of movement. Rain is a favorite motif that I repeatedly use as a theme in my photography and also an exponent of my personality. It is a fantastic subject for any street photographer. Situations are many during raining moments: drops on glasses, umbrellas, wet floors, people running away from the rain, traffic lights, blur, crowds, isolated figures. Explore it!

Bucharest is another city that is even more beautiful during rainy season (yes, I am addicted to rainy seasons!)


Movement

Nothing sums up a city's movement better than light trails, and that's an easier effect to capture, contrary to what most people think. Long shutter times accentuate the tides of urban life. Find a safe but busy spot. Use a tripod. Play with the accentuated movement of the cars lights. This is one of the rare situations where I love to see colors. When there is the mix of people, blue hours and city elements. A good street photo is not only about the local, but also about the flow energy around it. Plumb the depths of intersection, traffic lights, crosswalks and underpasses. I like to use wide angle lens and also to blur my images.

Budapest never disappoints, one of the most beautiful cities in the world is also pure golden light.



In my photography the only rule I apply is that I have no rules.


Perspective

In city centers happens so many things on the floor as above us. Look up and down! Street photography allows me to embody three of my favorite elements of urban environment: people, transportation and buildings. Find a good spot and take advantage of it. Look for environments where you can see perspective from up or below. Perspective urban photography can delivery us unique moments, where creativity and technique can bring us different point of views.




Metros

Photography about subways, tunnels, trams, metros, rails always interest me. There is a mix of movement, light, people, architecture and transportation that can inspire any photographer. The urban charms of these giant structures have enchanted us for years and to be able to capture it is a delight. My tip is get rush hours or the opposite.

Moscow and its impressive Metro architecture is a great spot that combines great elements for street photography.


When you are inside a metro full of people is a fantastic moment to capture the blur of people in movement, or, if you want to pick a time where there is no one and the structure of the place, late night. Sometimes the moment between departures and arrivals within subway stations is an opportunity to catch up with single souls or no one. I like both situations. Each brings different moments, maybe full of drama or the simplicity of a silent witness.

Paris and its numerous metros it is kind of another world.

NYC is perfect for both situations: busy and silent moments.


Conclusion

The beauty about street photography is that we can show images that usually would be unnoticed for most of us, but gladly, with our different point of view, the ordinary is transformed into extraordinary, where the final effect is pleasurable to see.


Bet in quality, not in quantity!


If you liked this article, I wrote another one about the influence that Daido Moriyama has in my work, where is purely about street photography. Read here.

NYC is one of my favorite spots for raw street photography,

the city is simply perfect

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