URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY


♪ I’ve been in your waters ♪ (“In and Out of Love” by Martin Hall) ♪ One thing’s for sure ♪ ♪ I’ve never been so close before ♪ ♪ It’s one way or the other ♪ ♪ I thought you were my love ♪ ♪ I thought you were my love ♪ – Ooh. That is some good coffee! What’s up everybody, Peter McKinnon here, and welcome back to another tutorial. Today we’re jammin’ on street photography because it’s amazing and I’ve got some tips and tricks for you. Along with Alan, we went shooting. It was a great time. We’re going to critique some photos, get you guys out there
snapping dope pictures. But, man, that was a delicious coffee! It’s, watch is on this hand, it’s uh, it’s 7:30 in the morning. I’m getting an early start. Like, I’ve been waking up
early recently and whoa! Man, it makes a difference! The second thing that makes a difference, this might even be the
third, who’s counting? Sound panels. Sound panels installed. It should sound like a mint
recording studio in here. Minus the fact that we
have a broken window. So there’s still like, it’s like a recording studio
with the window cracked. Maybe because it’s a little hot. Super excited that that
problem, the reverb, the echo should be, voom, eviscerated! That is a good word: eviscerated. It’s just, it’s such a great, Mm! It’s just everything I’m feeling! Eviscerated! It’s fun to say, it sounds dramatic, ah. (rock music) Hoo, okay, welcome back! Sorry that there was no
two-minute Tuesday this week. I have a flight to Finland tonight. I’m speaking at the Future
of Online Media festival in Helsinki tomorrow. Very excited to go to Finland. Very sad that Matty
won’t be there with me, because he’s Finnish. From Finland. It would have been fun. So thanks, Matty, for, thanks for bailing on me. No, (chuckling) he didn’t bail. We’re going to go into
like five or six tips with regards to street photography, and how to get great images all the time. But my biggest tip, the one
thing I’m going to start with I’m going to lead with this
is, it’s the wild west! Anything goes. Street photography is like every type of photography rolled
up into one umbrella. Okay, so like, kind of like, I say the same analogy with weddings. You got product photography. You got landscape photography. You got portrait photography. You have architecture. You have all of these things in the city. You’re kind of like the photo-journalist. That’s what street photography is to me. There’s no rhyme or reason. There aren’t particularly
any rules you need to follow. I have suggestions on
how to get better shots, and shots like my friends and I do, if that’s something that interests you. But the biggest thing I
will try to convey is that it is the wild west, anything goes. You’re not doing anything
wrong, but take advantage of it. There are so many stories
to be told within street photography with the people
that are on the streets, and the buildings, and the
atmosphere, and the weather, and all these things
we’re gonna talk about. But street photography in and of itself is just it’s own beast. I want to just preface by
saying that it’s a ton of fun. It’s one of my favorite things to do is just to grab a camera
and a group of friends head downtown or head into a new city and literally just walk
around and photograph. So the other day Alan, Brodie,
and myself headed downtown and we walked 17 kilometers. We got up at four AM and we
hit the streets by five AM. There was nobody out, we got the sunrise. It was absolutely incredible,
you guys saw the B-roll, I hope you enjoyed that,
we worked very hard on it. Uh, but let’s dive in to some tips with regards to street photography, so you can start shooting
bangers like these. (rock music) Alright, so the first tip I
want to talk about is fashion. So actually having someone that
is a little fashion forward or has somewhat of a
fashion sense that you’re shooting with, be that
it’s a friend, or a model, or a friend who’s a model. Or just your photographer buddy
who happens to be styling. Which a lot of my friends are. Having them bring different
outfits, different looks, different attire, that really,
really helps when you’re shooting, because you might
not want to take fifteen portraits of Alan in and amongst the city. Because they all start looking the same. But with fashion and different
outfits you can shoot pants. You can shoot the outfit itself. You can shoot kind of that subject without actually showing their face. And if you bring those different outfits, you can roll that over a
couple hours and get a whole bunch of different looks during
different times of the day and different pockets of the city, street, wherever you are shooting. That would be something
that’s very easy to do. It seems like, really, Pete,
that’s one of your points? But, yeah, 100% that’s one of my points. Because it helps a lot. We did that the other day,
but we did it with shoes. It helped significantly. So finding someone who’s fashion
forward, maybe that’s you, maybe that’s one of your
buddies, maybe that’s someone that you know, a friend’s
friend, whatever. Finding someone like that
really makes for better photos in and amongst a street,
urban environment. Yeah, yeah, I’m happy with that. (upbeat music) Alright, tip number two
sort of falls into the, a video I did several months back called Architecture Photography. Now when it comes to street
photography, architecture, the buildings, those
essentially are our mountains. Those are the mountain-scapes of the landscape photos, right? We’re gonna use these
buildings as backdrops. We’re gonna look up to
see these buildings, to have them draped in the background. And we’ve talked about
sometimes in urban environments not forgetting to look up. Because sometimes the
architecture looking up is as impressive as it is looking forward. Because people design these
buildings with purpose. So if taking portraits and shooting up to use those buildings as the
background can really yield dramatic, cinematic looking
photos, kind of like these. And it makes for a really
good backdrop, especially if you’re in a street
or urban environment. Another nice thing about
using the buildings is sometimes when you get
into a city the buildings are so high they create
their own little, like, shadow environments, and by
that, I mean, it could be the brightest, most sunny day outside and you might think to yourself, ah, it’s just, sun’s too high, I can’t really shoot right now. It’s like, it’s like high noon. But if the buildings are
high enough and you do enough walking and exploring, those
buildings cast their own shadows and make really,
really nice soft light pockets in and amongst the city. So you can find really interesting areas that have great
light peaking through. Or maybe some rays are coming
through, there’s a sliver shining from the other building. You can really find unique
stuff by just walking in and amongst the buildings
that are blocking out the sun. That took me like 10 minutes to say. (upbeat music) Alright, point number three: timing. I’ve said this time and time again. Shooting at the right time of day. We got up at four AM, I
was in the city by five. We had a good clean two hours
of shooting uninterrupted, with incredible light. There was nobody on the streets. We could do things that we
wouldn’t have normally been able to do during the day, like
sit down in the middle of the street, perfectly
center the CN Tower between my legs, and didn’t have
to worry about traffic or getting up to move for cars,
or a whole bunch of people crossing the street, blocking
the frame, in and out, and, you just don’t have to worry about that. You’re up before the city
has even started its day. Having that nice morning
light, people setting up their storefront shops, you’ve got
people getting into their cabs, you’ve got the people walking to work. There are so many different
things that happen in the morning that pass you
by if you just forgo that. And the same thing goes for sunset. (upbeat music Point number four is using props. Now in this case, we’re
using the sneakers. I’ve got to address, there’s
been so many comments of people saying recently, Pete, your sneaker game is just fire right now. Pete’s sneaker game is lit. Pete has really stepped
up his sneaker game. What is happening with
Pete’s sneaker rotation? So I teamed up with StockX
for this video so I could get some shoes to make this, because shoes have a very
urban, modern, city, street photography, gritty kind of feel to them. They just look good in these environments. Had I shot these same types
of photos in a beautiful landscape with a serene,
calm lake and canoes and Air Jordan, it just wouldn’t
have looked as good. It wouldn’t have looked as fitting. But shoes in an urban setting,
street setting, are perfect. The colors pop with
the monochromatic tones of the city streets and
curbs and buildings. And you’ve got some
bright red Air Jordan’s. Or you contrast that with white
Air Jordan’s, but you match those up with a really clean,
blue-looking glass to get that little hit of reflection and
the sun coming in just right. Sneakers and the sneaker culture
fit perfectly with street photography, so when I was
thinking about what I wanted to do for this video and
how I wanted to shoot it, I called up my friend,
Holiday, and I was like, “Hey man, how do I get some sneakers? “Like what do I, I want
to get those Air Jordan’s. “Where do I, can I just go
to the shop and buy them?” And he was like, “No, no. “That’s not how the sneaker game works. “Those are kind of hard to get. “But I’ve got a friend
that works at StockX.” So they got on board and
they sent me a massive amount of sneakers, all of these
sneakers they sent me, which is incredible, they sent me all
of these sneakers so that I could take some photos and make a video. So thank you to StockX
for hooking that up. You guys are amazing! I’ll leave their links below, if you want to check them out. I think we’re going to give away some sneakers on my
Instagram account as well. So if you don’t follow me,
check that link, head over there and maybe you can win a pair yourself. But they just fit perfect for this exact type of photography. Another thing Alan mentioned
was, he likes shooting sneakers, because sometimes
like I mentioned earlier, he’s tired of shooting
portraits of the same person or his friends. So at least he can pan down and shoot different sneakers. So you can just bring a whole
bunch of different pairs with you like I did. I think I went with like
four pairs that day. And we had four different
looks to shoot over four different spots, got great
footage, got great photos and that’s what we want to
come away with, good results. The last thing you want
to do is come back from a photo shoot where you’ve
taken a lot of time to shoot great images and you
come home with nothing. And that’s not to say you can
only shoot shoes in a city. There’s lots of other props you can get. Lens balls are popular, other things. If you’re going to do product
photography within a city. If you’re going to shoot your coffee mug. If you’re going to shoot
something for another company, for a brand, city
environments really add life, buzz, electricity to your photos. And that’s what we want. We don’t want that nice
cup of coffee or those nice headphones with perfectly
white background. That’s easy, that’s fine,
that’s good for retail. But if we want a really
urban lifestyle shot of those headphones floating in the air
with yellow cabs behind them and people crossing the street
in the financial district, that’s going to tell so much
a better story than just some headphones on your desk. (upbeat music) Alright, now point
number five is the mood. Now, yes, we captured sunrise
and that’s very, like, feel-good kind of thing to capture. The nice warm sun coming
in on a summer day. It just makes for feel good photos. But just because the weather might be bad doesn’t mean you can’t go out and shoot. Because different weather and different weather
environments are going to create very different moods. If you’ve got a storm coming, those are totally different photos than when the storm is actually here. But just because it’s bad
weather doesn’t mean you can’t go and shoot those, because sometimes those yield the best photos. And a fun fact is, just
before a storm, just before that storm hits, is when you
will get the most incredible photos of a sky, period. Woo, look out! You will get incredible cloud patterns. The colors will change,
it’ll get dark from light. That’s when you want to capture the sky. And then when that storm’s happening, that’s a totally different look. And when the storm’s over,
again, a totally different look. And the different types
of life that comes out during a storm, ie. maybe people are
running with umbrellas now. Maybe people are trying to
get into cabs, they’re holding newspapers over their heads. Maybe they’re trying to cover their carts from some street vending
activity that was happening, and those are all things you can capture. People walking over the curb
and splashing into puddles. Looking for reflections,
when everything’s wet, everything looks way more cinematic. So just because it’s gonna be bad weather, or maybe it’s going to rain that day, it doesn’t mean you can’t shoot. And those are totally different moods. So I say all of these things to you guys, this is my experience
shooting street photography. It’s not the definitive. It’s not the be all, end all. This is not the final word. These are just my
suggestions, my takeaways. Shooting with friends
like Alan, who are very experienced street and
urban photographers. And for those of you that follow Alan, you’ll know he’s extremely talented at capturing different tones and moods. And, side note, if you
don’t follow Alan Palander on Instagram, you’re missing out big time. He’s a phenomenal Toronto photographer. I’ll leave his links below. You guys should get on board. He’s a member of the dope
squad and we support our own. But a perfect example of being able to capture
so much life and tell such great stories from a single frame. That’s what we are. We’re storytellers. Be that you, you want
to accept that or not. Now there could be some
folks who just say, Pete, this is like, this is, you’re just diving way too deep. Like, I just want to go take photos. Like, I don’t care about telling a story. And that’s totally fine, too. But don’t you want the best
possible images that you can possibly capture? The feeling of getting home and seeing something that you created from nothing. To be proud of that piece of work. There’s no better feeling. So thank you so much
for watching this video. I hope you got something out of it. The best advice I can say is grab some friends, grab
your cameras, go down to a city, go into a street
environment, no holds barred the wild west, keep some
of these things in mind and shoot all day. Get up early, go to bed late. See what you can yield. Tag me in those street photos. Because it’s one of my favorite, favorite types of photography. So hit that like button
if you like this video. Smash it, if that’s
something that you’re into. Subscribe if you aren’t already. And, and I will see you guys
when I get back from Finland. Okay, bye. (upbeat music)

100 Replies to “URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY”

  1. REASON FOR TITLE CHANGE – I have seen a lot of the comments regarding my choice of title for this tutorial. It is NOT and most definitely WAS not supposed to be clickbait. Had it been clickbait, you would have seen something like ‘ALMOST GOT HIT BY A BUS!” lol. HOWEVER – with that being said, I have read a lot of what’s been talked about here and spoken to a few of you personally who feel STREET PHOTOGRAPHY was not clearly or well depicted in this video for what we photographed, etc. A better suited title for the information in this video is URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY. Where none of my content is ever published with means to offend, take away from, or minimize other people or their work- I most definitely will recognize my own mistakes because after all, I am still learning too, and never hope to stop.

  2. YES, real absorption panels. At least I think they are. Sick of seeing walls of foam lol, thanks for the great vid man!

  3. very very nice Video. But your title ist about urban photography and your are talking about street photography…

  4. Peter you Have spread a lot of good advice in this video and I just wanted to thank you for that! You really make people better photographers. I have a shoot later and I can't wait now!

  5. Another great video Peter! I've got an a6300 which lens do you would recommend for street photography for it?

  6. I agree. Fashion, reflections and perspective are key. When heading out at night, light paintinging will be a nice addition to your urban photography and will allow for you to get even more creative. Great video!!

  7. I come back and watch this video cause I get jealous of all the heat sneakers. Some of them have doubled in price since this was made lmao.

  8. that one transition with the tram. about 45 seconds in. why did you pan right when the train was going left? it might have been more satisfying to watch of you transitioned with the same direction as the train. I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job, just curious.

  9. Hello Peter…. Your videos are lit… And I love 'em.. You always inspire
    I actually wanted to start making videos…. So could you please suggest a bunch of video editing apps so that I could choose one …..Hope to hear from you soon ..
    Love from India.

  10. Peter thank you so much for all ur tips and videos. I have been following you for awhile now. I started to do photography ab few months ago and by watching ur vids, it has been inspiring to what I can shoot now. Thanks again

  11. Great video and inspiration, thanks! Also checked Alan, but he only photographs himself. That's not street photography in my opinion, just ego stroking selfies.

  12. What song is this? I've heard it on Serpentza YouTube channel and I want to use it on one of my YouTube videos also.

  13. Watched the first 1:30. Two different colorways of the OW 1s, V2 Oreos, Sean Weatherspoons, Human Races…… god damn.

  14. "…shoes have a very urban, modern, city, street photography gritty kind of feel to them"

    To me they pang of materialistic hipster shit, but each to their own.

  15. how do you get such great shot of yourself? I want to have a great shot that I can put as profile pic you know.

  16. ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooTHAT IS SOME GOOD COFFEE

  17. hello i was thinking if you are coming sometimes at denmark and shoot whit me i aim a fan of you and i aim a photografer to 😀

  18. My son just recently showed me some of your you tube video's and just want to say it has been such an inspiration as it is like you are in my head! I have so many thoughts, idea's and passions with photography! You are inspiring me to get out and just do what I want to shoot and just see what I can do. I feel so limited when I am asked to do a family shoot and I want to be more creative! Look forward to watching more of you video's!

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