Report: The Street Shooters NG stormed Oshodi and we brought the CHAOS.

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On Wednesday, 7th August, the Street Shooters NG held their first photo-walk at Oshodi. The time was 3pm. And the theme was Chaos.
By 3:40 PM, the Street Shooters were gathered and the photo-walk commenced. From under the bridge, we moved towards Bolade bus-stop.

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You should see how excited Oshodi people were. The usually hostile people (pedestrians, commuters, traders, conductors, agberos, area boys etc) smiling for the camera & feeling like celebrities.

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Needless to say, the trick worked. We had no hitch for a long time.

Until Surutu came.

By this time, we were back to the bridge, but instead of staying under the bridge, we decided to climb the pedestrian bridge. Surutu and some other area boys grabbed some of our cameras and threatened to break them. We were scared. Some of us ran away, some hid their cameras. But we had a plan.

A member of the Street Shooters who lives in Oshodi has links with the Task Force and top people in the NURTW. Another member has links with the police. We had also retained a lawyer, just in case we get into serious trouble. Whatever Surutu wanted to do, we were prepared.

What Surutu did however was “reporting” us to the police boss on ground.  The police boss who was taken aback by the whole thing at first, told us to calm our nerves and gather at their usual spot in Oshodi.

The police checked the cameras to see if we had taken any shots of them but they found none. We had made it a rule not to photograph the police and I was glad he didn’t find any. So, our cameras were returned. The police boss then address us. He explained that when anything goes wrong in Oshodi, Surutu is the one they will ask to produce the culprits. Hence, Surutu was only doing his job. He also warned us not to photograph policemen on duty. That was like preaching to the congregation but I guess hearing it from him helped sunk it in some of us.

After getting approval from the police, we felt untouchable and we resumed with new-found gusto. We posed for group photos with Surutu and the police.

We even had a photo-bomber in the top right of this picture

We even had a photo-bomber in the top right of this picture

The people of Oshodi got even more friendly with us and posed for more photos.

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One guy even brought out a dusty, vintage film camera to pose with us.

As it turned out, we brought the chaos.

Despite the little hitch, it was a great outing. We had lots of fun. So much so that some of us didn’t want to go home even after it got dark. It was evident that the Street Shooters have a great passion for street photography.

Silhouette of the Street Shooters on the pedestrian bridge at Oshodi.

Silhouette of the Street Shooters on the pedestrian bridge at Oshodi.

We believe things couldn’t have turned out better than it did. Wednesday’s event was a trail; an indication of better things to come. We learned some new tricks that’s gonna help us organise more successful events in the future. To this end, we will be going on future photo-walks in branded t-shirts. We are also working on providing identity cards for our members so that even if they go out on their own and run into problems, they can easily identify themselves as Street Shooters. Hopefully, that will make things easier for street photographers in Nigeria.

It can only get better from here. Why don’t you join us today?

P.S:

*Over-sized shout-out goes to the police for the peaceful way they handled the issue. We have more faith in the police as a result.

*Kisses to the two lovely ladies who are not photographers but massive supporters of the Street Shooters NG. They not only helped us with publicity but extended their support by joining us for the photo-walk. Thank you ladies for sticking with us through it all. Having you darlings in our company was highly motivating.

*Finally, a big THANK YOU goes to photographers (those who made it & those who couldn’t) for their overwhelming support. We do this because
of y’all.

The Street Shooters NG… coming to a street near you.

You can find us on twitter:  @StreetShootasNG

facebook: Street Shooters NG.

BBM: 26584650.

Tumblr: streetshootersng.tumblr.com

Thank You!

Tips to get good photographs on the street

In preparation for the Street Shooters NG’s first photo-walk holding today, I’m sharing these tips on how to get good photographs on the street.

1. As evident as it might seem, always have your
camera ready in your hand. Not in your bag, not
hanging on your shoulder, but held firmly in your
hand.

2. Get the shot at all cost. Shooting in the streets involves a certain amount of adrenaline as it is never easy to intrude in a stranger’s life. Leave all fears aside and go get the shot, even if it involves being yelled at, crossing a road, climbing on a bench or crawling on the ground.

3. Don’t get frustrated. The odds to stumble on a
great scene during the few hours you’ll dedicate
weekly to shooting are pretty low. Don’t fall to
frustration and “click addiction”. Patience is also
part of the game, so accept it. Time spent on the
streets is the variable that most impacts your keeper rate. Technique and talent only come afterwards. In the end, it is probably better to come back home with a few average shots than dozens of lousy ones that will just increase your frustration level.

4. Avoid unwanted elements in the background.
Don’t get obscured by the subject. What happens behind the main elements of your scene is often what will make a shot go from good to great. You can detect an amazing scene but ruin it as soon with the elements in the background, be it a back pack, a passer-by, a car, or a badly positioned street lamp. Therefore once you have spotted a good scene, pay at least as much attention to the background than to your main subjects.

5. Watch out for your own shadow.
In general, it is easier to shoot with the light coming from behind you, but that also means that a little friend will always follow you: your shadow. Even at times when you think it is not there anymore, it will suddenly appear over your subject just as you raise your camera. To avoid it, make sure your shadow is never in the 90 degree radius of where you point your camera towards. Your shadow can take many forms, don’t let it fool you.

6. Keep an eye on the elements about to enter your frame.
You are ready to snap and suddenly a big truck
enters the frame as you click. Shot ruined. All your
senses need to be ready, not only for what happens within the frame, but also what is around it. Use your left eye and even your ears to anticipate these intrusions.

7. Don’t be a butcher.
The parallax and inaccuracies of the frame-line
system of range-finders might lead to cut feet, arms or even heads, which are important parts of the picture. Ways to avoid it is either to frame wider (and crop in post processing) or to adjust your position to offset the parallax and frame-line inaccuracies.

8. Make sure there is enough light on your subject.
This is one of the most recurrent mistake on
street photographs, i.e faces that are partially in
the dark. It is obviously not always a given to have
the perfect light condition for a scene, but faces
covered with shadows will usually ruin a picture. Try to move around so when your subject finally enters or looks towards the adequate light zone, you are ready to trigger.

9. Avoid fundamental mistakes like over/under exposure and loss of focus. You might not have to worry about over/under exposure if you are shooting in RAW because it can be corrected in post-production. Also shooting in auto focus means the camera does the work of focusing for you, so you don’t have to worry about that too. For those on manual focus, the use of the zone focus technique will minimize the risks.

10. Always shoot RAW. Apart from the reason mentioned above, shooting raw also makes editing and correcting mistakes easier. But the main advantage of a raw file is that it is larger than JPEG and hence allow for ample enlarging of the image. You never know which of your photos might need blowing up to billboard size, so it’s always adviceable to shoot in raw.

11. Finally, pick those points whose trap you constantly fall into (and the ones that might not be included here) and think about them before every single shot you take (I often tell myself buzzwords
like “depth” or “background” before I click). Do it
again and again, until it becomes second nature
and intuitive. Obviously, these points represent
generalities. Rules are made to be broken and one
might use distortion, over-exposure or, why not, his own shadow as part of a style.

Join us: The Street Shooters NG 1st photo-walk.

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Lagos is widely known for its chaos. The danfo buses are always trying to beat traffic by desperately finding the smallest spaces to maneuver, spewing insults to fellow motorists in the process. The area boys are always in a constant battle with the danfo drivers & their conductors. The police & traffic wardens hopelessly try to control the errant danfo drivers. The roadside traders are always tugging it out with pedestrians. The cramped expressions on faces, the throbbing veins in people’s necks, the eyes spewing fire over nothing.

From the outside, Lagosians appear to be in a constant state of rage. First-timers to Lagos have been known to ask ‘Why is everyone shouting? What are they so angry about?’.

On Wednesday, 7th August 2013, the Street Shooters NG are going on the streets of Oshodi to capture scenes that express these CHAOS.
Alex Tehrani said:
”Anyone can shoot chaos. But the most perceptive photographers can make compelling pictures out of uninteresting moments”.

Join us in proving Alex Tehrani wrong by shooting compelling photos of Oshodi.

Date is tomorrow, Wednesday, 7th August 2013.

Time: 3pm

Location: Oshodi. (Meet-up is the bus stop under the bridge where you can get BRT to Obalende)

Please confirm attendance by sending a text to 08060435734.

RSVP: BBM: 26584650 | t:  @StreetShootasNG | f: Street Shooters NG |

10 Things Henri Cartier-Bresson Can Teach You About Street Photography

1. Focus on geometry
If you look at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he applied geometry to his images poetically. If you look at the composition of his images he integrated vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines, curves, shadows, triangles, circles, and squares to his advantage. He also paid particular attention to frames as well.

2. Be patient
When Henri Cartier-Bresson would talk about “The Decisive Moment” he said sometimes it would be spontaneous but others times he had to be patient and wait for it. Regardless he was very methodological when he would go out and shoot, and would only keep his images if every element of his image (people, background, framing, and composition) were perfect.

3. Travel
Henri Cartier-Bresson traveled the world and shot in places such as India, all of Europe, the United States, China, as well as Africa. When he traveled the world, he was able to capture a different slice of life and learn more about the local people he was with. For example when he was shooting in India—he stayed there for around a year and immersed himself into the culture.

4. Stick to one lens
Although Henri Cartier-Bresson shot with several different lenses while on assignment working for Magnum, he would only shoot with a 50mm if he was shooting for himself. By being faithful to that lens for decades, the camera truly became “an
extension of his eye”.

5. Take photos of children
One of my favorite photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson is of a little boy carrying two bottles of wine under his arms, with the triumphant grin of a champion. When I first saw the image, it struck me in the heart as it reminded me of my own childhood. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a master at taking photos of children in their natural playful state, creating images that convey beautiful nostalgia to his viewers.

6. Be unobtrusive
When Henri Cartier-Bresson would shoot on the streets, he would stay as low-key and unobtrusive as he could. I even read that he would cover his chrome Leica in black tape and even sometimes with a hankerchief to make it less noticeable when he was out shooting. Most of the images that he
captured his subjects were oblivious of the camera, and thus truly candid.

7. See the world like a painter
Before Henri Cartier-Bresson got into photography, he was actually first interested in painting. Once HCB discovered photography, he applied the same aesthetics in classical painting into his images. For HCB composition was extremely essential, and his images reflect that of romantic painters before him. Interestingly enough when he was much older, he actually denounced photography and focused the rest of his life in drawing.

8. Don’t crop
Henri Cartier-Bresson was vehemently opposed to cropping. He believed that whenever you took a photo, it should always be done in-camera. If his
framing or composition was a bit off, he would disregard the image.

9. Don’t worry about processing
Although Henri-Cartier Bresson knew how to process and develop his own film, he never did it by himself. He would go out and shoot and send his photos to people he trusted, who would develop it for him. This gave him a huge advantage because it would allow how to spend less time in the darkroom, and more time out shooting.

10. Always strive for more
Henri Cartier-Bresson never had much of an emotional attachment to his images. In the documentary I watched of him, they tried to surprise him by printing and showing him all of his classic and earlier work on the walls of the gallery they were interviewing him at. However HCB looked at them with little interest and told them that once he took a photo, he would simply move on and look for the next photo.

Culled from: Eric Kim’s Blog

Profiling Street Photographers: Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the most original, accomplished, influential, and beloved figures in the history of photography. His inventive work of the early 1930s helped define the creative potential of modern photography, and his uncanny ability to capture life on the run made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment”—the title of his first major book. After World War II (most of which he spent as a prisoner of war) and his first museum show (at MoMA in 1947), he joined Robert Capa and others in founding the Magnum photo agency, which enabled photojournalists to reach a broad audience through magazines such as Life while retaining control over their work. In the decade following the war, Cartier-Bresson produced major bodies of photographic reportage on India and Indonesia at the time of independence, China during the revolution, the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death, the United States during the postwar boom, and Europe as its old cultures confronted modern realities. For more than twenty-five years, he was the keenest observer of the global theater of human affairs—and one of the great portraitists of the twentieth century. MoMA’s retrospective, the first in the United States in three decades, surveys Cartier-Bresson’s entire career, with a presentation of about three hundred photographs, mostly arranged thematically and supplemented with periodicals and books. The exhibition travels to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

To read more about Henri Cartier-Bresson, click here

First Ever Street Shooters NG Photo-walk

Lagos is widely known for its chaos. The danfo buses are always trying to beat traffic by desperately finding the smallest spaces to maneuver, spewing insults to fellow motorists in the process. The area boys are always in a constant battle with the danfo drivers & their conductors. The police & traffic wardens are always hopelessly trying to control the errant danfo drivers. The road side traders are always tugging it out with pedestrians. The commuters are not left out. The cramped expressions on faces, the throbbing veins in people’s necks, the eyes spewing fire over nothing.

From the outside, Lagosians appear to be in a constant state of rage. First-timers to Lagos have been known to ask ‘Why is everyone shouting? What are they so angry about?’.

This is what the theme of our first photowalk will be: CHAOS. We are to capture scenes that express this. It’s pretty easy, just look for things that look out of place.

Location: Oshodi. (Meet-up is the bus stop under the bridge where you can get BRT to Obalende)

Time: 3pm

Date: Wednesday, 7th August 2013.