Street Photography and Portraits with the 24-70mm f/2.8

it’s our first full day here in Crete
Greece and I’ve got two things that I need to take care of today or two things
I wanted to take care of today the first is I want to go get wheels I want to try
to find a scooter or a quad or something that I can rent for the month so I can
get around and the second thing is I want to shoot some street photography so
I’m gonna go take care of the first bit now let’s go try to find some wheels Jodie and I wandered around a rack Leon
yesterday for quite a while and I think we’ve realized at least a couple things
about this place we’ve realized that one there’s gonna be some good food weight
yesterday and it was just unreal the food was so good – there’s a ton a ton
of really cool cafes and third of all I think it’s actually more photogenic than
I expected I kind of planned on this being my base and then just getting out
and exploring other places but the more I walk around the more I see potential
for things like street photography and landscape photography and architecture
so I’m gonna have some fun here with the photography hopefully I don’t get fat
from all the great food and yeah I’m excited yesterday I sent out a thousand emails
to people trying to find scooters and quads and a company called Motor Club
offered me a really really good deal on a quad or scooter so I’m gonna go down
and check it out and yeah see what we come up with I’m excited excited to have
wheels excited to keep exploring and yeah just excited to be here in the
Greek islands the quadbikes here big thanks again to
motor club for hooking me up with a massive discount I was actually a little
bit concerned because I’ve read online that I wasn’t able to rent a scooter
here in Greece anymore – and Jodie’s trying to steal the quad – rules have changed
here saying that you can’t drive scooters as a foreigner without an IDP
and I guess for whatever reason quads and small cars are exempt so I did end
up getting a vehicle I thought that I wasn’t gonna be able to get around and I
was stressed so Motor Club helped me out yeah I think we’re gonna leave the
scooter now it’s late afternoon we’re gonna go around and I’ve got the 24-70mm f2.8 on and we’re just gonna go round cruise and you know try
to get a couple photos as I mentioned in Georgia when I first get to a
destination I kind of like to walk around no tripod maybe just one lens on
and try to just capture some street life and have no pressure on the photos and
just go out and wander so that’s what’s up so we’re sitting under there like city
wall and it’s awesome under here actually one of the other gates I prefer
but this is still cool what I’m trying to do is kind of beginner level stuff
panning I’m trying to pan there’s like a nice frame from one of the gates in here
and I’m trying to get a scooter on the other side of the gate in the panning
technique and essentially panning is is you’re just moving the camera with the
motion of whatever is moving and that way you get motion in everything behind
it the buildings the frame the background the foreground everything
kind of looks in motion but the scooter is sharp and in focus and in a way it
adds motion to the scooter even though it’s actually the buildings that are
moving but basically as soon as we set up here there haven’t been any scooters
so we’re gonna sit and wait for a one second or two seconds actually there’s a
old lady coming across I think she’s gonna walk right into this
frame this could actually work better than the scooters and we’ll wait for one
scooter to come through come on scooters so I think one’s coming
I’ve free framed pre-focus and I’m just gonna follow and fire yeah it’s okay it’s nothing special
let’s move on so we’re staying up in like kind of almost like the real Heraklion. no tourists are up there except for us really and we’ve just come
down into the old town this is maybe the busiest part of old town here and yeah
it’s trying to get some shots the one thing I find funny is I heated the 24-70mm for years just because it’s a very standard focal length and as we’re
walking around today nothing’s changed I thought that I hate it there’s not that
I hate it it’s just that every single time I take a photo with this camera
with this lens it just it feels normal it looks normal maybe that says a lot
more about me in my photography skills then the lens but yeah nothing I haven’t
taken anything that I love yet and I’m gonna blame it all on the lens for now so if one was given up on the street
photos but there’s this incredible light coming through one of these buildings
here and it’s pretty head-on but I think that it’ll make for some awesome
portraits with Jodie and her awesome glasses so I’m gonna shoot a portrait or
two kind of using this frame created by yet by frames this is kind of where I
get into a bit of a zone shooting pictures just I love frames like this
and I love light like this and I love having a beautiful model like this this
just makes everything work so I’m gonna get Jodie now up here on this frame
direct sunlight in the back I’m gonna over expose everything
probably by two stops to what my meter says and I blow it out f/2.8 should look
cool I’ve made it down to the port and I’m
actually gonna come here at sunrise two more to shoot some pictures and probably
sunrise a couple days and maybe even some sunsets because it’s awesome down
here there’s people running into me apparently there there’s the port here
great back this way and you can see the city walls are there for the coolest
part is this wave break leads out to this castle and it’s just beautiful
the Sun setting right now there’s some soft light I’d love to have a camera and
tripod out right now but these first days I just have to remind myself that
I’m just exploring and that’s half the fun I’ll have plenty of opportunity to
come shoot this this dream photography didn’t really
happen not for a lack of opportunity just kind of we have we were wandering
around enjoying things and that’s kind of that’s the whole point of it it was a
productive day we got the quad bike Jodie’s seen sunglasses she likes and
yeah we was good it was a really really really good day the 24-70mm f/2.8 I still
really have to get used to it I have to learn to love it it’s great for
portraits I really do like it for like simple portraits but other than that I
think it just always looks too standard for me it looks too normal for me so it
is gonna be something that over time I’ll probably get better and better at
I’ve never ever had a standard zoom lens like a 24-70mm ever in my life so like
anything it’s just practice and getting used to your gear that’s it for today
tomorrow I’m getting up at sunrise heading down to the port there and
hopefully taking some cool travel photos or landscape photos we’ll see what
happens when we get there and I’ll see you guys tomorrow
peace you

80 Replies to “Street Photography and Portraits with the 24-70mm f/2.8”

  1. What camera gear do I use? It's all here:
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  2. Thumbs up Brendan! Love every single video you make! Great stuff to learn on everything related with photography and it's business things! Keep it up mate!

  3. Since you are in Krete you should stay a few days in Xania or Rethimno and do not loose the opportunity to photograph Balos and Elafonisi! All Greeks know that Irakleio is the least beautiful city in Krete. Have a great time in our island!

  4. @4:18 – I had to do this when photographing some Olympic Ice skaters under low lighting, very difficult, hope you are using a VR Lens

  5. I have to agree on the 24-70. I got the f4 IS version because I didn't want to spend the high price for the 2.8. It's actually very good and sharp. But a boring unexciting lens. It gets used for holiday snapshots and is always in my landscape photography kit.

  6. @6:23 IMO the shot there was the woman sitting on the left side of the steps but centering the left doorway taken as vertical.

  7. Love what you're doing and how you share your travels, touch on the gear you're using, and just have fun! I just launched my own photography channel yesterday with my first video "What is in my camera bag?" I'm trying to have a slightly different approach to this whole thing but would love feedback.

  8. You got a quad YES!! Now there is two photos of that underpaid model you keep using. First one at 7:10 & one at 7:22. Fantastic looking portraits! Loved the light & color. Be safe you two.

  9. Brenden be very careful driving on the roads of Crete. Drivers are crazy and there a lot of accidents!! So Stay safe. If you pass from Athens msg me maybe we can do a short photoshoot walk for street photography. Huge fan cheers mate.

  10. Brendan

    If you are still looking for a place that offers photographic opportunities in Crete try going to the Island of Spinalonga which is just over an hours drive from Heraklion. Can be reached on a short ferry from Elounda. It is an enchanting island with an abandoned village once a leprosy colony that was used as the background context for Victoria Hislop's award winning novel – 'The Island'. Nice local fish restaurants on the mainland as well.

  11. I've taken my 24-70 for a stroll a couple times recently, I struggle with it. Oddly, 18-135 on my 80D and Fujifilm camera I have no problem at all. It might be that I feel I should photograph differently.

  12. I'm curious seeing your landscape shots from this trip. Very difficult conditions during our summer here for LE sunset/sunrise photography (ie. no clouds, haze, humidity etc)

  13. Your strap, how is it conected to your L bracket ? Have you just got it attatched to the portrait side of the bracket by the carabena?

  14. When you talk about the lens being not what what you want, could you not use that lens but crop into the image as if you shot on the tele lens? Would You have enough pixels to still get a good shot? Would that work or am I being daft?

  15. I had a 24-105 and I sold it. Now I want it back. So Brendan, if you want to get rid of your 24-70, keep me in mind…that’s close enough to my 24-105.

    Enjoy Crete…I was in Heraklion for a day off a cruise ship….definitely NOT enough time to see and experience everything I wanted to!

  16. Wow you take all these pics with a sl2 nice I shoulda got the one I saw on craigslist for 100 o well off to best buy. My olympus e500 is showing its age lol.

  17. One word for you… Sunblock. Man you look a tad burnt. I loved those street portraits of Jodi great work. I look forward to seeing more from Greece. Thanks for sharing

  18. Really nice street photos. 24-70mm actually can give you a lot of options with street and landscape photos. Can't wait for more pictures from Greece!!

  19. I don’t know…
    I don’t know who is the luckiest, you having such a beautiful model. Or Jody having such a good photographer around!
    The red shirt with the sun glasses under the warm, framed light was really nice… 👍

  20. With street photography of people particularly you're often better off with a 28mm, 35mm or 50mm prime, gives you one less thing to think about if you're wondering "How little or how much shall I zoom for the shot". Also these primes are small and light so it makes you get closer to your subject which in turn makes the images more impactful. You're also less obtrusive than having a big zoom lens on your already big DSLR.

  21. Are you going to visit Meteora ? Crazy mountains peaks suspended in the air and the the views are too beautiful to believe, specially when watching the sunset.

  22. Just came back from 10day holidays in Greece Brendan…the trick is put enjoyment first…head to the beach late afternoon, a lot quieter and not getting sunburned, soak and relax in the sea, shoot the sunset while you are there, found out silhouettes work best, have your evening meal(taverna or streetfood), and then go out with a 50/85 1.4, lots of nightlife foto opportunities till early morning hours…at least that worked for me…Have a good time!

  23. Being a prime lens shooter mainly I tend to enjoy the 'normal' look of the lenses. To me, a zoom lens is great in certain situations, but they tend to make me lazy and I don't care for that. I'd rather move my feet than zoom a lens to get the composition I want. I can control things better and get the field of view I want rather than have odd focal lengths. Then again, I learned photography shooting film, so I tend to work differently than those photographers who have only shot digital. None of this is a criticism of your shooting at all. It's just my preference. I've really enjoyed your images since Patagonia. You've stepped up your game quite a bit, which is great!

  24. I've used a 24-70 mm in most of my travels. However, on our last trip to the British Isles I used a 35mm F2 lens and loved the results. I particularly like it for street photography. I got several shots that I love. If you're interested, they are out on my blog at

  25. nice one mate…. really enjoyed this one…. that old lady image looked awesome. Heaps of Jodie too so im good haha…

  26. It's so great to see a fellow "Canuck" living the dream and following their passion! Go Brendan! 🙂 Hey from Ottawa!

  27. Ha! My island – lived there 20 years. Many layers of history in this town. Most of the buildings you walked around are Venetian. Hope you got at least a summary book on the history of the area (the oldest civilization of Europe was 2.5 miles away from you, in Knossos – and all the layers from that time to today, in the city of Iraklion). Yeah, the 24-70 is a normal consistent lens for general events and weddings, no personality, but useful. You probably needed a couple of primes with more personality to enrich it a bit.

  28. If you' re still in Greece and have time, try to reach Meteora. If you' re still in Crete, head for Knossos and Rethymnon.

  29. Personally I love the 24-70mm. I think it is the perfect “walking around” lens for general street photography and portraits etc. To each his own I guess.

  30. I have to agree with you about the 24-70 zoom (mine's a Tamron). I have the whole Holy Trinity of zooms but I use the 24-70 the least. Great lens, though. But, too "normal" as you excellently put it.

  31. Wait, noooo! Use the 'gate' from the pic with the lil' ol' lady and shop the gate on the 'moving' pic with the scooter, leaving its background in motion. Reckon the scooter pic'll go from meh to yeah!

  32. Where are the 35-105/2.8 or 28-105/2.8 of older days? The 24-70 is such a narrow minded thing for a standard zoom…

  33. First: Use sunscreen! Second: Amazing portait and street photos!!! Third: You always get great photos no matter which lens you use! 😀

  34. Now that Greg's not there it's now the lenses that are the problem hahaha, great pictures of Jodie 👍Also you need the 24-70 to complete the trinity with the 16-35 and 70-200, remember it's all about the gear hahaha

  35. Loved this video – The first few mins reminded me of a tiny city in New Zealand, Napier. The Ahuriri suburb is like a smaller version, with less "feel".
    Lens: I prefer a 24-105 to a 24-70, even losing a stop, because it's more versatile.

  36. I have a 24-70, as well as my 16-35 and 70-200. When I carry all three the 24-70 is my least used lens. However, you recently mentioned on your Instagram that you hope to make more posts that show the story of the day. If I was to go out to a new city with one camera and one lens, nothing (for me) captures the story of a day better then the 24-70. It is a lens that can make do with whatever the day throws at you. I have shot landscape, Astro, portrait, action and candid with it. Not optimal but it works.

  37. There is nothing wrong with "normal " photos. I think we are sometimes obsessed about getting the trophy photo when the ones we really cherish and look at as time goes on are those ordinary moments which we enjoy with friends and family. Some of the ones you took of your friend will be "keepers".

  38. Great video. Greek Isles are the wonderful place for street photography. 24-70mm f/2.8 is a good lens. Some photographers use 28mm, 30mm and 35mm prime lens for street photography. Love to see some of your street photos. Good luck

  39. I have had the same experience with the 24-70— used it for about a month – — then it sat on the shelf for several weeks before I tried again to get used to it —- now it is on the camera about 90% of the time — 🙂

  40. Brendan, thanks for this opportunity to visit such places with ya! It's just like I've been there myself)) Only sitting home…
    I love your videos as I love photography AND travel. I'm very glad you are the man who lives the life I wanted for myself. And I'm happy to know – it's real for you, then maybe for me too.. somehow )) Keep going! It's very inspiring!

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