Monday, December 29, 2014

Want To Be A Better Photographer?

Here are my tips and it's probably not what you are thinking.

I'm not going to sit here and show you sample images and lighting diagrams or sell you on a specific piece of equipment.

Let's be honest with each other for a minute and remove ourselves from the wants, the marketing hype and the BS we see online.   Marketers have a job and that is to get you to buy new stuff all the time.  Getting new gear is exciting, but make sure you are buying for the right reason.  The right reason is defined by me as getting something that will help you solve a problem, or make your life easier.   By all means, if you have money to blow and just want to buy stuff, feel free.  It's your money and I have no control over you.
An example of getting the right gear might be buying a basic strobe kit(light stand, umbrella adapter, shoot through umbrella) and an SB-26 to learn about off camera lighting or to give you a key/fill light to enhance your portrait work.

One of the things I like about doing this blog is that I an not sponsored or paid by anyone.  I don't get free stuff from anyone and I have no allegiance to anyone but myself and the clients that pay me for the work I'm hired to do.

Shall we get down to it?  What's the best way to be a better photographer - in no particular order.

  • Understand and master the basics
    So many people do not understand the most basic of things, and without that knowledge as a base, you lose out on so much.  Make sure that you understand exposure - the interplay between the ISO, aperture value and shutter speed.  Understand what happens when you have a fast shutter speed versus a slow shutter speed and what that means to your subjects.  Understand that DOF changes not only with the aperture value, but also with the aperture value, focus distance and focal length.  Know what image stabilization is and when it is useful and when it won't matter at all.
    Get a working knowledge of at least on good post processing package and come to the understanding that the post processing part of photography is just as important as the image capture part.  It was true back in the glass plate and film days and it still holds true for digital today.
    With a grasp of the basics, you'll have a great foundation to move into more specific types of photography.  You'll be able to concentrate on the shoot, the composition, the connection between photographer and subject and spend less time chimping or guessing what is going on and fine tuning the exposure.
  • It's not about the gear, it's about your ability to use it.
    Everyone falls in love with their gear at some point.  Nothing wrong with that.  What is a problem is when people get all "fanboy" and find the need to defend the brand they bought.  They feel they need to justify their purchase by proclaiming what they bought is the best.
    I don't care if Joe McNally shoots with Nikon, Scott Kelby shoots with Canon or Bob Whatsisname shoots with Fuji or Olympus.
    Bottom line here is that just about any interchangeable camera system out today is plenty capable of producing great results.  They may work slightly different and have slightly different strengths/weaknesses.  Just do your homework, determine what your shooting requirements are and get the best gear for you that you can afford.
    For me, I shoot very fast and at times my subjects or scenes will develop very quickly in front of me. My requirements for street and event photography make AF speed and camera function speed of top importance.
    Requirements for landscape photographers or in studio portrait photographers will be different.   Again, buy accordingly.
    While we are on the subject - just as a side note - it is generally a best practice to buy what you need versus what you want.  You'll acquire less "stuff" and have more viable "tools".  I see this a lot in off camera lighting gear and accessories.
  • Figure out what you like to shoot and be the best at it you can.
    No one can be a master of every type of photography.  It's just not realistic.  Determine the type of photography you love and be the best you can be at that.  For me, it is portrait and event photography.  For others it might be nature or sports.
  • Never stop learning.
    Every day, I try and learn something new.  I subscribe to blogs, read books, go to seminars and workshops, talk with others.  I believe that whenever you stop learning, you will stagnate.  Learning helps keep the ideas fresh and gives you time to experiment.
  • Study other photographers and artists to help you cultivate a style.
    There are some photographers that have images I could look at everyday.  Looking at others images or art can inspire you to look at things a different way.  It can give you ideas of how you might want to change up your compositions or angles.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
    I learned from Jay Maisel, a commercial and street photographer out of NYC, that you need to do "visual pushups" everyday.  I always have a camera of some sort with me at all times and if I see something that I want to photograph, I do.  Not everyday will provide you with an image that is worth a damn, but going through the process will help keep your eye and instincts sharp.
    Henri Cartier Bresson once said that "Your first 10,000 images are your worst".  By this, he meant that your first 10,000 images are your playground - your learning curve.  They are where you are going to learn to master your exposure and composition, figure out what you like to shoot and get to grip with your gear.
  • Catalog your images and review them.
    Cataloging will allow you to go back later and study what you've shot.  Find the images you took that you love and determine what made them your favorites.  You'll be able to see what exposure settings you used, focal lengths, angles and what not.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shooting An Event

How you shoot an event depends on a lot of factors and some of which you have no control over.  Let's discuss today how one might go about shooting an event.

Shooting an event can come in 2 different flavors, either you are there in an official capacity - hired or in a photojournalist role, or there as a spectator.

When working within the confines of my VisualOhio site, I tend to go to events of interest to my readers and see if there are opportunities for stories there.  If I have enough advanced notice, I contact the organization running the event and see if there are any restrictions to photographing as well as inquire about possibly getting a media pass.   If you can do this, by all means do.  You'll have less hassle as well as potentially gain access to areas you might not have without it.

The images below were taken to cover a news event about a local school teachers strike.

If you are working as a journalist, there are other things to consider as well.  Larger events might require you to have a Letter of Assignment.  Briefly, this outlines the intent of the coverage, including but not limited to the staff that sill be in attendance as well as the coverage and access they are requesting.  From this, you may or may not be granted access.

When I know that I will be in contact with people and possibly be doing an interview, I'll prepare some questions up front and document them.  My tool of choice is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.  I like it for its ability to use a stylus for hand writing and paired with n app like Evernote, you can record the interviews as well.  The Note 8 is small enough that I can put it in my back pocket or in a small camera bag when I need to get down to shooting.

This is when you are going to a public event but are not part of the media.  Make sure to find out if photography is allowed.  Sometimes there are no restrictions on what you can bring and sometimes there are.  I've been to some events where they will not allow an interchangeable lens camera, but would allow point and shoots.  Other venues restrict the zoom or field of view of the camera.  Bottom line, due diligence is needed unless you want to haul all your gear with you only to have to leave it in the car.

These images taken at the Arnold Classic in 2014 were taken from the crowd.  I paid admission to the event, to get coverage.  I did this because one of the prerequisites of getting a press pass is having covered this or a similar event in the past.

How you shoot the event depends if you are hired or a spectator.   The spectator role gives you the most freedom on how you shoot the event, but it might limit the type of gear you are able to shoot with.  Generally, anything outside on camera flash is probably going to be prohibited to you.  If you are hired, you might be locked into the type of shots/style the client is requesting.  Some clients hire you because you are a competent professional, others hire you for the previous reason and they like the style you've shown in your portfolio.  If they like your portfolio, you might luck out and be able to get shoot the event the way that you want.  The other benefit is that you might have authority to use a wider range of gear like remote cameras, off camera flash.
Style will also look into the image style you use.  Some people like the photojournalism style, others like things a little more formal.  That is definitely something you will want to discuss with a client if you are hired.

ZombieWalk Columbus is an event that has participants parade through the downtown streets of Columbus, OH dressed as the undead.  This is a fundraiser, collecting money and food items for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Sometimes, we get caught up in all the excitement of the event that we just start grabbing images.  Remember, that covering an event is about telling a story.  Images can tell stories of the immediate scene and they can also tell a story of the whole event as a series.  It's our job as photographers to make sure that we tell the story of the events we attend.

Location and Time of Day
Depending on the event, you may not have a lot of control over the time at which you can cover it or where. The importance of this is going to determine what kind of gear you bring with you.   Night or indoor events might require you to bring flash, fast glass or a camera with good hi ISO performance.  This in contrast to the light available on a bright sunny day, where you can use a moderate zoom lens.

Nighttime scene at the Ohio State Fair, required gear and techniques suitable for low light photography as the time we were there dictated our coverage.

It may also effect the style in which you shoot.  Midday sun might give you too much contrast and fill flash is desired, where as you might be able to shoot sunrise or sunset and get that great golden hour light, with beautiful side lit portraits.  Indoors, depending on the event could have their own theatrical lighting which you might be able to use to your benefit.   It will help to be well versed in the art of combining ambient and flash in some cases.  You might not want to lose that cool ambient feel, but your main subject might need an exposure lift with a flash unit.  For quick and dirty solution to this, you can have a small flash unit and something like a Lumiquest SBIII or SBLtp.

Ribbon cutting ceremony opening a new wing at the Mott's Military Museum.

Consider the crowd level as well.  Some events will have a limited number of attendees, while others may have unlimited or vast amounts of people.  The physical location will also need to be taken into consideration.  There may be a lot of room to move about or it might be tight quarters.   This will affect your choice of focal lengths/field of view.

A local Christmas event showcased young musicians and had treats and crafts for the kids.

Information Gathering
Here we are looking to get as much information about the event as possible.  Start and end times, entertainment or event schedule.  This will help you determine what you want to cover.  You want to make sure that the time between events gives you enough leeway to get from one to the other, if you need to leave from one early to get to the beginning of another.  Having a schedule really helps and planning out as much in advance as possible will make coverage that much easier.
If it is a smaller event, it might be a good idea to get a point of contact as well.  Just in case things change.  In larger events, they may have a media area.

You will also want to find out the "big players" at the event.  For example, at a wedding reception, you know that the bride and groom are the top billing, but there might be special relatives in from out of town, or a friend that is just like family and is regarded by the client as someone that they want to have your attention.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Our 12 Month 2015 Calendar is now available for purchase!!

$17.99 gets you this gorgeous calendar with 13 images taken over 2014.  The preview below will show you the month to month images and it also has all the U.S Holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2014

If You See The Shot, Take The Shot - Now!

One of the things that I learned later in my photography career is that whenever you see an opportunity to take a shot, you need to do it then. How many times have you gone past something on the way to another thing and said to yourself, "I have to come back to shoot that!", only to never come back or worse, you go back and the lighting, scenery or your access to the location is no longer the same. There were many times where this very thing happened to me and it is one of the strongest reasons I always have a camera with me at all times. I'm not super happy with the quality or controls of camera phones, so at a minimum, I always have a proper camera with me - even if it only be something like a fixed lens compact (X100, Ricoh GR type thing), or even a small zoom type camera(Panasonic LX100 or Fuji X10 series). You never know what you might stumble across running to the market for a quick pickup of milk or bread, running down to the book store in a part of town you don't always get to or you happen to see something you don't normally see on your way home/to work. I have a standing agreement with my wife that if we are ever driving anywhere and I see something that I want to stop and photograph, that it is a done deal. PS - it's great to have a partner who is supportive of your impulses and sometimes whacked out creative thoughts/ideas. This image I captured on the way to work. I was sitting at a traffic light and in front of me was a utility truck with 2 muddy hand prints on the back doors. No camera and this great opportunity is lost forever.
I love old, abandoned buildings. Don't know why, but they scream to me to be photographed. I stumbled across this old feed mill as I was driving home from some shopping. I recently went back to check this place out again and found that vandals/thieves had gone in and stole a bunch of copper piping/wires and smashed windows. The building is now all boarded up and has lost that intimate quality you see in the image below.

This portrait of a man and his dog I took at a local park. One of a kind and I doubt that I would have ever seen this man again. The park this was taken in is about 30 minutes from my home and I do not go there very often.

Cabrillo National Cemetery in San Diego California. I had limited time at this location and the way that the lighting and everything fell into place was not guaranteed to happen again while I was there.

As a parting thought, I implore you to never let an opportunity to pass you by and have regret that you could have captured a great image, but didn't. You need not spend a ton of money on a camera, pick up something used and capable. Hell, I used my Nikon D50 up until last year. Small DSLR body, throw a fast 50 on it for a few hundred bucks or get a used early gen m43 or Fuji X camera. Doesn't matter what you get, but get something that you can keep with you and deploy into action.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bringing Out The Diana f+ Instant

My wife's family has a lot of traditions, one of which is the annual Christmas Tree Day. On this occasion, we go out in search of that iconic item for the holiday season - the fresh cut Christmas tree!!
Being the photographer that I am, a camera comes with me!! :D
This year, I decided to change it up a little bit and not only document the occasion with my digital mirrorless kit(which my wife affectionately calls my gimp loadout*) but also bring the Diana f+ Instant with me as well.
For sure there were quite a few images taken with the digital cameras, but i thought that I would share some of the Diana images.
The Diana f+ instant back uses the Fuji Instax mini instant film. One of the frustrations with the Diana is that the viewfinder is not wildly accurate, so sometimes you get a framing that is not exactly what you envisioned. The best way to combat that frustration? Use the camera more! Like anything else, get familiar with and learn your gear in order to use it to its fullest potential. I do not use it enough to be 100% accurate.
This is one of those inaccurate framed shots.  I thought there would be more to the right side of the image then there was.
The other thing I learned about the Diana and its fabulous plastic lenses - flare and low contrast when pointing into a light source. In this case - the sun. There are 2 images here that got blasted because I was shooting toward the sun.
Lastly, in order to share these with you, I scanned these using an old Epson all in one device. The printer stopped being useful years ago, but the scanner is still kicking and going strong. Imported into light room and they are treated just like any other digital asset.

Please forgive the dirty scans, my scanner is in need of a good cleaning. LOL.

This is one that I accidentally over exposed.  They were in the shade, so I put the camera in "partly cloudy" mode.  I should have used the meter on my camera to verify.
*gimp loadout is a term that spawned itself when I needed to find a quality camera kit to work around the fact that my arm surgery from early November 2014/recovery process did not allow me to (a) hold a camera/lens of any appreciable weight and (b) the brace they had me in did not allow me to hold a camera in such a fashion that I can utilize the viewfinder. Anyone who is familiar with the Call of Duty console/PC games will understand the "loadout" reference. If not, it is the unit of armaments and skill sets that your character deploys into the imaginary battlefield in the game.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

When The Opportunity Presents Itself - Take It

As many of you know, not everyone wants their portraits taken all the time.

I lucked out today when the wife came home with some new makeup that she had just purchased and wanted to try them out.

I was working on some images from an event I had worked earlier in the morning when she came into the office and asked if I wanted to shoot some portraits of her.


I had a limited window, so I grabbed what was sitting in front of me - the Olympus OMD EM5 with the 45/1.8 attached.  I also had my Nikon SB-600 with batteries sitting on the desk.

At first we tried some available light (can lights in the hallway of my house), but I just didn't like it.  I slapped the Nikon SB on the hotshoe, threw the camera on manual (first at f/5.6, then later opened it up to f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/125).  Speedlight started at 1/4, then dropped to 1/16 over the progression.  The hallway provided many bounce surfaces.

Many shots later, here are the results.  My top 3 favorites.

All were post processed in Lightroom and I utilized various onOne Suite plugins (B&W / Portrait).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fuji X100T - initial impression

Image courtesy of ©Fujifilm

I had the opportunity to use the Fuji X100T this weekend.   Thought that I would share my initial thoughts with you all.

Went down to the local camera store (Midwest Photo Exchange) and gave the X100T a good walk through.

For those that have read my previous article where I compared the X100s, X-T1, and the Oly OMD - you'll know why I picked the m43 camera over the Fuji.   The main issue was performance speed of the cameras and the auto focus.

The first thing I checked was the AF performance,  and Fuji had definitely made improvements here.  The lighting conditions were the same as the tests in the previous article.   However,  this time the Fuji had now of the back and forth shuffle that the X100s exhibited. The AF speed was still not as fast as the m43 camera,  but it was confident and sure.

In the hand,  the X100T felt solidly built.   The materials feel top notch and it felt right in my hand.  
Another great improvement is having the clicky, 1/3 f-stops directly on the aperture ring.  The grip on the aperture ring and the manual focus ring feel better as well and seemed easier to find and manipulate without having to look at it.  The rings had a feel almost like an old Nikon manual focus lens.   Just enough resistance to make precise adjustments without you feeling like you are fighting it.

The rear buttons on the case feel far better then previous iterations of the X100 series cameras,  too.
I did like the view finder as well.   I'm still liking the performance of the OMD EVF more,  but the Fuji EVF is excellent as well.  The obvious benefit of the Fuji is the OVF for those who like that. It also has improved with tons more info and customization.

My big take away is this question; why could Fuji  not have done this from the get go?   Had they done this camera with this implementation of the hardware feature and AF, they would have a ton more market share.  Let's not Monday morning quarter back it though, it is what it is.

Bottom line,  the X100T appears to be the best and most solid implementation in the series.   If you don't already have an X100, definitely get this one.  If you have the X100s, there might not be enough there for you to want to spend the money on the upgrade. Coming from the X100 might be a different story,  as the improvements are a lot more noticeable.

Again, with any camera purchase, generally a 2-3 generation time frame gives the camera manufacturer time to get larger improvements. That would apply here too when going from X100 --> X100T.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lighting: Ambient Versus Flash

The most critical component of any photo is light. Without it,  you have no picture.
Today,  let's take a journey through my approach to how I light my subjects and scenes.

I'm sure most of you have heard the story about the infamous W. Eugene Smith being asked a question about lighting at a seminar.  The  question from the audience was,  "what light is the best light?"
Smith answered, "Why,  available light, of course!"  There was a pause and from the crowd some muttered rumblings.  Then, Smith continued with,  "By that I mean any damn light that is available!"

I believe that to be true as well.   I don't hold someone who shoots ambient only any higher or lower on the skill level as someone who uses off camera flash.   I judge a photographer by the end product they deliver.

Out of necessity,  most of us start out in photography with very little money.   Cameras and lenses are expensive and after that money is spent,  there is generally very little left for anything else.   So, the first thing we learn, is how to harness the power of ambient lighting. That is followed very shortly by using constant light sources in the shooting environment.

And why not?   It is cheap and the majority of the time it looks decent because it is what our eyes are used to seeing.  Problem?   You generally have little to no control over it.  Also,  it has a tendency to look "average" because it is what everyone else is used to seeing.
How do we make it stand out from the pack?  Figure out different ways of shaping that light.   For example, you can get reflectors to use as fill light sources.   You can use diffusion material to cut down on the harsh midday sun.   Reflector kits generally have a diffuser as part of the unit,  white bed sheets can also be employed. 

There is even a quote from Joe McNally that I remember, and that is, "If you want something to look interesting, don't light all of it."  Sometimes less is more and, the attention to the image can be directed by what is lit and what is not.  By our very nature, we tend to look at the brightest or shiniest part of an image first.

Don't forget that environmental elements can be used as well.   Open shade is a good place to be. There are some small structures that provide for good diffusion of sunlight.   Windows in a home or building, glass arboretums are also a nice option.

After we've cut our teeth on ambient light,  we start seeing all these great portraits with this sculpted light,  well controlled and contrasty and we think to ourselves, "self...I want to create pictures like that!"  We have no clue where to start.   You look at the price of flash units and studio strobes and think that it is impossible,  can't be afforded and then think about giving up on the idea.  

Then you decide you'll check the internet and find some more info on the subject.   You stumble across some place like Strobist and you are renewed!   You start buying flashes,  triggers,  light modifiers,  stands. ... you go a little crazy and buy a bunch of stuff that you don't know how to use, when to use it or control it.   You stick with it though, and after a while you get the hang of it.  


You go through a mode where you think that everything looks better bathed in light from every angle.   And you love it for a while,  but then it stops being fun and taking images becomes a chore,  seting up 3 or 4 lights,  lighting subjects and backgrounds,  getting the ratios right,  the ambient just right.
Out of nowhere it hits you.   Shooting purely ambient or purely flash doesn't always have to be the case.   You've backed yourself into an unnecessary and arbitrary corner.

The basic point is this - shoot the best way that makes sense for your environment and subject.  That means it can be flash,  ambient or,  dare we say it...a combination of the two together.
How do we decide?   Finally,  we've reached the meat and potatoes of the article.   Let's talk about my decision making process.

The majority of the time,  I go through this iteration when I am shooting portraits. 

One:  Scope out the shooting environment and find where is the best light.   Can I shoot ambient here? 
Two: Take an ambient light reading to see what light I'm dealing with.   I take a test shot on auto and see what the camera tells me.  If you have a light meter and prefer that method,  do it to it.
Three: What do I want to do with the background?   Is it too distracting and do I want to shut it down, or is it an integral part of the shot and I want it in the image?
Four:  Determine if my subject is going to be over/under exposed in comparison to the background elements.
Five: What kind of mood am I looking for in this shot. This will determine the user of light mods and such.

Once I have all this figured out,  I can determine in my head if I should add in lights and reflectors,  shoot straight ambient and what I'll need to shoot the type of shot I want.
For those gear obsessed,  let's get into that here for a moment.   After that, will do a walk through of sample images and how they were lit and with what.

Truth be told, if I can shoot with the ambient light, I will, as it can be much easier to get your shots without having to setup lights for each situation.

If the ambient light is not cooperating or I'd rather relight the whole scene or parts of it to get the look I want - out come the flashes. 

Most of the time, though I'm shooting combinations of ambient and flash.

Strobes - for portability,  I've got 4 Nikon speed light units.   The older SB are great because they offer good manual settings and have the ability to be TTL controlled.   More on that later.   They have good power levels and decent recycle times.   For studio or more intensive work,  I picked up 2 Alien Bees, the B400 units, with a Vagabond mini battery pack.   Great for when you need near instant recycle times and more power than you small flash units.   If you need the ultimate in a studio unit for a great price,  consider looking at the Einstein units.  Good price for the power and control you get.

Triggers: When I knew I needed radio triggers,  I wanted Pocket Wizard reliability,  but not the price.   I found that in the Radio Popper branded triggers.   Remember above I mentioned having TTL capability in the old nikon SB units.   With an add on device called an RPCube, the Radio Popper JrX Studio units can remotely control the power of the flashes from the transmitter.  It uses the quench pin to control the power signal on the flash unit.

Light Mods:  I've been through them all and these are the ones I use 99% of the time.   Shoot through umbrella,  umbrella softbox, Lumiquest softboxes, grids.  These generally cover all of my lighting control needs.

Light Stands:  I've a bunch of the standard light stands plus one c-stand with a 40 inch boom arm.

This is a one light portrait in studio, one Alien Bee with an umbrella box camera left and a white reflector to camera right.  The light source is very close so as to add a softer light.  I picked this light mod because I wanted more contrast in the light transition from one side of the image to the other.  A regular shoot through umbrella would have spilled way more light into the room than I wanted.  Control here was accomplished by allowing the light to only come through the front of the umbrella. 

This is the same light setup as above,  but with a shoot through umbrella.   You can see that the light is more wrapping because the spill is registered more.  I picked this sort of modifier because I wanted a more lit,  high key feel to the image.

This is from a child portrait shoot. This is an example of using the ambient light in combination with open shade and a reflector(camera left).  Now, if the light on the image left side was too intense, we could have used a subtractor(black card) to knock down some of the reflected light.

Another example of ambient sun light, open shade and a reflector.

Straight ambient.   The light was so good that day,  when it works,  use it! 

This is a more complicated shot.   I liked the ambient light on everything but the couple(their faces were too dark).   I exposed the scene for the ambient,  then used a Nikon speed light to camera left with a 1/4 grid to pop light onto the faces.

A cloudy day gave us a perfect diffuser for this ambient only shot. 

This is a portrait of a local parks and recreation director.   I wanted to show one of the fields that his department maintains,  but the only time available was during a very hot intense sunlit day.   I exposed for the ambient background and used a Lumiquest LTP softbox to camera right to illuminate the subject,  balancing the light sources.

C-stand coupled with a gridded speed light above and slightly in front of the camera here gives us this interesting light.   I used this to show the textures of the camera body.   You can see the effects of the grid on the fabric the camera is sitting on.  Notice how it looks like a spotlight, but instead of an abrupt end of the light into the dark, you get a bit of a softer transition.

Monday, September 29, 2014

My Approach To Street Photography

Street photography is one of those genres that is highly debated.  Some want to put it up on a high pedestal and proclaim it restricted to a highly curated set of parameters, while others want it to be anything that is taken out in the streets.

Nikon D700, 1/125, f/7.1, ISO 320 @ 28mm
I, for one, am not a big fan of strict labels for this kind of thing.  For me, street photography is about capturing the essence of a place or location that tells a story and gets you to feel what it is like, or what the people there are like.

These are fleeting moments that could change in a matter of minutes or over years.

I'd like to share some of my thoughts about my approach to street photography.  We'll cover the other photographers that influence my perceptions, how I go about shooting subjects and we'll talk about how I shoot from gear to camera settings.

Nikon D700, 1/800, f/4.5, ISO 500 @ 28mm
Major Influences
I take a lot of influences for shooting from various photographers.   This list encompass the top three, but by no means are the only ones.

 One of my all time favorite photographers is Jay Maisel.  He is a commercial and street photographer based out of NYC.  I agree with a lot of his philosophies regarding shooting.   KelbyOne has a three video series that are actual walk along shooting sessions with Jay, 2 in NYC and one in the streets of Paris.  Well worth at least a monthly subscription.
Nikon Df, 1/500, f/4, ISO 100 @ 50mm
Fan Ho is a street photographer that shows a lot of work from Hong Kong.  The work I appreciate the most from him is his 1970's/1980's images.  His work shows what is possible if you learn the area you are shooting in and have patience to allow a scene to develop.  It is not all about run and gun.  Sometimes you have to wait for the scene to work itself out.  Just do a web search and there is a lot of his work out there for you to discover.
Nikon Df, 1/500, f/4, ISO 100 @ 50mm
Of course, if you said who is the most famous street photographer the majority of people are going to say Henri Cartier-Bresson.  I do in fact like his images and from his work, I appreciate the inclusion of environmental components long with the expressions of the people he captured.

Nikon D700, 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 800 @ 260mm
Shooting Philosophy
What draws me to street photography is the "realness" of it.  By that, I mean that I like to capture the majority of my street photography images without the subject caring that I am there.   That is not the same as being covert about it.   I don't sneak or skulk about trying to get images of people or situations without them knowing about it.

Olympus EM5, 1/50, f/1.8, ISO 2000 @ 17mm
I always have my camera out in plain site on my Black Rapid strap.   I want everyone to know that I am out there taking pictures.  I feel this puts people at ease.  They are also more apt to tell you up front if they don't want to be photographed and you'll avoid some angry people later on down the road.  While we are on the subject of angry people, there is an old saying, "go out to make pictures, not friends".  While this might seem confrontational, it really is not.  What it means is go out and make pictures, do what you set out to do.  It's OK if you make friends along the way, but that should not be the goal.
Olympus EM5, 1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 200 @ 19mm
99% of the time, if people see you taking their picture, they are going to be indifferent about it.  There are those 1% that might be curious about what you are doing or are not happy about it.  There are very few situations where your personal safety or the safety of the group you are in is worth a confrontation.  If deleting the image, buying someone a beer or backing off will defuse the situation, it is best to do so.

As with most things in life, you want to be out shooting street photography with confidence.  Go out there and shoot like you have a purpose and a mission.  If it looks like you are there for a reason, most people will not question what you are doing.  If you show a hesitance or try and sneak pictures then people might get the perception that you are up to no good.  Don't give them a reason to doubt you or think that you have a nefarious agenda.
Fuji X-E1, 1/50, f/4, ISO 1600 @ 35mm
Subject matter is something very personal and different for a lot of people.  I like and practice a philosophy I heard articulated by Jay Maisel, which is "go out open and empty".  This means going out not necessarily with a subject or objective in mind.  Instead, I go out with a vision to find something that interests me and maybe I have not seen before I captured before.
I think that this type of philosophy also drives my gear requirements.   A lot of time, the shot I want coalesces in front of you and you have but seconds from the time you realize what is about to happen till the time to capture the image.

I don't stage shots either, I capture whatever happens.    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against setting up a shot - it is just not what I prefer to do.  I have been known to request portraits if I think a person is interesting and want to approach them.  Again, as above, ask politely and be honest about what you are wanting to do.  Most people would be happy to oblige you in your request, other times they will say no.  Remember to respect the person and their space.  You never know, you could run into that person in the future and they could grant you a portrait of them at that time.

Just about any camera can be used for street photography - but the caveat to that is this - it depends on how you shoot.
I'm going to speak only to how I shoot street and the capabilities that I require for me.  This is my personal preference and how I have the most success and pleasure.
Fuji X-E1, 1/50, f/2, ISO 800 @ 35mm
The most important factors for me in a street camera is fast operation and auto focus capability.
When talking about fast operation, I mean that the camera can be turned on or awoke from sleep mode and be ready to shoot by the time the camera gets from its resting position on the sling strap to my eye.  One of the things that turned me away from the Fuji X series of cameras was the amount of time it would take and reliability of turning on and waking from sleep those cameras.  I had an X-E1 and there was a lot to love about that camera.  Operation speed left me wanting and I lost quite a few opportunities for great shots because the camera took too long to either turn on or wake from sleep.

One question you might be thinking, why not leave the camera on all the time?  Short answer, battery life.  With the early Fuji X cameras, battery life as not stellar, so I thought that turning off during a shooting lull would help.  Not really.  Allowing the camera to go to sleep was almost worse sometimes as I often had situations where the camera would not wake on half press or would take up to 2 to 3 seconds at times to show an image in the viewfinder.
Olympus EM5, 1/100, f/5, ISO 2000 @ 100mm
Auto focus speed and accuracy is also another top requirement.  I am not one to zone focus and will only prefocus when I have to, and sometimes prefocusing is not an option.  This is another area where the Fuji X failed me on several occasions.  I had issues with the focus speed and at times the hunting from the CDAF system would not lock on fast enough.
I will say, though that the Fuji X cameras are improving every iteration and the X-E2, X-T1 cameras are leaps and bounds better than the X-E1.

I'm even experimenting with some zone focusing techniques with a Fuji X100.  You never know - I may be a convert some day.  :D
Nikon Df, 1/1600, f/4, ISO 400 @ 90mm
Right now, my weapons of choice for street shooting are 2 sets of kit.

The first being the Nikon Df with a set of three primes - Nikon 24/2.8, 50/1.8D, and a Tamron 90/2.8.
The Nikon Df is an extremely misunderstood camera and I invite anyone to really dig into getting to know it.  There is a lot there and a whole lot more to love than to hate once you give it a chance.  The Nikon Df is the smallest FX camera that Nikon makes.  Partnered with some good primes and you have yourself a really great street shooting rig.  The AF performance is great and you have a lot of control of DOF with the FX size sensor.  Not to mention that you have the dynamic range and picture controls of the flagship Nikon D4 on the inside and you can see the appeal.  Being a DSLR, the camera wakes from sleep or from powered off almost instantly.
Olympus EM5, 1/500, f/5.7, ISO 200 @ 156mm
The second kit was actually a surprise to me.  I went in to the camera store one day to look to possibly pick up a Fuji X-T1 or an X100s, but ended up walking out with an Olympus OMD EM5.   I, like a lot of people, was running on old information from the very first micro four thirds cameras.  Yes, the sensor is smaller and you have all the differences in the shooting experience that come with it.   However, Olympus has done something special with the OMD series.  The wake from sleep and power on times are greatly improved over what I saw from Fuji and my past experiences with the X-E1.  The AF performance is phenomenal as well, at least for the single servo AF.   It is as fast if not faster than some of the DSLRs out there.  I experience minimal hunting.  I partner this camera body with a killer set of fast prime lenses an you have a very capable kit.  My favorites are the Olympus 17/1.8 and 45/1.8

Settings are probably more of interest to people than my gear selection.  Let's talk about what settings I use and in which situations.  These discussions will not be specific to the gear I've listed above.  They are more to the situation you would be shooting in.

Focus mode is AF-S.  Single point, lock it in, get the shot.  Every now and again, I might throw it into continuous AF, but that is very rare.
Nikon D50, 1/80, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 60mm
WB is set to auto, unless I know I am going into a situation where the color cast is something I know will be extreme, then I will set it manually.

RAW or JPG?  Majority of the time, I'm shooting JPG.  The JPG engines in modern cameras are actually pretty great, considering.  I will shift over to RAW if there is a scene that I know I will need to do some extensive post processing on.
Olympus EM5, 1/80, f/2.2, ISO 800
In normal, everyday "good" lighting I'm shooting in aperture priority mode.  I do this because I want to have control over the depth of field of the shot.  I then let the camera do the rest of the heavy lifting.  In order to do this, you'll need to be in sync with your cameras metering system and know how it will see a scene.  You might need to use exposure compensation or switch to manual if you run into a situation like extreme back lighting or the scenes dynamic range is more than your camera is capable of handling.
For ISO, I'm shooting in auto ISO, keeping the base as slow as possible (low being ISO 50 to 200, depending on your camera).  I keep the minimum shutter speed around 1/60 and the maximum ISO between 3200 and 6400 (again depending on gear).

Shooting during the day is a pretty standard affair, if you think about it, exposure wise, it is going to be a pretty decent light to run in.  The good thing about the auto ISO in this situation is going to be those times when you might step inside or need to shoot in the shadows, it can compensate for you without you needing to sacrifice your aperture setting.
Olympus EM5, 1/640, f/2.8, ISO 100
Where things can get interesting is when we are wanting to shoot either dusk/dawn times or at night.   Most metro areas are decently lit considering, but the light sources can trick even the best of metering systems sometimes.  You also have the fact that the metering systems want to go for an 18% gray as the normal exposure - this can make the scene more exposed than you probably want.

The best way, I have found for me, to control all of this is to shoot in manual.   I shoot with as wide an aperture as I possibly can and still have a sufficiently large DOF, keep the shutter speed fast enough that I can still hand hold the shot for a sharp image and a clean enough ISO for a pleasing exposure.   A lot of these exposures average out to be something along the lines of f/4, ISO 1600 and 1/60 shutter speed.
Olympus EM5, 1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 150mm
For the setup, you can either put the camera in aperture priority mode and take some test shots, riding the exposure compensation until you see what you like - then set manual accordingly.  When doing this test, try and find a scene that looks like a typical one that yo will be shooting.  This will give you a good ballpark to run from.
If you have been shooting for a while, you might be able to get to where you need to be from manual from a few test shots.  However you do it is completely up to you and no way is wrong, just different.
Nikon D700, 1/250, f/4.5, ISO 400 @ 85mm
If you find that you need to shoot at slower shutter speeds (lets say less than 1/60), and don't want to bring a tripod along you have options.  Some cameras/lenses have image stabilization.  Don't be afraid to use it.  Just remember that image stabilizers help reduce camera shake from you holding the camera and it has no affect on freezing action.  Shutter speed will control that.
Another technique is to use poles or street signs to stabilize yourself.

I hope that you found this post helpful.  While I don't expect anyone to adopt what I do in total, there may be times when some of these techniques I use might come in handy or help someone get a step into doing street photography for themselves.