So working a scene. I’m here in a market in Mexico City called La Ciudadela. And the reason I’m here is because. The first time I, as a photographer, had success in working a scene was right here. And I want to talk about that. So working a scene. It’s basically you finding a great scene that you care about.
And it’s not something that you can just do, it’s something that happens. But once it happens, you know it’s there and you know this is going to be a great scene
and that you are going to have great photos. At the point, you should milk as much as you can, because it took you a while to find. In this example I saw these kids playing around, in the market we just went to. And before I took the picture, I was unsure whether
the mom was okay with me taking the pictures. So I asked the mom: “Can I photograph your kids and is it okay?
And she was fine with it. The first photo I took was this one.
Where the kid is hiding in this box. After I took the first photo, I was pretty happy. I was like: I have one good photo, that makes sense right now. After that, I found out there were 5-6 kids hiding in this box.
Playing hide and seek or something. I kept taking photos and they at some point just rushed me. It was pretty chaotic. And as like a “Thank you”, I had some coins on me, that I gave one of the kids. As you see here. The problem though, is that the mother saw it. So when she saw it, she came over to the smallest kid, and like opened his hand and took the coins. And that’s what you see here. So it made for like a nice story. Like a nice start. Some tension. And a really sad ending. I was incredibly lucky finding a scene and making it work as well as it did. But what you need do, is to make sure you are ready, for when that happens again. Camera & Settings And this is the camera I used for photographing the kids.
It’s the Fuji x100f. And back then, I didn’t have a GoPro mounted to the camera.
Which is a shame, because it would have been a really cool video to have. In order for you to work a scene, especially in street photography. You should know your camera really well.
Because you don’t want to fiddle around with the settings, once it’s happening. So what I would recommend you to do is to:
Put your shutter-speed to around 125th or 250th of a seconds. So you can take snappy photos and you freeze the moment. And then your ISO and your aperture can just be on auto. That’s fine. You just need to make sure, you have photos that you can take fast without thinking to much, about your camera settings. Selecting your focusing mode The next big thing, is how you select your focus mode. Because you can either have, zone focusing, face-tracking or single-point focus. Or manual focus for that matter. Where you just have this little pixel that determines where your focus will be. I’d recommend going with the single-point focus, because that’s the most reliable for me. But it’s also a personl preference.
Some photographers might like zone-focusing or if you have really insanely great face-detection, maybe that. But I wouldn’t rely on it though. And if you want to know a lot more about working a scene. There is one book you need to buy.
And it’s this one. It’s a huge book. I think it’s around 500 pages. I put a link to it below. It’s called Magnum Contact Sheets. The cool thing about this book.
Is that you see, the behind-the-scenes of making of one these iconic photographs. You follow round 70 photographers I think. You see how they work a scene and how they choose their angels.
And how they pick their favorite photograph. So next time you are out shooting and you take a good photograph.
Don’t just walk away from it. Try experiment with new angles.Try get close.
Get further away. Or frame it differently. That’s what going to make a good photo, become a great photo. And keep doing that, until it gets weird.
That’s usually a good cue on when to wrap it up. And working a scene doesn’t jus translate to how you take the picture.
It’s also how you edit it. So when you have that great picture, try edit it in different variations. Try black and white. Try color. Try different crops. Comment below with your best tip on how to work a scene
And you might win a year subscription to Format. Which is a website portfolio builder. I won this subscription in a photo contest on Reddit.
And the guys over at Format, was fine with me, giving it away. So comment below with your best tip on how to work a scene and you might win. Oh and by the way. My mom is visiting me here in Mexico City this week.
She does food photography and she paints her own photo styling backgrounds. So I’m thinking we can make a cool like, half street photography, half photo styling video together. Until next week! And thank you so much to all of you who have subscribed.
This channel is starting to get some momentum which is really exciting. So thank you for that. And if you haven’t already subscribed: What are you doing?