I read somewhere that photography is not just about capturing moments; it's about pushing your creative boundaries and evolving as an artist. A fun way to achieve this growth is by giving yourself assignments. Street and urban photography have always been a struggle for me so for my assignment I decided to get out of my comfort zone and do just that.
Assignments encourage you to explore new techniques and perspectives. As someone who spends most of his time capturing the stillness of Kyoto's ancient temples and shrines, street photography is a real challenge. The unpredictability of the streets forces you to adapt, stay alert, and connect with the world around you in unique ways.
My companion for the day was my old Fuji X-Pro1 with three prime lenses. Its compact size and discreet appearance make it much less conspicuous than a large, intimidating DSLR when shooting on the street. It's much lighter too. The X-Pro1 is a bare bones type of camera without all the fancy menu systems and advanced features of more modern cameras. It's really engaging and fun to use.
Street photography assignments can hone your technical abilities and cultivate your ability to tell stories through images. By challenging yourself in this genre, you'll learn to find beauty in the ordinary, and you'll discover that even the most seemingly mundane moments can be transformed into compelling visual narratives.
Some of the inspiration for this assignment came from a photography YouTuber I found called Faizal Westcott (who you can find here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbxt-7-qg6A ). He's insightful, full of tips and tricks, and watching his process as he walks around shooting has been really helpful.
One of the techniques he employs is to use reflections. Reflections can add multiple layers and depth, especially when using longer focal lengths.
As I've posted on this blog before, the Kyoto Station building is amazing and well worth spending an afternoon.
A change is as good as a rest, they say, and this change definitely was. If you want to get your creative juices flowing set yourself an assignment. You might be surprised at the results.