Travel Street Photography: Telling Visual Stories with Powerful Street Photos | Sean Dalton | Skillshare

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Travel Street Photography: Telling Visual Stories with Powerful Street Photos

teacher avatar Sean Dalton, Travel Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Travel Street Photography?


    • 3.

      Class Project


    • 4.

      Basic Photography Tips


    • 5.

      Street Photography Concepts


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Shooting I: Market


    • 8.

      Shooting II: Street


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Course Takeaways and Closing Words


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About This Class

Join top teacher Sean Dalton on a street photography adventure through the bustling streets and marketplaces of Hanoi, Vietnam. 

Beginning his photography adventures at a young age, Sean has dedicated his life to capturing visual stories around the world. His passion for travel street photography began after Sean embarked on a two month backpacking trip through rural China. The sheer interest in his environment elicited a new level of inspiration, and Sean couldn't put his camera down. Since then, Sean has traveled to countless other countries around the world and has steadily grown as a street photographer. Today, he is ready to share his knowledge with you.

In this 60 minute course, Sean breaks down everything you need to know about capturing powerful street photos. Sean share's all of his street photography secrets, including:

  • What to look for while shooting on the street
  • How to tell stories through your lens
  • Popular street photography techniques
  • Composition, lighting, and styling
  • Camera settings and essential gear
  • How to stay undetected while shooting
  • Photo editing for visual storytelling 

Whether you're a veteran photographer or a passionate traveler armed with only your smartphone, there is something in this course for everyone. This course covers everything you need to know about capturing visual stories on the street, and can help you create lasting memories of your adventures around the world.


Subscribe to Sean on YouTube. 

Contact Sean on Instagram: @seandalt

Check out Sean's website.

Check out Sean's other courses on Skillshare.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sean Dalton

Travel Photographer

Top Teacher

Hey guys! I'm Sean.

For the last 5 years I've been traveling the world capturing as many photos as I possibly can. I'm drawn to a wide range of photography styles, and constantly striving to improve my art. Emotion and storytelling are two central pillars of my artwork, and I am always looking for new and interesting stories to tell via my camera.

I'm originally from San Francisco, California, but have spent the last few years chasing stories and light throughout Asia.

Most of what I teach relates to my background with travel and lifestyle photography, but I am constantly expanding my focus as I continue to grow as a photographer. I'm pumped that you are here, let's grow together!

I'm active on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube.... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: When it comes to photography as an art form, I think street photography is at the forefront of expression and interest. The main goal of street photography is to capture raw human emotion and this allows you to create incredibly powerful photos that not only tell a story about the person in the photo, but the place that they're in as well. My name is Sean Dalton, I'm a travel and lifestyle photographer from San Francisco, California. Today I've come to Hanoi, Vietnam, which in my opinion is one of the most visually and culturally interesting places in the entire world to take you guys on a street photography adventure. I've been drawn to street photography for as long as I can remember; ever since I picked up a camera. But I didn't really get into it until I did a two-month backpacking trip through China. I learned so much about the art form of street photography during this two month trip, and that simply because I was so inspired to create on a daily basis. Every day I woke up and there was a new adventure waiting for me and all I had to do was go out with my camera and capture that adventure in the way that I thought it was most beautiful. So in this course, we're going to cover the basics of street photography. Today I'm going to share some of the things I've learned over the years as a street photographer and I'm going to teach you exactly how you can take photos that are not only visually beautiful but culturally inspiring. I want to take you on two different trip with me in the bustling Vietnamese city of Hanoi. We're going to visit a market where life has continued in the same manner that it has for hundreds of years and then we will embark on a random street photography adventure through the city with nothing in particular in mind but with the only goal of capturing beautiful images. So, this course is for anybody that has an interest in street photography or travel photography or maybe you just want to take better photos when you're traveling abroad or maybe you don't travel and you just want to take better photos of your city. Street photography doesn't have to be done while you're traveling. You know, you can do it in the city that you grew up in and it actually allows you to see your city in a different way. So this course is basically for anybody that just wants to take better street photos. Whether you're a professional photographer with an expensive camera or somebody that only has their smartphone, we're going to cover all that. You don't need to worry about what kind of camera you have. This course is for anybody that just wants to become a better street photographer. With that said, guys, I really hope you take the time to enroll in the course and if you do, I will see you in the course dashboard. Let's get after it. 2. What is Travel Street Photography?: So, before we get into shooting, and editing, and all that. I want to take a second to talk about what is Travel Street Photography. I mean, I think there's a lot of different terms that are thrown around as to what street photography is, but I want to clear the air just so we know exactly what we're talking about when I refer to street photography in the rest of this course. So in short, street photography is about capturing everyday life and society through your lens. But I think street photography is a misunderstanded term. I don't think it always has to be done within the street. I mean, it can be in an airport, in a grocery store, it can be anywhere. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the street. But I think the term street photography is certainly, referring to the style of where you're capturing this kind of everyday life. The way people live their lives in seemingly normal ways, but you're capturing it in a beautiful way, and you're showing that in a beautiful way. That's why I think street photography can be very powerful. So, typically and traditionally street photography was done candid. So, that's not having permission from your subject to capture their photo. So, you go out onto the street, you find somebody that strikes your eye, maybe there's something appealing about them, the look in their eye, or the way they were dressed, or what they're doing, and whatever it is, they are interesting to you. So you capture their photo. Like I said, traditionally you did it in a candid way. So, maybe you have your camera and you try to be stealthy and take their picture, but it doesn't always have to be candid, I think street photography can also be, you can ask somebody for the permission to take their street portrait. Even though it's not candid, that image can still say a lot about how that person lives their life, or the culture of that person, or culture of that city, or whatever it is, there can always be a deeper meaning, even if someone's posing for that photo. So, street photography does not always need to be candid. With that said, when you're doing something like travel shoot photography, it can be very difficult to communicate with people if you don't speak the language. For example, I'm here in Hanoi Vietnam, and I can't speak Vietnamese. In Thailand, I have the ability to ask if I can take someone's portrait, but even then it's quite difficult. Oftentimes as a foreigner, you're seen as an outsider and they might let you take their picture, anyways. So, it's different if you're at home and you find somebody that you want to capture their portrait. You can ask them and if you can express yourself very eloquently, maybe they'll say yes. But when you're traveling and you're in these foreign countries, you meet these foreign people, they might not be so keen on you taking their photo. So, typically it's done in a candid fashion. I think at the end of the day, the most important topic of street photography is to capture raw human emotion. Raw human emotion is incredibly powerful. It's something we all deal with. When you can capture that emotion in a photo, that photo is going to speak to your viewers in such a powerful, powerful way. Whereas, if it's just a photo of a person sitting there, and there's not really a lot of emotion going on, then it might not be that powerful of a photo. But if you capture a photo of somebody, and you can see the expression on their face, and whatever is around them tells that story of who they are as a person, and their life experiences, and their culture, that is where street photography really shines. I think that's what makes it such a beautiful form of photography. When I go out and I'm shooting, I'm looking for not only aesthetics and things that are pleasing to the eye, but content that I know that is going to evoke emotions within me, whether it's happiness, sadness, even just general interest. I mean, emotions are incredibly powerful, and as human beings we're emotional creatures. So, at the end of the day, that is the most important thing in history of photography is to capture that raw human emotion. But with that said, you don't always need to shoot people to capture that emotion. You can shoot in an alleyway and it can still be emotional. That emotion comes from things like lighting, and what the content in the frame actually is in your composition. How your aeying things out. So, when you're walking around and you notice something, and you look down an alleyway and you feel a certain emotion work, typically if you take that picture, others might feel that emotion as well. So, that's something to think about. It doesn't always need to be people. Even though when you're shooting people, it's typically easier to capture that raw emotion. So, there is one more thing I wanted to mention before we dive deeper into this course. I know the title of this course is travel street photography, but I really want to say that you don't need to be traveling to engage in beautiful street photography. Every culture is interesting. Even if you're shooting in the city that you were born and raised in, other people around the world might find that interesting. Some of the best photographers started in their towns, and their cities, and that's all they shot. They didn't go to interesting countries across the world and photograph people. At least, maybe not until later in their career. So, it doesn't matter where you are. Don't feel discouraged if you can't go out and travel the world and take pictures. I think for a lot of us that's a motivator, but if you can get motivated to shoot within your city where you're from, you can capture some really amazing things and you might see your city in a different way than you always have. So, don't feel discourage if you're not traveling the world, just get up there and shoot, that's the most important thing. It doesn't matter where you live, where you're from, or what's outside, the most important thing is just to go outside and shoot. 3. Class Project: Hi, guys. I want to take a second to talk about the class project, and I think the class project is really important for this course because it allows you to get feedback directly from me and directly from people, other students in the class. It's a really useful resource for you to engage with me and engage with the class, in general. So, for this class project, I want you guys to select three of your favorite street photography photos, and they can be taken on any kind of camera, even your smartphone, that's totally fine. They're not to be travel photos either. They can be in your hometown. So, three street photography photos that you've captured. It could be of people, candid shots. It can be cityscapes. It can be streetscapes. It can be anything that you think fits that category of street photography. Go ahead, and post those three photos in the class project, and I will comment on them. I'll check them out, and I think it's a really good way, as I said, to get feedback from myself and from other students in the course. So, please, take the time to do that. I'm really excited to see what you guys come up with. With that said, let's move onto the next section. 4. Basic Photography Tips: All right guys. So, now I want to take a second to talk about some basic photography tips that are essential for capturing beautiful street photography photos and beautiful photos anywhere for that matter. If you've watched any of my other courses you know that there's always three things I like to focus on and really highlight in terms of photography tips and those things are: lighting, composition, and styling or content. So, lighting refers to the light in your photo and if you know anything about cameras, you know that cameras capture light. That's how an images created within the camera body. So, lighting is absolutely crucial for capturing beautiful photos. So, the second thing is composition. Composition is basically how you arrange the physical elements within your frame. So, if there's a person in your frame, it's making sure they're in a specific part of the frame that looks good. Everything in your frame is affecting your composition, even light can affect your composition especially if there's a really hard light cutting through your frame, that can really throw your frame out of balance. So, composition can be complicated but essentially, it's arranging the objects in your frame in a beautiful way to make sure that it looks good to the human eye. The reason why composition is so important is because as human beings, our brains like to see patterns and that's what we look for when we look at a picture or a painting or anything like that. So, composition that is arranged in a beautiful way is, it looks good to the human eye. We can navigate that frame. We have something to lock onto. Whereas, if it's an abstract photo, it might be difficult for the human eye to find something of interest that we're going to be navigating and hunting. So, our brain might not register that as something as beautiful as a photo that is nice and balanced and easy for our brains to comprehend. So, composition is very important for photos and I think all photographers will tell you that same thing. There's a few different compositional techniques that you can do to ensure that your photos look good. So, the first one is negative space. Having negative space in certain parts of her frame can add a lot of aesthetic to your photos and it can really keep things balanced. So, if you have a frame with a lot of stuff on the right and then there's a negative space to the left, that could look really good or if there's negative space in the sky or something like that, play around with it and try to put negative space in different areas. But negative space essentially refers to space that is negative in your photo. Empty space in your photo with no contents. That could be a wall, that could be a sky, that could be just deep dark shadows where there's no information in that area and it could be also be very bright. So, there's no information in that area. Essentially, negative space is just empty space in your frame and it can be strategically used to add aesthetics into your composition. The second compositional technique I want to chat about is rule of thirds, and you've probably heard of this before. Essentially, rule of thirds is positioning your main subject in one third of your frame. So, that can be on the left third or the right third, and that same goes for vertical and horizontal. So, it's more pleasing for the human eye to see a frame with something in the third whether instead of being in the middle, if that makes sense. This is a compositional technique used by pretty much every photographer that knows anything about composition. It can be a really good way to kind of make your photos stand out a little bit more. So, for example if you're shooting a street vendor, instead of shooting them and having them in the middle of the frame, try positioning them on the right side of the frame and then using the left side of the frame to capture their food or their stalls or something like that. This is one of the compositional techniques I'm definitely going to be showing you today when we're out shooting and I think it's a good one for everyone to know and everyone to practice while you're out shooting. So, the next compositional technique, you've probably heard of it, it's basically a bird's eye and worm's eye or a high angle and low angle. The reason why I'd like to teach this one is because it makes you think about moving your feet and moving up high and moving down low and that's really important for composition. It's not just moving your camera, but it's moving your body. You can try a lot of different things when you're shooting, you're never going to get the best shot right away. So, try different things, move around. That's the best thing you can do for getting a good composition. Especially, when shooting high and low you can get some really interesting compositions from those angles. So, try shooting high and try shooting low and I bet you'll come up with something really cool. The last compositional technique I want to tell you guys about is leading lines. Leading lines are essentially natural lines in your image that are leading to the main subject of your photo. So, whether that's lines in the street, lines in a building, it can be a staircase, any kind of line that is in your photo, diagonal, vertical, or horizontal, it doesn't matter as long as it's leading to your main subject, that is very very pleasing to the human eye. Because it allows the human eye to follow that line almost like a pathway to that main subject and it's very visually appealing for us. Some of the best photographs of all time have really utilized this technique of leading lines to ensure that the main subject is just very easy to spot and very easy to follow and they also help your eyes move around the frame and see other things in the photo as well. So, this could be a really good way to tie your compositions together. So, when you're out shooting, look for lines. Lines are amazing and they can do a lot for your compositions. So, the last thing that makes up a photo regardless of the composition or the lighting is the styling or the content. So, that's the actual physical content in your frame that you're photographing. As I said before, street photography, it's all taken care of for you. You're not setting scenes, the scenes are there and your goal is to capture them. So, whereas if you're a food photographer, you're really working on establishing that style, maybe arranging things in your frame and adding props to get across that mood. With street photography, that mood is already there and your job is to go out and capture it. So, it's walking around and looking for these beautiful scenes and beautiful content and capturing it that way. So, street photography it's all taken care of for you you just have an eye for it. So, go out and look for things that strike you. You can look for colours, colours are really emotional and they can tell a lot about the scene or that setting. You can look for people and what they're wearing, the look in their eyes, you can look for activities. If someone's playing a game, that could be really interesting especially if it's a different culture. There's a lot of different interesting things going on and that's what I love about street photography. Now, whenever I go to a new city around the world, the first thing I do is check-in to my hotel, throw my bags and hit the streets and I just walk for hours because there's so much going on. I think the best way to see a city and learn a culture is by foot. You miss out on so much being in a car or even on a bicycle. When you're on foot, you hear the sounds of the city, you smell the city and you're walking slow enough that you can see these human interactions on a micro level and it's such a powerful thing. So, I know I'm going off on a tangent, but I'm really passionate about this and I think street photography is a really powerful form of photography, because these street scenes are already set for you and you don't have to worry about style or anything like that. But with that said, that's the last aspect that makes up a good photo. But now, I want to talk a little bit more about street photography specifically and some of the more specific concepts of street photography that have been popularized by popular street photographers in the past. 5. Street Photography Concepts: So, when it comes to street photography in particular, there's a few different tips that you can follow to really make sure that you're doing your best when you're going out and shooting. The first thing I want to chat about is this term called the decisive moment. Henri Cartier Bresson which was a very popular street photographer, he coined this term, it essentially refers to the moment where everything in your frame comes together to create that beautiful composition. So, maybe you're sitting there and you're looking at a scene and you're waiting for that one person that's wearing those perfect clothes to step into your frame, into that specific part of your frame and then you put the shutter and you capture that decisive moment. So, it's about capturing emotion and action in your photo and it's only at one specific time. With that said, don't just take one picture because there's never just one decisive moment. Maybe they'll make it, they'll start in one side of the frame, you'll take a picture and then they make it to the other side and then you realize, oh, that's even better moment, that's an even better decisive moment, so you click the shutter again. So, a tip I can give you is, take a lot of pictures, don't just take one. Henri Cartier Bresson, when he was shooting, he would sit there for 20 minutes up to two hours just waiting and looking at his scene, waiting for that person to walk into it, waiting for the light to hit in a certain way and just being patient and waiting for that decisive moment. This is a term that is used a lot in street photography and I really want to highlight it because I think it allows us to think outside of just you know, capturing a bunch of photos, but really engaging with a scene and sitting there and looking at all the different aspects of it to ensure that you're capturing that perfect moment. So, the next street photography specific technique I want to talk about is this term called juxtaposition. Essentially, juxtaposition is just a fancy word for contrast. But, in photography when we're talking about contrast, we're often talking about the blacks and the whites, the highlights and the shadows and how those works. So, the tones, right? But juxtaposition is referring to the content in the photo. So, an example of juxtaposition could be maybe there's some economically disadvantaged children playing outside of a incredibly rich mansion, and there's that social juxtaposition between the poor children and this massive rich kind of entity behind them and that can be socially telling. and I know some of the most powerful photographs of the 2000s have really utilized this juxtaposition. I know there's one photo that's a really good example is of these people in China and there's a beautiful cityscape behind them, but it's just covered in smog and you cannot see the city at all. So, what the city did was put up a billboard in front of this view that you can stand in front of and take a picture and some of these photographers made sure that they captured that billboard and then also the smog in the background and it's just so telling about society and it's just a beautiful photo and I think that juxtaposition can be very, very powerful. Some of the best street photos of all time have really utilized this technique to their advantage. So, another tip I want to give is to focus on these small details. So, I think oftentimes when we're out shooting in the street, we're focusing on people and we might get caught up and we're not focusing on some of the smaller things that are interesting. So, when you're shooting, try focusing on one specific thing, maybe it's someone's hands or maybe it's just the sink in the way the balls are laid out in the sink. I mean, it could be anything. You know there's so many small details going on on the street and there's so many interesting things and I think a lot of photographers believe the notion that there's beauty everywhere, it doesn't matter where you are, you can make something beautiful by focusing on the composition and the lighting. So, even if you find trash on the ground, there's a way you can make it beautiful as long as you think outside the box and you're really working to ensure that that thing is looking beautiful in your frame, you can do it. So, focus on the small details. Don't get too caught up with shooting people or cityscapes, really think outside the box and try a lot of different things. The last street photography tip I want to give you is urban landscapes. I think urban landscapes can be very powerful. As street photographers we're always focusing on emotion. But as I said earlier, you know you don't have to shoot people to capture emotion. Same thing with the small details, you know, urban landscapes can be very emotional especially if you're editing them in an emotional way and really pulling up those colors, they're eliciting emotion. There are some beautiful cityscapes from cities all around the world and they're very, very powerful forms of street photography. Some people might consider the landscapes, but I think they still fit into that category of street photography especially for shooting at the street level and you're not up above and shooting kind of a panorama. You can capture really interesting photos of alleyways, or streets, or storefronts, or houses, I mean, there's so much going on on the street, there's so much interest. It doesn't matter what you're shooting, there's always something there to capture and it can always contain a lot of really interesting emotion. So, try shooting cityscapes, you don't always want to focus on people. I think that can be a very powerful way to capture some awesome street photography photos. 6. Gear: So, when it comes to gear, you have a lot of options. Street photographers in the past, they always used film cameras, and they came up with amazing results. Film cameras are notoriously slow. It's hard to be fast with those, but now we have these incredibly fast cameras with insane autofocus that in my opinion, makes the job a lot easier with candid street photography. The reason for that is because you can just walk by and take a ton of photos and capture emotion just like that. Whereas in the past, you were squatting down, lining up a shot and making sure that everything was in perfect line. I think that's why film still has a big place in modern day street photography is because it really allows you to engage with the scene, but a lot of people don't shoot film and in this course, I'm going to focus on digital. So, the camera that I use for street photography is the Sony A7RIII, Sony's new full frame flagship camera. It's incredibly fast, and it has a lot of detail. It's a great camera, but you don't need a camera like this to take awesome photos. I shot on a crop sensor for years. The good thing about crop sensor cameras is that they are a lot smaller. So, it doesn't matter if you're shooting Fuji, Sony, Canon, Nikon. It doesn't matter. There's a camera out there for you and your budget. As long as you have a camera that's the most important thing because it's not about the quality of your photo that's really going to make it beautiful, it's about the lighting, the styling, and the composition, and the content that's in your photo. That's what makes street photography such a powerful form of art. There's also a big place for smartphone street photographers. Smartphone has about a 35 millimeter lens which is absolutely perfect for street photography. It captures so much detail and it captures so much of the scene. Smartphones, they're amazing nowadays especially with the new iPhones. You can capture incredible photos with just your phone. You really don't need a big fancy camera to do that, and it's more discreet. So, if you're going out shooting with an iPhone, you're not having this huge camera in your hand which is distracting and people might be a little bit intimidated by it. So, a smartphone is just totally fine for that. In this course, I'm going to be shooting with my camera, the Sony A7RIII. I do want to talk about three focal length that I think are really awesome for a street photography. So, the first focal length I want to chat about is the lens that's on my camera now, and that's 35 millimeters. Thirty five millimeters is probably the most famous street photography lens of all time, and the reason why is because it's the closest to what our human eye sees. When we're looking straight ahead, we see about 35 millimeters. Thirty five millimeters is great because it's not too wide where you're getting a lot of lens distortion, but it's not too tight where you're sacrificing a lot of the content of the photo. So, if you point your camera straight ahead with 35, you're going to capture a lot of information in the frame. There's going to be a lot of content there. So, it's not too tight and you're not sacrificing too much of the setting around your main subject. So, a 35 millimeter is definitely my favorite focal length to shoot street photography with, but it can get a little bit intimate because you do have to get a little bit close to your subject to make sure that you're really capturing their face and stuff like that and when you're getting close to them, it might make them uncomfortable. It might make you uncomfortable. So, that's why having a lens such as a 50 millimeter lens is great because a 50 millimeter lens allows you to step back a little bit, and you can still capture a lot in the frame. Also, a 50 millimeter lens gives you a little bit more depth of field which can give you more of an artistic look. So, some street photographers swear by shooting with a 50. Some swear by shooting with a 35 and others even shoot wider than that so they can capture more of the cityscape. Another lens I like to shoot with is the 85 millimeter 1.4, and that's if I really don't want to get close, if I feel bad for shooting that person, maybe they don't want to be photographed or I just want to be a little bit more discreet. The 85 millimeter is great for stepping back and shooting and really getting still all out of mood and emotion in your photos. But, I really do like the 35 and the 50 because you can get more of the scene in your photos. I think having a lot of the scene in your photos can be a really powerful way to tell a story and capture emotion which is the most important thing for street photography. So, there are a few things you can think about before you buy your camera that will help you in your decision. The first one is the autofocus. Autofocus on your cameras is important because it allows you to get in, get your focus, get your shot and get out. With street photography, you don't want to get in people's way. You don't want to be invasive. So, having a nice autofocus allows you to do that. The autofocus on this camera are so good that I can actually shoot from the hip and walk by somebody while I'm shooting on continuous autofocus, capture those shots and then get out before they even knew I took their photo. So, autofocus is a really good way to make sure that you're going to be able to get the shot. If you're shooting with a manual focus lens like street photographers did in the past, you are going to be engaging more with your scene, but it's a little bit harder to remain stealthy. People are going to see you if you're sitting there focusing for a few minutes. So, autofocus is a really powerful way to make sure you get the shot. The other thing I like in modern digital camera for street photography is being able to move the screen so you can shoot from the hip. So, with the Sony A7RIII, I can flatten out the screen like this and hold the camera on my waist and still see the viewfinder to make sure I know where I'm shooting. So, if I want to get the camera down but I don't want to really give myself away that I'm taking a photo, I can bring it down and just look through the viewfinder and capture the photo that way. So, that's a really good way of making sure you're not really getting in people's way and making them uncomfortable because you're photographing them. 7. Shooting I: Market: All right, guys. We're finally ready to start shooting. We know we've talked about a lot of different things prior to this section, but now it's time to actually get down to it and take some awesome photos. We're here at an awesome market. It's not too popular right now but that's okay. I think there's a lot of cool things to look at. Just to reiterate, I'm going to be shooting with the Sony A7RIII. I have three different lenses: the 35 millimeter, the 55 millimeter, and the 85 millimeter. I'm going to start with a 35, then I'm going to move on, and I'm going to tell you when I switch, and talk about each lens and how I'm using it and how it will affect the look of the photo. So, you might be wondering why I'm a little bit muddy. We took a little bit of a spill on the motorbike today, me and my awesome cameraman. But we're totally fine. It's awesome out here. So, it rained last night and it's really foggy today and why that's good is because it produces a nice soft light across everything. It just lets us take a lot more photos without having to worry about really crazy lighting scenario. So, we're not going to get super, super high contrast on our photos, but that's okay. It's going to give us some more moody look and that's something I really like in my photo. So, if you're going out shooting and it's not a sunny day, don't worry, overcast days are actually perfect for photography. So, before we start shooting, I really want a hammer in those three topics we talked about earlier, lighting, styling, and composition. Those are the three crucial factors to achieving a beautiful photo and those are the three things I may be looking for while I'm out shooting today. I want you to look for those things as well. So, the lighting, we have a really nice natural light source. It's a cloudy day, like I said, so everything is really soft. The composition-wise, that's on me. But things present themselves in beautiful compositions just naturally. So, I'm going to look for those natural frames, things like that. The third thing, content or styling. I mean, we're in an awesome place. We're in Vietnam. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of interesting people, a lot of interesting food, so that part is taken care of. But I really want to focus on these three things while I'm out shooting, and you should, too. So, I want to take a second to talk about aperture. I really like shooting wide open, at 1.4, at 1.8, depending on the lens. The reason for this is because it can create a lot of bokeh or out-of-focus areas in the background and really let me focus on my subjects. I think, that's a really cool look, and it makes them look more artistic. So, you're wondering what aperture I'm shooting at? Oftentimes, it's 1.4, maybe I'll stop down to 2.8 or f4 if want to get a little bit more sharpness throughout the frame. So, when out we're shooting in locations like this, especially with the 35-millimeter lens, a lot of people might not want their picture taken, and especially because we're trying to shoot candid, we don't really want to be seen. Today, there's not a lot going on in these markets, so I kind of want to stay a little bit more subtle. So, I have a few techniques to do that. One of them is shooting from the hip. With the Sony, I can actually- it has an articulating screen, so I can bring it down like this and I can see what I'm shooting as I'm walking around. So, I can shoot like this and that lets me remain a little bit more undetected and just make sure people don't get too uncomfortable. When I'm shooting with the 85, with the 55, I can come up here like that because I got a little bit more space between me and the subject. But 35, it's nice to shoot from the hip. Another technique I do is act like I'm recording video, so I'll hold the camera like this and I'll walk and then I'll just take some photos as I'm doing that. It's a little bit more natural. It's less jarring. It's like click, click, click when you're looking at somebody like that. So, those are two techniques I like to use when I'm out shooting, so people don't really notice me as much as they would if I was holding my camera up to my face. So, as you can see here, this market is not too popping right now, unfortunately. The markets usually are more popular in the morning, early morning, and then also in the evening times. But because we're traveling, time doesn't permit. So, we're just shooting here during the day. But I do want to say, just because all of these stalls are empty, doesn't mean you can't get good street photography photos. Looking down this alley, for example, there's a really cool, interesting lighting. Because it rained, there's a lot of interesting reflections and things like that. So, just because there's not people around, there's not a lot going on, doesn't mean you can't take awesome photos. Later on in this segment, we're going to go to the street and we're going to see a lot more people. But I think this is a good teaching point because it allows us to talk about photographing things other than people. You don't have to only shoot people to capture emotion. There's plenty of emotion in these areas. So, unfortunately, this market's not too popular now except for these kids who are here, making a ton of noise. Hey, guys. How are you? Apparently, they only know hello. But we're going to move on. We're going to head out to the street now. There's just more going on. Like I said, the markets are really only popping in the early morning and then also in the evening. But, yeah, you know what, I want to say one thing about Vietnam real quick. I love the people here. They're awesome. They're friendly. You get stuff like this all the time, these awesome little kids just saying hello and just generally very, very happy. But anyways, you know what, let's hit the street. I think, we're going to get some awesome shots there. Let's go. 8. Shooting II: Street: All right, guys, so now we're on the street and there's a lot going on. There's a ton of motorbikes zooming past, a lot of people out here, so we've got to be careful. But I do want to say I'm shooting with the 55 millimeter lens now, and this is a great focal length. One that I actually prefer for street photography because it allows me to step a little bit farther away from my subject and also creates more depth of field, which gives it more of an artistic look. So, 55 millimeter I think is a great lens for street photography. I do want to take a second to talk about shutter speed as well. I'm shooting at higher shutter speeds, usually, a 1/250th of a second or more, usually much higher than that, to balance out my exposure. But, you can shoot at maybe 130th, 140th of a second, if you want to move with the motion to create some awesome motion blur in the background. That's not something I'm going to be doing here. I'm going to be staying at fast shutter speeds, because I really want to capture that motion. I don't want any kind of blur in my photo. With that said, guys, let's go see what we can come up with. So, one of the things I like to do when I'm shooting is often times if you buy something, they'll let you take their photo. So, I'm buying some pineapple because it just develops a friendly relationship between us and she's much more likely to allow me to shoot her. Another tip I have is to just smile at people. If you smile at people, they're much more likely to let you take a photo of them, so always be smiling. All right, guys, so I got my pineapple and now I'm switched to my 85 millimeter lens. We've gone up the progression, so we started with a 35, the 55, and now we're at the 85, and with the 85, I can stand pretty far away from my subject and still get a really cool shot. So, we're going to be shooting with this one, and it's 85 millimeter at 4.4. So, it's a really wide aperture. We can get some really, really moody shots with really, really shallow depth of field, and the pineapple is going to help a lot as well. So, let's go. Also, the 85 is really good for detail shots. So, getting up close and really capturing the details of the environment. So, maybe you're not getting a face or something like that, but maybe it's food or flowers or a motorbike or anything like that. The 85 millimeter is awesome for those detailed shots. All right, guys, so unfortunately, the rain has really picked up. We came out to this lake and we did get some cool photos here, but the rain is just a little bit too much for us. We don't want to be outside with our cameras, but that's okay. We got some really, really awesome shots today. We shot with the 35, the 55, and the 85. So, you guys were able to see the differences between the focal lengths and you can decide which one you like the best. But for us, right now, it's time to head inside, get some coffee, import the photos, and see what we got. Thanks so much for watching this, guys. Let's move on to the editing section. 9. Editing: All right guys. So we have talked about a lot of different things in this course and we have gone out and shot. You guys have seen me do my thing, but now is the time where we get to really pull those emotions out of the photos that we captured on the street. The editing phase is such a crucial component for photography, and it really allows you to make that photo what you want it to be. So, I have got 14 photos here. All of them are completely raw, taken raw straight out of the camera, added into Lightroom and now we are going to start editing. When I first started editing, I was using my iPhone and you could do some pretty amazing things on there. You guys have seen my smartphone editing course, you know that, also check that out if you want to learn how to edit on your smartphone. But in this class, we are going to be focusing on how most pros and that is in Adobe Lightroom works, which is super cheap. It is like 10 bucks a month and you have so much power over your photos and everything in them, and you can really dictate the mood that you want each photo to be. So, we have got 14 photos here and I am going to be showing you guys how I edit them. These are some of my favorites from the shoot that we did in Hanoi. So essentially, I like to use presets and presets are essentially fancy filters for Lightroom and I used two preset packs, the Sean Dalton Travel Preset pack and also the Sean Dalton Classic Portrait Preset pack. There is links to these in the description and there is plenty of other presets available online, but these are the ones that I use because I think that they really help elicit the most emotion out of your photos. So, we've got 14 photos here. I am going to break down each one and tell you why I did it the way I do and discuss each filter kind of in-depth. So, the first one we got here is this man shown in Hanoi. He's got his bowl and looks like he is going to go eat something. His face just says so much, he has been through a lot of stuff. He has had a long life and really love the shot and the colors that are in it. So, the travel preset pack I have here is the one I like to use for shots like this. There is 25 presets and each preset is based off of a city that I have visited around the world and how that city made me feel. So San Francisco, I think of tech industry, I think of big buildings and metallic chrome. So that is what this look is, desaturated but just a really cool look, one of my favorite presets and actually it works really well for this specific shot. Another one I really like is Hanoi. Obviously based off of the city of Hanoi and it's nice and warm. You can see this one here, really cool warm tones, a little bit too warm in my opinion. So I am going to go ahead to the split toning and I use split toning to make it so orange. I am just going to lower that down. So just a note, these presets do not affect your white balance so it works for every photo, and it really just affects the deeper underlining tones and colors of each photo. That's based off of the hue, saturation, and luminance sliders as well as the tone curve. I really like this photo here. The other one I want to highlight is Kobe and this one is like that classic blue and orange look. When I first applied, the filter looks kind of weird because the highlights are too far down. You see what happens when you pull the highlights too far down, you get so much detail, almost like an unnatural amount of detail. So, I am going to raise those highlights back up and I am actually going to raise the overall exposure and then, I am going to drop the vibrance a little bit. I think it's just too much and then I am going to increase the clarity and make it really nice and crispy and that is the photo that I like. Well, let's move onto this one. Here, we have got this photo of this lovely pineapple seller, that you guys saw me taking her portrait. She was so sweet and she kept smiling at me, really love this lady. So in my opinion, when I am looking at this photo, I think there is just too much going on like this pink, not a huge fan of that pink, there is some pink here and there is like that yellow and the yellow is fine, but the colors are just overpowering in my opinion and if you guys have heard me say this before but I really think that oftentimes colors are distracting especially when are you going out doing things like street photography where you are trying to focus on emotion. Emotion is in the people, emotion is in the face and while color is interesting and it can also add a lot to the photo, oftentimes it can take away from a photo as well. So in this situation, I am going to apply the Bangkok filter which is black and white and you can see here, it looks good. It's a little bit too soft, so I am going to increase the exposure and then to offset these highlights that are a little bit too bright, I am going to lower the highlights here. I am going to drop the blocks, get a bit more contrast, and then I am going to increase the shadows to pull out some detail on her face. If I wanted to pull out more detail on her face, I will go here, the adjustment brush, I will click shadows, I will raise the shadows up to maybe 40, and I will just paint over her face and that will just bring out her face a little bit more emotion, really love this shot. Here is one, and this guy is just, I wish this man was not here, but it is okay. I just think the look on this guy's face, he is chilling in front of the store, the lighting is perfect. We have this light source here and then we have a backlight here just creating this nice cascading light on him. Let's go down and you can see here the preview of each preset. So let us just scroll down, see which which one looks the best. Portland is really cool, it is going to look dark at first. We'll just raise the exposure, and then we have that really kind of movie look; drop the highlights a little bit, soften it out, increase the shadows a tad, and that in my opinion looks pretty cool. Another one we can try, one of my favorite presets ever is the soft modern preset, kind of warmer, soft. His skin looks a little bit too orange in this one. So we can go up here and kind of offset these orange lights here with changing the color balance and in my opinion it looks pretty cool. You can also go black and white if you wanted to, so let us try that out. Same thing, I am going to raise the exposure here, drop the highlights, increase the shadows, get that dynamic range. Yeah, I really love the look on his face. Here is a shot that at first glance, I am not a huge fan of it, but I included it here because I wanted to show you how you can completely transform the photo that is not very good to something that is a lot better. One of the biggest things you can do here is just crop it, so I am going to crop it, so he is in the rules of thirds here and the third of the frame. He's already kind of there but this is just too distracting. So I am going to move him a little bit more to the middle or to the left, this will do that, boom. It already looks a lot better and the other part is the tone. So, here is the black and white. Oh man, I really love the black and white, but I do not want to edit too many of these photos in black and white because I want to show you guys some of the other options here. I do not know if you guys know this but black and white is actually very complicated. You can adjust the luminance of each color and you can see how it affects the photo here in the black and white slider on Lightroom. So my black and white filters, I have done this. I have taken these into account to really focus on skin tones, but I just wanted to highlight that. But, I think I am going to go down here into the portrait preset package, we have got the skin tones here and I am going to try the old school cool too which really gives it this bright kind of high contrast look and in my opinion, it is just really cool. So, he does have some pretty orange skin here, so you can go to the luminance slider and you can increase the orange slider just to kind of make it a little bit brighter and I would call it good on that one. I think that is a beautiful photo. So, here is one of the bike and the bike is cool. The light is really nice, it is toplit. You have got this really cool shadows here and I think any filter is going to look awesome. So I will try the soft modern, looks pretty awesome, old school cool which has a little bit of noise. I like that really nice one. Eccentric tones, I love that. I'm going to leave it there. There's a lot of others we could try, but I love this filter and it kind of highlights that warmness of Vietnam that you get, you're going to love those warmer tones but does not sacrifice too much of these colors here. We have got these nice kind of vintage reds, beautiful filter. So here is the shot. I actually took this in Hachiman, but I wanted to include it because I loved that there was so much natural contrast already in this photo based on the shadows here. This was taken in late afternoon on a rooftop in Hachiman City and Hachiman in the southern city in Vietnam, Hanoi is in the north. So, they are similar in all other ways, but also very different. I actually really love Hachiman City, so I wanted to include this. But this photo is really cool because like I said, we have that really harsh contrast and then we have a lot of interesting colors here. I think this is a really good photo for teaching and one that I would not make black and white because of these really cool colors. So, let us start with old school cool. So, this one actually, you can see that the blues are like gone. So yeah, the blues in this photo and the greens have been desaturated like crazy, and I like that look but I really want to kind of hold onto these blues in this photo. So I am going to bring those back up and then this one has a lot of blue underlined tones in it which is pretty cool. Feeling low, it's kind of like this vintage warmer look; like that Classic Fuji is green, Classic Contrast, soft but a lot of tones. I don't want to go too soft because I want to make sure we're getting that contrast. So, let's go down and try, let's try San Francisco because that one kind of had that metallic look. Yeah, and that really kind of enhances the contrast in this photo. Really, really big fan of that one. So, you call that one good. It's kind of distracting, there's a lot going on, but I think it would be a cool wall page or something like that. There's a lot to look out. Each rooftop has like something going on. There's a Buddhist statue up here. There's a garden up here. It's just a profile. So, here's what we took at the flower market and there's these three lovely ladies. Their back lit, they're kind of dark, but it's a cool photo nonetheless. Once again, I found the color here distracting. So, I'm going to go ahead and make it black and white. I think honestly, we're good. We wouldn't have to do much at all after applying this Bangkok filter. But one of the things that I would do, is just touch up her face a little bit. That's simply because she's looking at the camera; and I want to make sure that we're capturing that. So, go here, increase the shallows, and just do a little painting. So, when your friends or you are photographer, you're not a painter, you can be like, oh, actually I am a painter. I used the adjustment paintbrush on Light room. So, there you go. So, hit enter there. I think that looks good. We can crop this lady out, because she's kind of like this out of the frame, but we don't have to. Really, really cool photo. You know guys, I've said this before, but there's no right or wrong way to edit this photo. There's so many ways you could do it, and this is just how I do it. This is just the style that I like. If you guys have seen my Instagram, I like a softer film work. I think it's more sensual. I'm not into the whole super high contrast, super vivid colors. I just think it takes away from the content in the photo. In my opinion, the content is the most important thing, and the tones and the colors and the highlights and the shadows, all those things just help enhance that content in a way and not distract from it. I think a lot of photographers fall into that trap. Here's a photo that we took also at the market and it's a great photo. But in this area here, I think it's just kind of distracting. So what I'm going to do is just bring that crop in. Actually, quite a bit. You could do a vertical crop too, for Instagram. It's actually better for Instagram to do a vertical crop. But in this situation, we'll just leave it a horizontal. You know, why don't we just try it? So, why don't we just go here and do a shot, unlock, and then we can just bring it here. Like I said, this is good for Instagram because it shows more real estate on Instagram, and that will allow you to get more likes. Photos that are taller do better. If you guys want to know more about Instagram, I recommend checking out my Instagram course. But here's a cool shot. It's still nice and balanced after the edit. So, let's just kind of scroll over these presets here. San Francisco looks so cool. Yeah, I really love that one. I might post this one on my Instagram. So, you guys keep a lookout for that and give it a like if you think it's cool. So, I'm going to raise the shadows a little bit here, just to pull out, just to soften up these high contrast blocks here. It's a little bit too much for me, and maybe actually put a little bit more like down below. Cool. Really cool photo. Another one that I like is the Kobe one. Just increase those highlights there and then we got those really cool orange and blue tones. Love that shot. So, here's a kid. He's just chillin'. We got the motorbike helmets in the back. He's reading is magazine. He's just living his life just as real as possible, like he's sitting in a way that's comfortable for him. He's doing his thing. Let's go through and find a filter that works for this one. We've got some skin tones here. So why don't we move down to the portrait preset pack. I really love this Fuji one. It just adds that green vintage look. Really cool mainstream focusing on the tones there. Soft modern is just one of my favorites. It always will be. Red is a bit distracting for me. So, I'm going to go down here to the saturation slider, and just drop it a tad, just there. I think that's good. So, here's a detail shot that I did at the market. We've got these chickens shot this with 85 millimeter at 3.5. The reason why I stopped down at the 3.5 is because if it was at 1.4, the depth of field would be too shallow that you wouldn't be able to see like it would be all out of focus, besides like this one little chicken wing right here. So, stop down at 3.5. Right after that, I know that what filter is going to look good on these photos simply because I can see in the dark areas, we have a naturally occurring blue and the highlights we have a naturally occurring orange, and that is a classic cinematic color scheme that is very popular on Instagram and anywhere for that matter. So I'm going to go and I'm going to apply, well let's just try Soft Modern, because Soft Modern always looks cool. But, I'm going to apply Kobe because it's just going to enhance those colors that we already have there. So there's the before, and there's the after. Before and after. I don't really have to do anything, maybe just raise the highlights, raise the shadows. But, that's pretty much a really cool shot and I think if you're doing an album, if you're doing a travel album, shots like this can really help break up kind of the landscape street photography shots, like this. I love these detailed shots. So as I stated in the shooting section, go out and take those detailed shots and focus on the small things. Here's a shot of this cute little girl and she is, just watching this street performers. I took this, we're down at the river, before we went in for the rain and I just, I love the shot. Playroom are my favorite shots that I've taken and that's because we have this natural framing of people standing here. We're down low. This little girl is kind of below everything else, but she's still kind of head on with the action, and that's because we moved our body down to her eye level. Right off the bottom, I'm going to say this, I don't like the colors. They're a little bit distracting and in my eye gets pulled to this red, it gets pulled to this pink, and then to this orange and to this blue. So, I really think this photo, it really needs to be black and white. First thing first, I'm going to raise the exposure a tad so that the highlights are kind of bright. Lower the highlights there, drop those blacks; and really, I like to clip my blacks. A lot of people say, "no don't clip your blacks" and that means basically, make your blacks so dark, that there's no more detail there. If it looks cool, go for it. I think there's a lot of people in photography that will tell you, "No you don't. Don't do that. Don't clip your blacks. Don't clip your highlights". But if you look at some of the most amazing photos ever, they've done that without shame. So, don't be afraid to break the rules if you think it's going to look cool. So, I'm going to increase the contrast here, and maybe just the clarity. Actually, maybe lower the clarity. If you add too much clarity, it just makes the image so distracting in your eyes, also know where to focus. So, I'm going to bring the clarity back down to zero, because I think that is the best look for this photo. I would call that good. If you wanted to, you can add some vignetting, just to make these areas here a little bit darker and you can do that, by scrolling down here to post crop vignetting and you can just subtract. That's cool. Yeah, I call that good. Once again here, I think a black and white would be good. But, let's just try some other ones. San Francisco is just so cool. Before, after. Before, after. I love that. I wish this guy wasn't here, this suspicious looking fellow over here; but it's great, nonetheless. They almost looks they're at Disneyland here and, this is on the street in Hanoi. This gorgeous Vietnamese couple here with this photographer; and I wanted to kind of get behind the scenes, of their shoots. So, let's just scroll through these and see what we can find. Portland's cool, always a cool one. Then, Oslo is focusing on the blues and the yellows, based after Oslo, Norway. Here is New York, kind of focusing on the reds there. There's Chicago really deep, kind of a movie look, I like that. Then Beijing, and then Bangkok of course. I don't want to do a black or white because I've been doing that so much, but, so why don't we just leave it at San Francisco. Gorgeous. So, here's another detail shot, and this is of people playing. I'm not really sure what game this is, but I like this top down view because we don't see any faces, but we can see all of their hands, and hands are inherently emotional as well. I wish we didn't have the iPhone and these sodas and stuff, but it's okay. I think it's still a cool photo. So I want to just go through here, and I think, yeah, Portland is going to be the one; and that's because I like that. It kind of darkens out the edges, while leaving the highlights. Pretty much maintained. That's a good photo. The last one here, is of this adorable little girl, building with these blocks. I love, love, love this composition because once again, we have people here, but we don't see their faces, and we can see her face only, and that allows us to focus 100 percent on her. We've moved down to her eye level, and we can kind of see a glimpse into her life, and, she's just absolutely adorable. So, let's go through and just apply some of the favorites here, and scrolling through. I really like this Kyoto one. Hanoi is also very cool and it's best if we just kind of dropped those a little bit. Yeah. That's really nice. I'm going to finish that one there. So as you can see guys, there's a lot of different options when it comes to editing. This is just how I edit my photos. I personally spent a long time editing shoot photos, and I like to have variation. When I'm shooting things, like portraiture and stuff, I usually stick to a few different filters. That's why my classic portrait preset pack is a lot smaller. But when it comes to street photography, I think you have a lot more free rein when it comes to editing. You can kind of stretch the boundaries a little bit more. So, when it comes to editing street photos, I really like to push the tones and push the contrast and break the rules, because that is going to get eyes to look at your photo and say, "Well, that is an amazing photo. How did you do that?" So, if I could say one thing, don't be afraid to push the boundaries. Try new things, try new filters. Edit, however you feel comfortable, just edit your photos and really try to enhance those moods. That's all I got for you guys. I really hope you enjoy this editing video. As I said before, you guys can get my presets down below, and I'm also, there is a seven-day free trial to Light room CC, which is the program that I'm using. There's a link down below on the description, so, please check that out. I think you guys will find it really, really useful. Anyways, with that said guys, let's move on to the next section. 10. Course Takeaways and Closing Words: So, we have covered a lot of content in this course and I hope that you guys enjoyed it. Before we head out, I do want to take a second to really hammer in some of the topics that we chatted about in this course. The first one being that street photography, is about capturing raw emotion. Like I said, that can be done through photographing people, photographing small details, and photographing things like cityscapes. It can also have very powerful social implications. So, capturing a photo that says something about society can really lead to a really amazing photo. So, those are some of the things I wanted to chat about. The last thing I want to mention is, as I stated throughout this course here, you don't need to be traveling to engage in awesome street photography. I know the title of this course is travel through photography but that's because I'm traveling. I'm at an interesting place and I think it's easier to find more interesting content when you're out traveling the world. But it doesn't matter where you live, somebody else in the world is going to find your city interesting. They're going to find that content interesting, so, go out, and try to see the world in a different way, in a different lens and capture your city in the best way you can because once you go out and you step out there and you're armed with your camera, you're going to see things that you've never seen before and I think that's what makes street photography such a powerful process and also a meditative process because you're engaging with your city in a new way and seeing things in an entirely different light. I think that's probably one of the most important topics of this course, is it doesn't matter where you are, there's beautiful things everywhere and all you've got to do is go out with your camera and capture it. But with that said guys, thank you so much for watching this course. Now, I have a lot of other content on my YouTube channel, on my Instagram, so, please, check that out and send me a message. I love hearing from you. I want to hear your story. I want to see your photos. So, thank you so much for watching this course. I hope you take the time to check on my others and I will see you guys in another course in the future. Thank you so much for watching. I'll talk to you later.