Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten street exercises

1. Anticipate. Shoot for a week using 1 second timer.

2. Study. Go to your favorite corner and watch for an afternoon without a camera. The next day take your camera.

3. Subvert. Shoot a street photograph that doesn't look like a street photograph.

4. Value. After each shot, you must wait 5 minutes before shooting again.

5. Downsize. How small can you make something in the frame and have it still be the photo's primary visual subject?

6. Eliminate. Avoid shooting yellow for one full day. Now blue. Now red. Now cars. Now wires.

7. Attention. Set timer to go off every 5 minutes throughout the day. At each timer alarm, make a photo wherever you are.

8. Rolling Stone. Every frame must capture an object or person in motion.

9. Habituate. In a public setting, hold camera viewfinder to your eye continuously for thirty minutes. Press shutter when meaningful.

10. Cause and effect. Use the camera to provoke a verbal reaction from a stranger.

19 comments:

Eric Kim said...

Fantastic assignment list-- will be doing this soon Blake!

Launa said...

I have a street photography meetup group that I plague with assignments like this, but we have done only one or two on this list. I can't wait to torture them :) Thanks for the awesome ideas! And thanks to Eric Kim for posting the link.

SERGEI POPOV said...

THANK YOU BLAKE ANDREWS> IS GOOD IDEA NO.

K Brown said...

10. Cause and effect. Use the camera to provoke a verbal reaction from a stranger....

You have got to be kidding.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to give this list to my camera club. We've all been wanting to learn how to become street photographers for a long time now :)

spence said...

@ K Brown

If you're taking photos of strangers on the street, sooner or later you will provoke a negative reaction from someone regardless of how passive you shoot. The point of that exercise is to learn how to diffuse a possible negative situation and, perhaps, turn it into something positive. At least that is what I gather from the exercise.

Blake Andrews said...

The exercise says nothing about a negative reaction. The initial reaction could just as easily be positive.

lrntn said...

Found this on EKim's site. Really awesome, thanks! Can't honestly say I'll be trying many of these, as I rarely do street photography...but always looking for inspiration and a new way to view the world, and so will keep these assignments in mind

jacques philippe said...

Are you setting out your own Street Photography workshop Blake ? Or something like "training the trainers" ?

K Brown said...

The initial reaction could also be very unpleasant .
To deliberately set out to "provoke a verbal reaction" is nothing short of stupid. It's a reality that, if you shoot street, you'll encounter the situation at some point, why "provoke" such a situation?
Stupid "advice" for an exercise.

Blake Andrews said...

Hmm, I think I just provoked a negative reaction.

jacques philippe said...

"...I have to say, I like them all... that's important to say: I like them all... But... if I had to pick... which one I would ... WANT... it would be between that one there (exercise #5)...... this would be my other choice (exercise #3)...... Third pick would be this (exercise #6)."

Harvey Porkstein said...

@Andrews

You said: "Hmm, I think I just provoked a negative reaction."

Isn't this your goal as a narcissistic troll after all?

Yes, I think we can all agree on this.

~ Harvey

SERGEI POPOV said...

HARVEY I COME TO NEW YORK WE MeET UP> THEN WE SEE WHO IS narCISSISTIC TROLL KING EH?. NO ONE TAKEs TITLE FROM ME<

Cybergabi said...

Those seem very useful. And fun. Thanks!

Launa said...

As promised.... torturing my meetup group with one of the exercises :) You should head up from Portland and watch the fun! http://www.meetup.com/seattlestreetphotography/events/37210932/

Blake Andrews said...

Curious to hear how this goes, Launa.

Anonymous said...

I thought this post was just a bit of sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek humor. I didn't expect anyone to take it seriously and to try it out - with the exception of Meetup photographers that is.

Is this how Winogrand 'learned' how to become a street photographer?

boliston said...

I think that #9 can be quite useful although I'm not sure if you have to look through the viewfinder continuously for 30 minutes - could make your arm ache a bit!