The pleasure of street photography in Paris


A vélo le long de la Seine

Paris à vélo

Though I’m not an expert in street photography, it’s a field of photography I’ve always been quite interested in, and I like to dabble in it a bit from time to time.

At first sight, it may seem very easy, not to say within everyone’s reach. Hell! You’ve just got to take your camera, set it on f5.6 and 1/200 on a sunny (but not too bright) day, and wander in the streets, taking pictures whenever you think you’ve got something. However, after having done this and come back quite a few times without anything to publish, I must tell you it’s not that simple.

First, if you do so, chances are you will end up with a lot of pictures, sure, but all dull and “soulless”. Second, you still have to be very reactive if you want to perfectly capture the right moment with the most efficient framing, and trying to shoot everything everywhere is not the best way to manage to do it.

Personally, I prefer to stand in a place where I find that the scenery is interesting, and then, I wait for an interesting event to happen in the scenery, something that will make it “lively”. Though it takes some time, it’s a real pleasure : so many things can happen, so much you wouldn’t see if you didn’t take the time to just stand and watch!

Of course, you still need to be very cautious, and remain alert : for this picture, I must confess I’m a bit disappointed because I was playing with the focus when the perfect moment happened, which explains its lack of sharpness. However, I would never have taken it had I not taken the time to “wait” for it.

I really like street photography this way. It’s a bit like fishing: you choose a place, sit, wait for the picture to come, take it, and even though it’s not perfect, the long wait for it you’ve endured makes you feel proud of it.

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