Learn to train your eye and improve your timing in order to capture the decisive moment!
Whether it’s due to social media or the introduction of great rangefinder-style digital cameras over a decade ago, street photography has experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years. You can be roaming the streets of a classic urban environment (New York, Paris, Tokyo) or on a simple photo walk around a quiet neighborhood—it has never been more popular to pursue the art of capturing those candid, fleeting moments that happen throughout the day, of freezing a moment in time and transforming the ordinary into an extraordinary photograph.
But learning to see light and moment, to make quick decisions, and to nail a photographic composition are all crucial skills you must master in order to become a good street photographer. Photographer, instructor, and author Valerie Jardin has been teaching photographers how to take better photographs for years, and in Street Photography Assignments: 75 Reasons to Hit the Streets and Learn, she provides dozens of prompts for you to practice in order to refine and improve your craft.
These activities focus on themes such as:
• Street portraits
• Rim light
• Leading lines
• Creative framing
• Double exposures
• And much, much more!
Each assignment includes a description of the technique, various tips and tricks to practice, technical and compositional considerations, and an example photo that Jardin has captured when practicing the same exercise. Whether you have 30 minutes or 3 hours, each assignment is an opportunity for you to take your camera and hit the streets. No more excuses!
Soft Cover- without flaps
Doug (verified owner) September 26, 2020
Like all books from Rocky Nook, this one is first rate. 72 assignments from shooting events to street portraits, environmental portraits with plenty of photos illustrating various techniques. This book will stimulate your creativity for a long time. Highly recommended.
gord.tomlin (verified owner) October 4, 2020
This may be the perfect guide to help develop street photography skills. Each assignment covers a single technique or skill and is described in 1-3 pages, and describes why it matters, what obstacles you may run into, and helpful tips. Very clearly written and right to the point. Tackling one assignment every time you go out to shoot allows you to practice and build up skills in bite-size chunks.
Joan (verified owner) October 9, 2020
Valérie’s new book could become THE textbook for street photography. If you’ve never had the good fortune to participate in one of her workshops, do yourself a favor and get this book … it’s pure Valérie. I’ve attended a few of her workshops and this book brought me right back to those afternoons where she taught us great techniques to help us take our photos to the next level. Simple, clear and effective tips that focus your mind on what to be looking for and how to be ready when you see it. With each assignment, Valérie encourages you to stretch a bit, try something new and have fun. Great book for budding street photographers as well as those who’ve been hitting the streets for years. Very highly recommended … you won’t be disappointed.
alexandre.silva.foto (verified owner) October 16, 2020
A fantastic and very useful book for all the people that wants to start and enhance the street photography. Highly recommended.
Gloria October 20, 2020
Gotta love a photographer who “lives and breathes in pixels“! The author organizes the book by giving us 75 street photography assignments, which I love. Not only does it give us practical experience, it’s a good way to organize the different skills and goals: by assignment. She even suggests that we can choose the assignments randomly. Even better: we don’t need to read the book in any particular order. We can, instead, prioritize the assignments by our desires.
She urges us to not be merely photographers, but to be storytellers. Along that line, she says our vision of what we want to shoot is what will distinguish us from other photographers. Early in the book she suggests that we try photographing street performers and this is an excellent idea. As she says, they are easy to photograph since they don’t move out of the space, and generally don’t have a objections to being photographed. She does kindly suggest that we tip them, and I agree:)
Her chapter on photographing children is also useful. She suggest that we think about the culture we are in because, for example, the French are not open to an unknown photographer snapping their kids. And she wisely points out that, even if you have the law on your side, it’s not a good idea to photograph somebody’s kids if they don’t want you to! I love when photographers, in their books, give us the settings for the photographs they use for illustrative purposes. It’s more helpful than one would think. This author does not disappoint: she gives settings for each photograph.
Jardin carefully advises us never to confront anyone we are photographing, and to back off if they confront us. For example, in order to gain eye contact she suggests not drawing attention to yourself but instead waiting until it happens naturally. Good advice, I’d say!
Interesting that in her chapter on bokeh, the author reminds us that, although bokeh can be beautiful and should be considered in some shots, it’s also important to have in-focus context for street photography. Her assignment on shooting from a low angle is yet another fun concept and one I am eager to try. She suggests sitting on the ground and/or putting your camera on the ground to get a different perspective. The photo she uses to illustrate this assignment make me want to try it right away
This book is fun to read and so useful! I know I will be referring to it again and again as I go out to shoot in public. I love the idea of assignments, because it lets us concentrate on one aspect of street photography at a time instead of being too distracted. Great book!
Fabrizio Grillo (verified owner) November 3, 2020
Valerie rocks again! This book is very interesting. Like the others is not heavy at all. You can “feel” her passion trough the pages. It is simple but at the same time you can find in it a lot of interesting contents and advices at every pages. You can read it all, but you can use it like a Street Photography guide to find a challenge or some inspiration. Like a lot of people say it is much much better to go out with a purpose than just with camera in one hand. Great work one more time!!
vartkes (verified owner) November 23, 2020
I am contemplating the ‘street’ as the next genre to try out. I read other books on the subject, studied the work of some well known street photographers. However starting and learning about the unique characteristics of the street and educating myself on the sensibilities associated with it is hard. This is where this book fills a gap very successfully. With defined ‘assignments’ and the context around each, Valerie teaches how to learn to ‘walk the street’. As I practice each assignment some of what I have read about the subject previously starts sinking in; it starts to make sense. So this is an invaluable workshop between covers. Each assignment teaches something key. I believe the sum total, when I get to the end, will be far bigger that the sum of each.
An observation to Rocky Nook – I think the approach that Valerie has taken in this book can also be applied to other genre. I am an abstract photographer whose subject is the landscape. I wonder if some of your other authors, e.g. Guy Tal, may contemplate this method of teaching…
carmen (verified owner) December 10, 2020
the book is teaching how to confront your fears and conquer in post of that photo you are looking for. I didn’t finish yet, but so far is a very educational book and easy to read.
banks.stephanie49 (verified owner) December 10, 2020
I have ordered a few books from RockyNook and I have been satisfied with the price, the quality of the text, the ease in ordering, and any helpful advice from RockyNook personnel. The current book, Street Photography Assignments, is a well-organized and a practical guide to equipment and technical skills leading to inspiration, developing projects and composing different scenes, written by a well-known street photographer.
bennetmak (verified owner) December 21, 2020
This is an excellent handbook on Street Photography. By following all the assignments, you will learn the inspiration, skills, composition and technique. Currently I have only finished 40% of this book, I have more confidence and idea on street photography. I highly recommend this book for both beginners and experience photographers.
rajiv.rajivchopra (verified owner) December 26, 2020
I have been doing street photography for a long time. I started on the street, long ago, in Bombay. People now call the city Mumbai! The question that haunted me was – what do yo do on the street?
My initial approach was to have one camera, with two lenses, and I always fiddled around with them. It took me years to figure out that one camera and one lens is all you need.
This is Valerie Jardin’s approach, and I recommend this highly. What do you do on the street? There is a lot of action, all the time. You need to be nimble.
However, you can organize your time well. Most books on photography go into excruciating detail on how you can process your images in Photoshop or any other editing tool. Not too many give you practical ideas on what you can look for.
Valerie Jardin’s book falls into the latter category and is very good. I recommend this to both, a newbie as well as an experienced street photographer. There is something in it for both.
For the newbie, she gives some good ideas on what to photograph. It is sometimes difficult to stand there in the middle of the street, wondering what to do. If you use these exercises well, it can help you to focus your eye, and to spot some method in the madness of the street.
As we become experienced, many of us become comfortable in a particular style. This is what people know us for, and we don’t want to move away from this comfort zone. The result, sometimes, is stale work. Valerie Jardin’s book is interesting, because an experienced street photographer can use some of the ideas and modify them to his/her unique vision.
The book gives plenty of opportunity for a wide range of street photographers to practice. Some photographers could even extend some of these exercises to other genres, like natural light portraiture.
It is a good book.
ssaasa (verified owner) October 10, 2021
Valérie Jardin is one of my favorite photography educators. Her wit and style are infectious and instantly recognizable, and her podcast was one of my favorites. In this book, she gives concise, easily actionable assignments to help get a budding street photographer out of his or her comfort zone and into the realm of possibilities. As the world begins to opens up again, I can’t wait to get started!
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