In just a few days I’m heading back to the US once again. Last time I went with my wife to New York but this time we’re actually taking parental leave (yay Sweden!) for two months and taking the kids with us.
I’m travelling light in terms of clothes but with a heavier camera bag. I’m hoping to shoot a lot over there and while I intend to shoot a lot of “family pictures” my focus will of course be on street photography.
Usually I shoot in somewhat bigger cities but this journey we’ll be visiting some smaller places as well which I’m really looking forward too. But I’ll still get my dose of the big cities.
Spent the day in central Stockholm and of course the camera had to work some as well.
I really can’t use my smaller Ricoh at the moment. There are only an hour or so with enough daylight which means I tend to carry my DSLR with me for street photography instead.
It’s just for a few months, it’ll get brighter outside as of today actually. Yay.
The christmas market at Tivoli in Copenhagen is so much better than the ones we got in Stockholm, Sweden. That’s the reason we try to go down there every year if we get an opportunity.
I’ve turned a lot to my small Ricoh point and shoot for the last few months but one of the things I’ve learned the hard way is that it really doesn’t perform well on high ISO. And since I live in Sweden where there is a lot of darkness during the long winter months, I get crippled.
I get my inspiration from many street photographers out there, and I’m lucky enough to have been able to ask a few questions to one of they guys that actually turned myself onto street photography.
Jimmy Dovholt, aka Sthlmstreet, is a photographer based in the same town as myself; Stockholm, Sweden.
We do wander the same streets but yet see things so differently with the same focus in mind. Taking photos of urban life where we see it. So with no further delay, lets have a chat with Jimmy to get his personal point of view on the lovely craft of ours.
Photo: Jimmy Dovholt
How did you first get interested in street photography and how long have you been shooting?
It all started when I was in a bad spot in life. It was all work and no play at home and I had no way of relax. By chance, I dug up my old slr and started bringing it with me while walking. I realized that photography really helped me to take my mind off my problems. With the camera, I had no problem turning an afternoon into a major hunt to catch a bee or trying to find the perfect composition for that cigaret butt on the sidewalk.
It’s that time of year again when the Stockholm Photo Fair is open and a lot of exhibitors showcase what they’ve got. I took my son with me today and spent quite some hours at Stockholm International Fairs where its hosted.
Of course I had a good look at some of the new gear that was available but I really don’t need any new gear. I’ve got my camera(s) for street photography already but there is one thing you can’t really have enough of.
So I had a good look through what was available other that all these “Learn Photoshop” and “Go from amateur to pro” kinda books and actually found one that caught my eye.
Shooting street photography can be the most daunting thing you can do when it comes to standing behind a camera. I believe that most people tend to try shooting street photography at least once if they shoot a lot. How come most divert from it and end up shooting other things?
Personally I think that most people are too afraid of what might happened if someone realizes that someone has taken their picture. And as a street photographer, that someone can be you.
I think that the easiest way to overcome your fear when it comes to shooting strangers on the streets with your camera is that you must understand your fears.
When I started out with this, my biggest fear was that someone would see me and don’t acknowledge me for being a photographer and hit me in the face. As simple as that. I was afraid that someone would punch me in the face.
To be honest, I still am.
I’ve always been attracted to black and white photography when in comes to shooting in the streets. But sometimes you need to step outside your own comfort zone and try other things, so I’ve actually taken a few of my unedited photographs from the streets of my home town and kept the colours in them.
I’m one of those that tend to always carry a camera with me, and lately I am trying to go as light as possible leaving my big camera at home. But in this case I went out doing some urban photography in Stockholm with my DSLR and a 50mm lens attached to it. Since I’m shooting on a full frame camera I still need to go pretty close with a 50mm which is good in my opinion.
I’ve tried shooting some with a more wide angle lens but that’s harder as far as I’m concerned. At least when it comes shoving a big camera up in someones face. I realise that I need to get braver on that part. It’s a work in progress.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get when it comes to street photography is “What camera should I use?“. And to be honest, there really isn’t any easy answer to this, but these are my thoughts about it.
Personally I use three different cameras and they all do fill their purpose so I can’t really say that this particular camera is the best there are for street photography. I am certain that what suits me doesn’t necessarily suit you. So, what am I using then?
A big DSLR
My trusty old DSLR is still being used quite often out on the streets, that’s for sure. Thing is that when you’re out there with my kinda setup it’s hard being stealthy and blend in. At least when it comes to walking around in areas not crowded by tourists.
I shoot a lot of street photography in my hometown Stockholm, and therefor I process quite a bunch of photos from named city as well. In this series starting today, I’ll be posting some photos showing you how our little corner of the world is doing.
Stockholm isn’t a really big city compared to others, but it is the biggest city in the Nordics and even if the city do sleep sometimes, there are a lot to shoot during the 24 hours we’re given each day.
New York, 2013
Many of us like to publish their street photography online in one way on another, and there is really loads of places to do it. I do shoot on the streets because I love it and if someone else likes my photos too, that’s just a bonus.
Getting a lot of likes on a photo is encouraging, that’s for sure, but is that really the reason we go out and take photographs? For some it is, for some it isn’t.
I have been quite bad at uploading photos before, and my Flickr account has almost been put to rest. I do upload some photos now and then, but it really isn’t that often anymore. Eric Kim wrote a good piece on this almost a year ago, asking how many likes are “enough”? and I must say that it is a pretty good read.
But shooting on the streets is something I really love doing and I find the communities online being a great way of letting people see what I see. If they like it, that’s great. But in the end, the reason I’m out there taking photographs is for myself.
So where do I publish my street photography?