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Street Shots: Photographing Scale, Light, and Colors

Please respect all rules of social distancing when completing your class project.Join street photographer and Street Dreams Magazine co-founder Steve Sweatpa...
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 10168 students enrolled

Please respect all rules of social distancing when completing your class project.

Join street photographer and Street Dreams Magazine co-founder Steve Sweatpants for a photo scavenger hunt through New York City! This 30-minute class goes behind-the-scenes to show the hustle, play, and compositional style he brings to every project — and how you can bring that fun into your own work.

Steve shows how photography is more about your eye than a set of hard rules. Sharing his self-taught approach to scale, light, color, and vanishing points, everything comes back to making the rules your own.

Who should take this class? It's perfect for aspiring photographers looking to add consistency to their work, pros searching for inspiration, and everyone who loves a creative approach. Grab your camera, some sneakers, and your sense of humor as Steve takes you through the city he calls home.


What You'll Learn

Introduction. You’ll meet photography professional Steve Sweatpants while he’s walking the streets of New York, taking photographs and chatting with strangers. You’ll learn that the more photographs you take, the more instinctual the act becomes. Steve will preview his class, where you’ll learn how to “not like cheese, be lit all day, every single day, and study life.”

Project: Photo scavenger hunt. Steve will give you your assignment and remind you not to put too much pressure on yourself when you’re out on a photography travel session (be lit).

Steve’s principles of composition. You’ll go over the basics of how to take good pictures by running through Steve’s main photography principles — complimentary colors, complimentary light sources, shooting with scale, and vanishing points. You’ll get a sense of how to tell if a photo has good composition from the get-go.

Shooting complimentary colors and light sources. You’ll learn how to pair unexpected colors and use the visual resources at hand to pick out eye-catching color palettes. You’ll also learn to make sure colors in the foreground of your photograph interact intentionally with colors in the background.

Shooting vanishing points. You’ll learn to look for symmetry when searching for the ideal vanishing point. Steve will advise you to compose your shot in your head before you shoot and capture multiple angles of the same scene.

Shooting with scale. With ample food metaphors, Steve will teach you how to take photographs from high vantage points, adjusting your aperture to capture more details from the scene below. You’ll learn about ideal times of the day to take photographs and how to position your lens to capture a scene in a way that not only looks interesting, but also tells a compelling story. In doing so, you’ll learn how to chase light in cloudy weather and capture monumental buildings, all skills that can come in handy when it comes to polished corporate photography.

Editing tips. You’ll learn that less is more when it comes to editing your photographs. Using Lightroom, Steve will take you through his editing best practices for the four types of photos you’ll take during his class:

  • Scale photo. You’ll learn to highlight elements toward the top of your frame to create the illusion of extra height in your photos. You’ll also add drama to your photo by playing with tone curve and contrast.
  • Complementary colors photo. You’ll learn how to pick the best filters for enhancing your photograph’s key colors, and you’ll make those colors pop by adjusting saturation and contrast. Lastly, you’ll see how vignettes can bring cinematic qualities to your work.
  • Vanishing point photo. You’ll play with clarity and shadows to increase the depth of your photo. You’ll also learn to enhance a photo’s symmetry.
  • Light sources photo. Using the vignette effect, you’ll learn to intensify shadows while keeping your image true to life.

Sharing your work. Steve will leave off by encouraging you to ask him any questions you have about his work and process (as long as you don’t ask about cheese).

Street Shots: Photographing Scale, Light, and Colors
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