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The previous chapters were an introduction to going out in the street. We have chosen the most suitable equipment, and now we are ready for the real thing: learning the rules of the street and getting to know its inhabitants. Now we shall discuss briefly the what rules of behavior, and habits of work we should adopt to serve us as a basis for a safe, well focused, efficient and time and energy-saving manner of work.
Every street photographer's aspiration is to feel at home in the street, to be able to walk freely in the city's alleyways, streets and squares, and to have as much as possible "photographic control" over the goings on that unfold before his/her eyes. The means of achieving this goal are many, and they require the investment of time and effort. As long as we feel strangers in the street we have not achieved this goal. The best way to start is to frequent one location for a long time. Keep coming again and again to the same place. Our work space is not expected to spread over a large area, provided there is an intensive human presence in the location we have chosen. Persistence in the same area is the best way to come to know in depth our "hunting ground". Perseverance in observing, studying and coming in close contact with people is the best way to get to know our "prey".
Whether we arrive in the place walking or with a vehicle, our head is probably busy with thoughts about this or that. So the best way to start is to sit down for a while and just watch. This is a kind of rest period, and head-cleaning, in preparation for the coming work. Sitting down is best as it allows you to become less conspicuous, to harmonize with the street's rhythm, comprehend the place's nature, and absorb its atmosphere and pace.  And now, our senses sharpened, and synchronized with the street we may start to move.
Having decided on the area we will work in, we survey it walking rapidly around and inside it, looking for potentially promising objects. It is advisable to note, and remember locations with interesting people, and symbols, that may serve later as base elements for promising pictures.
Let us stress that during these preliminary activities it is better to keep your camera invisible; keeping it on you may attract attention, especially as you are walking rapidly.
In order to better understand the street's language and its behavior norms we have to do several things:
A. Studying the Environment (types of inhabitants, history, typical problems etc.) It is highly important to know well all aspects of the environment. This is the foundation making for contacts, forming relationships, and gathering information about the area that we shall presently need.
B. Observation and study of peoples' behavioral patterns,-
This activity is very important: we observe and study situations unfold before our eyes, trying to identify and remember behavior patterns and key personalities, for future use. It is advisable to do this sitting down for a long while in some central location, arranging various compositions and photographing them in our imagination. The more we observe interactions between people, the more we will be able to anticipate them, and react to them in time when we really take pictures.
C. Classifying, Cataloguing, and burning in memory.-
Having observed people in a selected area for a prolonged period of time, we will be able to classify and catalogue them into various population groups: people who work in the street (shop keepers, peddlers, chauffer, messengers etc.), people who come and go, and people who live in the street (homeless people), tourists, animals and so forth. We have to identify them, get to know them, and try to communicate with them whenever possible.
D. Familiarity with the street and its inhabitants.-
It is important to gain deep and detailed familiarity with the physical aspects of the place we have chosen to work in: streets, alleys, courtyards, stairwells, shops and people who work in them, toilets, food sources, ways of entrances, and getaways.
E. Striking up relationships.-
Of the utmost importance are friendly relationships you may manage to strike with those people you have identified as influential in central key points of the area. These "key persons" will be the only ones who will know your purpose and targets in the area, and will cooperate with you. Keeping a warm relationship with them is very important; they will watch over you and protect you. They will, furthermore, be your best source of information on the area.
Having gone out, arrived, surveyed, and got to know all you can, we are now standing in the street armed with a camera. What, then, are we looking for now?
A. combinations between man and symbols,
B. Interactions between man and man,
C. combinations between animals and symbols,
D. Contrasts,
E. Analogies,
What street photographers mostly look for is some kind of connection between symbols and people i.e. between some symbol with a known meaning in the culture where they operate, and a man (or sometime an animal) that "fits in", combines with the symbol. A successful combination will result in a new outlook on some known aspect of reality, a fresh, surprising angle of view, which will stir thoughts and feelings, and add value to the picture beyond just being a casual record of reality. In hitting upon these combinations the photographer's patience is the main player, but imagination, experience, and deep knowledge of human behavior are also necessary elements in his "tool-kit".
Having realized that there is some logical purpose in this kind of wandering in the streets, let us now discuss briefly those moments in which we have to deal face to face with people, in order to get the desired photograph.
What is then the meaning of making contact with a subject, and what influence this may have on the photograph?
a. Correct approach wins people over: In many cases considerable closeness to the subject is required, and this may result with tension between the subject and photographer. In such cases it is up to the photographer to ease the tension, recognizing and taking into consideration, the subject's mentality, state of mind, facial expressions, and body language, and the image he, the photographer, with his tools, projects to the subject. All this he has to do within a few seconds. If successful, he will be allowed to operate freely in the subject's "private space".
b. Incorrect approach may result in failure. The moment we decide to "invade" a person's private space, there is a real prospect for failure. At times, despite all our efforts to project good feelings we fail. The cause may be small, simple things: a wrong look, a wrong word, unpleasant tone of voice, an unconvincing smile etc. In such cases the photograph may be lost, and an attempt to go on may end unpleasantly for both parties.
c. Fear and timidity. - Fear, timidity and expressions of lack of self confidence on the photographer's part are promptly noticed by the person/s to be photographed, and this is likely to cause failure in any attempt to photograph people. It should be born in mind that there is nothing evil or illegal in taking photographs of people in public places. You should strive to overcome these expressions of lack of self confidence as soon as possible. The process of becoming aware and understanding one's problem may take time and effort, but with the passage of time and growing experience fear and timidity will leave you and disappear in a natural way.
d. Should we ask permission? – Asking for permission to photograph has its pros and cons, various camouflage and diversion methods may enable us to dispense with this, and thus be rewarded with captures of authentic situations without outside interference. In case you ask for permission and get it, it is not recommended to start photographing immediately. It is rather better to wait for a while, letting the subject get used to your presence, and feel at ease with you, and only then start taking photographs. In any case, experience teaches us that it is easier for people to forgive an unpermitted photograph, than to give their permission.
e. The photographer's character = the photograph's character.- In any kind of confrontation with a subject, or a situation, the character of the photographer and his/her experience will determine photograph's success. The resulting photo will mirror the photographer's character straight to the viewer.