I shot a roll of expired Ort25c orthochromatic film on my Nikon F3 and was pretty shocked with the results. The photos are amazingly detailed and contrasty. They have almost no dynamic range but that does not matter because of their incredible character. The film gives an almost surreal characteristic to everything I used it on, and it was fantastic for long exposures because of its extremely slow speed of 25 ISO. I took a tripod everywhere with me when I was shooting this roll and it was extremely useful. I shot the roll in several different places; My home, Windsor Ruins, Downtown Jackson MS, etc. I used a Nikon F3 and a cheap 28mm f/2.8 “Ultranar” lens I bought off Ebay. I sent the roll off to The Darkroom with the “Super Scan” option. This film is a great option if you want a more abstract style for your photography. It is not going to fare well in genres like street photography because of its slow speed (you will be better off using Tri-x or Ilford HP500), and since I took very few pictures of people I do not know how it renders skin tones.
I used a variable nd filter on some photos and stopped down the lens to f/11 to try to get even longer exposures. You should also consider that you typically need to overexpose expired films by a stop, so this film’s effective sensitivity is even lower than 25. I do not typically enjoy architectural or landscape photography but using such an interesting film had me engaged in the process and the results speak for themselves. I highly recommend that you try films or techniques outside of your comfort zone, as the reward is far greater than the risk. You can buy the film on Ebay. Tell me what you think in the comments or here.
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Most location scouting apps and techniques used by portrait photographers, nature photographers, etc are pretty useless for those of us shooting street. So there are two questions: “What can street photographers do to scout spots for fresh street photography?” – and: “How can I do something vaguely useful for my hobby while avoiding my work?” I think of this method as a way for busy people to maximize the effectiveness of the time that they do get, to shoot the best street photography possible. In other words, this probably is not going to be all that helpful if you feel you have enough time to not need to do research.
The Tools I Use
Google Maps Street View and just Google Maps is the most hilarious and most obvious way to scout locations as a street photographer. It is never really going to be as good as actually seeing the street and absorbing its details in real life, but if you are stuck in a boring office job or something and want to do some street photography day-dreaming that will actually help you, then sit down and hop on google street view. It is for those who are fans of having boring work, and those who just like having logical continuity between their hobbies and the apps they use. You can find it HERE if you just want to use Maps or HERE if you want a Street view experience that is more functional for scouting.
You can also use just Google Maps to get an idea of neighborhoods and other cultural areas.
Your phone and your legs: This is the most logical way to scout street photography, and also the least helpful tip on this list. If you are living in the 21st century, then you can pull out your smartphone at any point and snap a photo. This photo will have a geotag which you can use to your advantage in mapping out your collection of locations.
Street Art App: These apps let you search street art by city. They have large catalogs of user added art that even may have titles and the names of artist. This can be super useful, especially if you are trying to fish for an image using street art. There are several of these apps available on Android, with the most popular being called “Street Art Cities”
Flickr Search: Do a quick Flickr search. Recommended search terms are: City Architecture, City Street Art, City Street Photography.
After you search, click on a photo you like, especially if it has a nice landmark or something else interesting in the environment. If the person saved the GPS data on their camera and did not wipe it during editing, you will be able to find it there.
Other Street Photographers: – Before you travel to any city, do a quick search and find local street photographers. I guarantee you that they will be happy to help you scout locations. This will help you maximize your time actually shooting, and not just searching for something reasonably interesting to shoot. – They also do not need to specifically be street photographers. For example, I am in a group of photographers from Costa Rica, so I asked them to send me interesting places that would be good for street/ architectural photography/ graffiti photography.
Google Maps “My Maps”: – Ok, so you have found some pretty cool places to shoot by browsing Google Maps and street view, looking around online, Google searching your heart out, and contacting the local street photographers. Now, if you really want to level up, this is how you are going to do it. First of all, go to this link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/
I use the base map to avoid visual clutter and then start by making three different layers, each with a different area of interest for street photographers: Street Art, Architecture, and General Areas of Interest.
Architecture: For architecture I use a black house Icon, because it contrasts heavily against the map background. Additionally, there will be no other house icons on the map because in standard google maps it is used for your home, which will not appear in this custom map.
Street Art: For this category, I use the diamond icon and the maroon-red color RGB (165 ,39 ,20). This is where the street art app comes in handy. You can add your favorite graffiti into this layer. The Street Art app mentioned above comes in handy here.
Areas Of Interest: This is a pretty vague category. I put stuff in this category that is somewhat strange or out of the ordinary. It is usually from street view or from what I see while I’m on the street. Example would be: burnt out buildings and other destruction, strange patterns, places that cast strong light during the day, city markets, etc.
For this category I use a dark purple question mark.
Areas: This is an optional step, and I only really recommend it if you are not planning on making additional changes for the time being, because it can interfere with placing other points and navigating your map. However, it is really useful for marking areas that are particularly interesting, with multiple points of interest without having to mark every single one. You could also use it to mark places that are potentially dangerous after a certain time, etc.
Photo coordinates to map:
This is how I am currently scouting and occupying my time while I am bored. For me, it is a fun thing to do when I would otherwise being doing something totally worthless. I hope you enjoyed it or maybe even found a strategy that you will adopt yourself. Thank you for reading!
Samuel L. Streelife is one of the only Youtubers who’s channel is actually dedicated specifically to street photography.. His youtube videos are mostly vlog-style street photography walk arounds, which he records with a go-pro and/or 360° camera. Other types of videos that you will find on his channel are more standard vlogs, as well as reviews. He usually incorporates a little bit of street shooting in his reviews as well which gives you a reason to watch them even if you are not interested in gear. He also is a cinematographer, and that shows in his videos. There are several cuts in his videos that obviously took effort and a desire to try something different. One of my favorite examples of this is his review of the Peak Design 5l Sling, in which he has uses stop-motion animation to show everything that he carries daily happily relocating themselves into the bag. It is a great visual metaphor for how he switched to the bag for daily use. Despite having videos about cameras and gear on his channel, Streetlife’s channel is definitely not for the gear heads. I would describe his content as chill and his personality as down to earth. You get to follow him around as he takes great (or occasionally not) photos. Part of the charm is that you get to see the ride of the photography and not just the result. My favorite video of his is probably his Canada travel blog.
2. Sean Tucker is a Youtuber with a more philosophical perspective in photography. According to himself, his videos often focus more on the why and less on the how. Gear and equipment are often the focus of other channels on youtube, which gets very tiring as by watching them you are just increasing the strength of your own Gear Addiction Syndrome (GAS). So, it is refreshing to see a photographer on youtube that I genuinely believe would shoot street photography with a potato if that is the only thing he had access to. He would probably carve it up into a pinhole camera. As for the cinematography in his videos, I would say they look nice but the mood in his “talking head” style videos where he is just talking to the camera can be on the more intense side. His videos definitely are not light hearted affairs and I would not recommend them to people looking for pure entertainment. However, if you want to watch a very talented street photographer talk about philosophy and other things, then this may be the channel for you.
3. King Jvpes has a Youtube channel that focuses on analog photography with the occasional street photography video. I would say his content is more geared towards analog heads who want to know all about the vintage gear, but his street photography content is pretty strong as well. He is pretty prolific, so if you want to find his content on street photography you are probably better off just searching it on his channel. He is a really talented photographer as well. My favorite video of his is “Develop your eye to “See” in Street Photography”
These Photographers are who I have found so far to have a good mix of production value, quantity of content, and knowledge. There are many others who do something similar, but there are very few that match these three in those categories. If you have recommendations for me, please leave them below in the comments!