Learning Street Photography in 2021

Hello, friends! It’s getting warm outside again and I’ve had both of my covid19 vaccinations. You know what that means? It’s that time of year where I pretend to be an up-and-coming street photographer in the Louisville area! I’m learning street photography. I’ve been working on it for a few years.

I’m definitely not the best at it yet. Most of my photos are actually kind of boring and awful. Almost all of them would probably get destroyed in a workshop setting. Having navigated through the fiction workshop world for a while, I’ve learned to just do my own thing anyway. That being said, I still try to learn as much as I can from those who are willing to critique and workshop, and make themselves vulnerable with their art. For that reason, being comfortable sharing my own work is pretty important.

To track my progress this year, it’s probably a good idea to look back on last year.

My 2020 Photography

Last year, just before the pandemic hit, I restarted a photography kick that really started in 2019, though I don’t have many good photos from 2019. Over the course of a few months during the initial shutdown of the pandemic in 2020, I got some pretty-alright stuff, I think.

woman walking eric shay howard street photography
April 29th, 2020

The picture above is probably one of my favorites. I don’t know this woman, what she was going through, or what her goal was, but I think about it sometimes. A piece of paper in her hand, along with her phone, looking ahead cautiously as she walks towards Broadway.

May 7th, 2020

Sometimes, I end up at parks, where people tend to be running or exercising in the summertime. As a gay man, I use good-looking shirtless guys to my advantage, if I’m feeling brave enough. Most of the time I miss them, but I managed to get this one this time. There’s a photographer on Instagram, Michael Herbertson, who I’ve always admired from afar. He takes gorgeous photos of guys in Los Angeles. There aren’t any beaches in Louisville, Kentucky, though. Shirtless guys are a bit more of a rarity, but every now and then I spot one. If I’m lucky, I have my camera. If I’m even luckier, I manage to get a shot that’s at least a little in focus.

May 14th, 2020

I mostly practiced street photography on my lunch break walks while I was working at home. I’m still not close enough to the subject in this photo, but I used it to my advantage this time by framing him. Pretty sure this guy was out getting photographs, too.

My Photography In 2021

This year, with the pandemic still going and people just now starting to get vaccinated, there’s still not a whole lot of people out. That’s a good thing, I suppose, but it makes learning street photography harder.

I’m back in the office most of the week at my day job. I haven’t taken my Canon camera to work with me yet this year. It’s very bulky. I do take my Pixel 5, though. So far, I’ve only gotten a few photos that I really like, all with my cell phone.

January 11th, 2021

I did find one benefit of using my cell phone for learning street photography; I pay more attention to the framing of the photo. With my Canon camera, I tend to just look for people and snap them, without much regard for the scene and the framing. Hopefully some of this practice carries over to my Canon camera use on the weekends.

street photography sunny 5th and market
January 15th, 2021

The sensor size of cell phone cameras is smaller, so the photos I get with my cell phone are smaller. I can’t zoom as well with my cell phone, either. As someone who struggles with getting close enough to people before I take photos, this is something that I will have to work on a lot this year. I do love the sun and lens flare in the photo above, though!

Getting Better At Street Photography This Year

So far, that’s 3 photos this year that I really like. It’s been a few months since I took these. I’m hoping I can get more good ones with my Canon camera on the weekends this year. It’s finally starting to warm up for longer periods of time. The problem with learning street photography in April is it tends to rain when it’s warm. I could take advantage of the rain for some interesting shots, but I can’t hide my equipment from the rain very well because I walk everywhere.

I know I tend to talk about a lot of different topics on my blog, so some of you may not like street photography. Of course, a lot of people will be interested in some form of photography for their Instagram feeds. Do you like street photography? Do you hate it? Are you by any chance also learning street photography, like me? It’s kind of hard sometimes, I’ll admit. hopefully this year I get a little better at a few more aspects of photography, including getting closer to people and paying attention to framing.

I may share more on my blog about my street photography if I get more photos that I like. I may even take my Canon camera on my walk to work. I’ll probably wait a while to see if I still like the certain photos for a while before sharing them on here. Of course, I’ll share more frequently on my Instagram account. On there, I share more selfies and GoPro photos of the city, too. I also post the occasional portrait of someone I see while I’m out and about in Louisville.

January 22nd, 2021