7 Common Street Photography Questions Answered

Street photography means different things to different people, and there’s no one perspective that’s objectively better than another. Street photographers, regardless of skill level or degree of commercial success, tend to be rather passionate about their work — it’s a deeply personal endeavor. As someone who spends more than half my time behind the camera shooting on the streets, I’ve been the recipient of all manner of questions about street photography, from both photographers and non-photographers.

Over time I guess I have unwittingly cataloged all those questions, so I figured I’d share the most common ones along with my typical responses — at the very least to act as an exchange of ideas and, at best, to encourage other aspiring street photographers.

What Is Street Photography?

To me, street photography is simply capturing candid moments in public spaces. Of course, those moments tend to have human subjects as the point of emphasis, but that’s not a necessity. A stray cat creeping through an alley or random objects left unattended on a sidewalk can also be considered street photography.

Is It Legal To Take Pictures Of Strangers?

The short answer is yes. But this might depend on where you live. In the U.S. it is legal to take photos of people in public places. However, it is the photographer’s job to exercise common sense, discretion, and basic decency. If someone asks you not to photograph them, don’t insist on doing it despite their reservations — antagonizing people isn’t going to work in your favor.

12 Tips To Getting Beautiful Photos Of Kids With Your iPhone

Photographing kids as we all know, can be quite a challenging task, as kids do not want to stay in a place posing for photographs. There is no rule to adhere to when photographing children, but there are certain strategies and techniques one can use to get better images of children.

With iPhone photography becoming extremely popular, the techniques for getting a good photograph using an iPhone are also pretty straightforward. The advantages of using an iPhone for capturing beautiful moments of your children are two-fold:

  1. The iPhone (or any mobile phone really) is always with you, so you won’t miss out on any action or fun moments.
  2. Children are not intimidated by your iPhone, as they would be with a camera, making it a better device to photograph kids.

In this article, we will be looking at 12 tips on how to get beautiful shots of kids with an iPhone.

1. Be Spontaneous:

With kids, you never know when they will portray memorable moments and you need to be really quick with getting your iPhone and accessing your camera app in order to get that shot. The native camera app can be accessed quickly with a swipe on your screen and it is the best option in terms of being instantaneous.

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Travel Photography

Is there anything better than travel photography? Most of us enjoy travelling and we like to document what we see and experience during these travels.

This helps us to look back on these experiences later and enjoy the memories for years to come. Moreover, we do not stop with just taking photos, but we love to share them with friends and family, social media, or even submit them to a travel magazine or competition.

Travel photography is not about just creating snapshots or memories, but these images can create a lasting impression and make the viewers look at them twice if you put in a bit of effort and creativity into making more creative travel images.

We all know, as travellers, that each country or destination has its own history, landscape, culture, people and charm. Make sure you learn a bit about your destination before your travels, so you can plan your photography around capturing images that convey the real spirit of that place from your own perspective.

Here are five tips that you can employ the next time you travel, so you can spice up your travel photography:

1. Pay Attention to Details:

When you are travelling to different places, keep in mind that each place is unique and there is something that always makes the location stand out from the rest.

Want to be a Great Writer? Then Don’t Focus on Writing. (Do This Instead)

Do you want to be a great writer?

To create stunning works of art that people can’t stop reading?

To craft brilliant articles that touch hearts and change lives?

Maybe being a great writer has been your dream since you were barely old enough to scribble on the walls in spaghetti sauce.

Or maybe you’ve been trying for years to get your writing career to “take off,” with no luck.

If so, you’ve probably already imbibed lots of writing advice. Everything from “write every day!” to “Sit down at the keyboard and bleed.”

Forget all that.

The key to writing well isn’t to focus on writing.

It’s to focus on your writing system.

Hemingway was an American journalist, novelist, and short story-ist whose brevity and inimitable style influenced an entire generation of fiction writers.

Stephen King is a prolific writer who has sold hundreds of millions of books, many of which have been made into movies and comics.

A.J. Jacobs is a journalist, lecturer, and editor at large for Esquire magazine.

You know what all these successful writers have in common?

A honed writing system.

Hemingway, King, and Jacobs didn’t just throw words on paper whenever they felt like it. If they did, they wouldn’t have become great writers and we would never have heard of them.

Hemingway always wrote in the morning, as soon as the sun rose. Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day, rain or shine. Jacobs writes ever-more-detailed outlines-that-turn-into-books while walking on a treadmill.

So if you want to be a great writer, don’t focus on great writing. Focus on creating and sticking to a great writing system.

Best 5 Keys to Writing a Q&A Piece People Actually Want to Read

Q&As—articles formatted as an interview transcription with a simple introduction, like these—can be a freelancer’s best friend. They require an interview with a single source rather than multiple sources, they follow a very specific format, and they appeal to readers because they place a greater focus on the subject’s voice.

I’ve used the format to my advantage plenty in my career. In one case when I felt the pay rate wasn’t high enough to justify a multi-source feature, I convinced the editor that a Q&A with a single authoritative business expert would satisfy her need for content (not to mention my need to hit a certain hourly rate). It was a win-win for both of us.

That doesn’t mean Q&As are easy, though. You have much less control over the content, and you can’t bolster a boring subject with your own interjections like you could in a normal reported piece. It’s why many freelancers specialize in the format: They’ve mastered the sometimes unorthodox skills and tricks that allow you to consistently churn out interesting interviews.

Read on for expert tips from freelancers who’ve published Q&As in major media outlets on how they identify great sources, conduct readable interviews, and stand out from other interview specialists.

Find a compelling subject

Monosyllabic responses do not make for page-turning prose. To create a compelling Q&A that editors will actually be interested in, you first need to find someone with an interesting point of view.

“It has to be someone that has something to say,” said Joel Keller, a New Jersey-based entertainment writer who’s published Q&As on Playboy, TV Insider, and Parade. “I end up getting offered a lot of people, and not everyone’s interesting enough to talk to.”

Keller often finds that the creative forces behind a TV show, for example, can be more interesting than actors or actresses on the show.

Also consider timing. Lisa Liebman, a New York-based freelancer who’s penned Q&As for Vulture and Vanity Fair, said she gets a lot of pitches but she looks for people in the entertainment business who have a project coming up that she deems worthy of press (not just some D-list celebrity or a reality TV personality).

Why Digitization of Regional Literature is Essential

India is currently the most linguistically varied country in the world. The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India recognizes 18 official regional languages in India with a developed script and literary tradition, along with ‘1576 rationalized mother tongues’ or dialects. Linguistic variety adds richness to the Indian culture, with every region having highly developed literary legacies.

Regional literature in India – novels, poetry, short stories, folk tales, regional alterations of the great epics stand testimonial to mankind’s  finest creation. Unfortunately, when it comes to unified awareness, such literature has limited recall.

This can be contributed to the diversity in dialect- with linguistic shortcomings handicapping the dissemination of these stories. There is a huge potential needing to be capitalized, with the rest of the world already being fascinated by India’s exotic culture. These literatures educate foreign residents on Indian life– its values, its people and its richness.

The Indian publishing industry can be divided into two segments- English language publishers and regional language publishers. While English publishers such as Penguin, HarperCollins, and Sage have majority of the publishing pie, the regional language publishers are slowly gaining grounds.

The energetic publishing industry is on an upward hike and is registering a growth of 20% year on year , with digital being one of the leading contributors to the progress of industry

The popularity of e-books continues to grow at a rapid pace, thanks to the many e-book platforms and the new reading devices infiltrating the market. The multitude of options, the ease of purchasing and downloading

9 of the Best Books on Writing You’ll Want to Read ASAP

While you’re packing your brain with knowledge, why not include a few writing-focused books on your reading list? The titles below can add a lot to any writer’s library — from helping you hone your craft to finding inspiration and determining where to pitch your ideas.

1. On Writing by Stephen King

Part memoir, part guidebook, Stephen King’s On Writing will appeal even to those who avoid King’s renowned horror-packed tales. In this book, King discusses how he came to be the writer we know today.

He also includes a toolkit packed with tips for beginners and a reading list with a few of his own favorites. Written in his signature style, this witty read will keep you entertained — and soaking up some great ideas.

2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is known as one of the masters, and her book Bird by Bird is an essential part of any writer’s toolbox. In this work, she shares herself and her craft with readers, including anecdotes that tie the pieces together into all-around great writing.

The title Bird by Bird refers to instructions provided to a Lamott’s brother, who was not sure how to start writing a school report about birds. The task seemed insurmountable. Her father’s advice was simply to take it “one bird at a time.”

That wisdom works far beyond academic reports.

15 of the Best Free Web Applications for Writers

Once upon a time, the typewriter was the only piece of technology a writer had to make his work easier. Now we not only have computers, but we can also access an endless array of useful writing tools on the Internet. Best of all, many of these web applications are absolutely free!

But it takes time to hunt down these apps (time you could be spending on writing), so I’ve done the work for you and put together a list of my favorites. Read on to discover 15 of the best free web applications for writers.

Nonfiction & Fiction Writing Tools

1. Draft

This distraction-free web-based writing interface is my go-to word processor when I’m not typing in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. The clean interface really helps me to focus on my writing.

Draft has many cool features (view them all here) including the ability to share your documents with other users and accept or decline their changes. I also love that Draft tracks how many words you write per day and will even send out a helpful email reminding you to meet your daily word count goal.

2. LitLift

LitLift is a wonderful web application for fiction writers that helps you write, organize, store, and share your stories. Once you create an account, you will have access to a treasure trove of easily customizable resources: plot lines, character sketches, idea generators, and much more!

Editing Tools

3. Grammarly

Grammarly is a proofreading tool that helps you spot grammatical errors, typos, and awkward sentences. Download the web extension and Grammarly will correct anything written in a web browser (yes, even your Tweets and Facebook updates). Though I don’t rely on Grammarly alone for my proofreading needs, it is a fast and efficient tool that I highly recommend.

10 Best Writing Apps for iOS and Android

We’re now at the stage where many people can write and publish articles directly from their phones or tablets. With larger screens for phones and great external keyboard support on tablets, there really hasn’t been a better time to start writing on your mobile devices.

Here are the best writing apps for iOS and Android according to us. Most of them also support markdown, which is something every writer should be aware of. Whether you’re working on your novel, or just preparing reports for the office, you’ll want to check out these apps because they are a big step up over the default notepad style apps.

1) iA Writer (iOS, Android)
iA Writer is one of the most well-known writing apps available, and for good reason. It looks great and works brilliantly across iOS and Android. While the Android version is a little behind in terms of features, it is still a good writing app for the platform.

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The iOS app has extra features, such as syntax highlighting, which allows you to see adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, or conjunctions in the document highlighted and much more. The iOS app also has full support for iOS 9 specific features like split screen. I’d say the Android version is more of a beta compared to the iOS version at this point, but regardless of your platform, iA Writer is a good choice.

Download iA Writer for Android (Rs. 70) | iA Writer for iOS (Rs. 1,200)

2) JotterPad (Android)
JotterPad is well designed and has a boatload of features that make it one of the better writing apps out there. It sports a Material Design look and has export options to PDF and DOCX. It even supports Markdown. The app is free to download but many of these features are behind a one time in app purchase of Rs. 350 to unlock Creative Mode.

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The great use of design and the smooth operation of JotterPad make even the free version a good option is you’re looking for a scratchpad that works great on Android. The full featured version is even better, and can measure up to most of the other apps on the list for some serious writing.

Download JotterPad (Free)

How Lego Built the Coolest Company in the World

When he disappears, he disappears behind the walnut door to his room—the door, it seems, must always be closed to seal him in his private capsule—and then there’s the sound of banging and rummaging in the closet, the padding of feet, and the sudden jangly spill of Lego bricks. And that’s it. We won’t see him for two, three, four hours. He doesn’t eat, he doesn’t drink.

We’ll crack the door to make sure he’s alive, and there in that slim line of light we can see the crown of his head bowed in concentration. His hands read the pieces off the floor like Braille, without his eyes having to see, and a flying machine suddenly materializes, or the minifigures amass for battle or celebration. Often he is making it up as he goes, talking to this world in low, sweet tones. Until the enemy arrives, or the monsters.

Then his voice gets growly and a war ensues with the shattering of brick, one of the dangerous costs of believing in the permanence of your own self-made utopia. He is teaching himself a great deal about this world of ours, things we can’t teach him ourselves. So—we retreat. He builds more. Dinner now, we call five times. And again.

When he emerges, he’s spent but smiling, half-here. He pushes a pea around his plate, eats nothing. When it’s over, and he’s cleared his dishes, he pads quickly back upstairs, the door bumps shut, another jangle of sound, the colored bricks, and he’s gone again.

But where?

So let this be a story about trying to find my son, and a whole lot of other kids, young and old, wherever they go, behind the walnut door. And let it begin in a storage closet in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, with a massive yellow duck. It’s a mini monster, this duck, almost exactly like Ernie’s rubber ducky from Sesame Street, but made out of nearly 25,000 Lego bricks—and the size of a Shetland pony.

When I first saw it, when I came face to face with its peaceable expression of innocent no-thought and its adorable citrine bill, I couldn’t help myself: I blurted out a laugh. More like an inadvertent snort, then laughter. Who would ever think to make such a thing? The answer was Sean Kenney, a youthful 38-year-old maker with reddish hair and blue eyes.

In fact, up until the duck moment, I’d been having a somewhat serious conversation with Kenney about his lifelong obsession with Lego bricks and, more specifically, about how, in his work as a Lego artist and entrepreneur, his medium—these bricks—seemed so primitive and regressive, well … so childlike.

But underneath, of course, I was also wondering: Why? Why was this nearly middle-aged man still playing—or getting to play—with Lego bricks?

“A LOT OF US MAKERS ARE JUST TRYING TO DO SOMETHING THAT’S NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE.”

Kenney didn’t disagree with the bricks being childlike. He wouldn’t even call himself an artist, as he feels he’s still playing after thirty-something years. When asked at what age he first began messing around with Lego bricks, there was no hesitation.

His earliest memory of life itself was at 2 in a New Jersey suburb, surrounded by a loving family (his dad a rabid DIYer), on the floor with them: the rainbow colors, the feel, the satisfying interlocking click. He was like a bionic person half made of Lego bricks. Or his psyche was. On his website he calls himself a professional kid. What was that? And where might the rest of us sign up?