Featured Street Photographer – Mike Reed

Why Street Photography?

As a kid I always loved to wander with foot and mind, the back streets, lanes and places. My father was a kind of ‘rag and bone’ man.

Thus I am a flâneur, a collector of junk, detritus, books, photographs. A camera was something I could use easily use and carry as I couldn’t sketch that well, let alone paint.

I am lucky with a sense of humour, a quick eye and a very big imagination. I love to think outside the square. Sometimes I am a little obscure, odd in what I see. The world has its oddities and humour and I love that side of life.

( I am an odd-ball too)

What Got You “Into” Street Photography?

 So at 21 and with a $3000 inheritance, I bought a Hasselblad and took off round Melbourne .

My profession as a film editor taught me see even more. Work and clients were demanding , many long hours so I always carried Nikon compacts and F-Series and shot to and fro work or whenever I got a chance.

A William Eggleston Book and “Family of Man” made me look harder in and around me. I shot whatever tripped my interest meter ,whether in “my own backyard” or overseas

Since retiring, I am full time in the street. Another book “Street Photography Now” and the spin off Flickr Group: Street Photography Now Project which gave instructions each week … seeded ideas , inspired me and multiplied excursions ,a thousand fold , into the suburbs and beyond.

Best Tip?

Take your camera with you , whenever and wherever… I got one of my best shots at my front gate (The Concrete Sunbather).

Photography: It will take 10,000 hours to get really good at it.

Always walk, if I am on a tram I get off a couple of stops before and wander. Take the back streets too.

Blend in, camouflage yourself…thus dress accordingly.

Favourite “Go To” Spot?

Anywhere there is human life. it could be Dandenong or Broadmeadows. I always check “Whats On” or other newsletters and papers.   Do research. Plan A to B then there is the rest of the letters too.

I photograph as I see the world and I see the world as I photograph it.


 I always carry 2 cameras: one small compact …either Olympus OM-D , Leica M9, Sony A7rll with a 24mm or 35mm (equivalents) and Nikon D3X with 24-70mm. The small camera for unobtrusive, in close shots while the Nikon with zoom for on the run, across the street or even from the car . The full frame gives me ability to crop.

I use Lightroom for global enhancement work and key words to cull and sort my shots. I use PS to really fine tune my exhibition/Final Images.

 Final Thoughts?

 I have some links etc. to share on my website , as well as these…


An Album on Flickr

References to photo sites

7 Golden Tips re Photojournalism

Magnum Contact Sheets

7 Things to learn fro HCB

ASX on Eggleston

Some great Street Photography sites.

Ok, let’s check out Mike’s images!

Nikon D3X 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 ƒ/7.1 70.0 mm 1/640 200 Flash (off, did not fire)

“Urban Attitude” Nikon D3X 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 ƒ/7.1 70.0 mm 1/640 200 Flash (off, did not fire)

Mike is quite skilled at creating a story in a single frame. A lifetime working as a film editor has surely had a positive impact on his ability to capture moments in time. The first image has a strong feeling of boldness, with the key subject in middle of the frame striding out confidently. The nice juxtaposition of the “urban attitude” sign works in an almost playful way with the subject. The gap in the street fencing and the hydrant also add to the focus on the subject.

As the viewer spends more time with the image, the second subject gradually becomes clear. The female subject following behind has a bent and broken posture – in direct contrast to the male subject.

"Mindless" Nikon D3X 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 ƒ/7.1 60.0 mm 1/25 800 Flash (off, did not fire)

“Mindless” Nikon D3X 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 ƒ/7.1 60.0 mm 1/25 800 Flash (off, did not fire)

What a great “spot” by Mike! To be able to recognise an opportunity to frame an image like this is a pretty cool skill to have! I am not sure I would have seen the possibilities, walking past the “thought bubbles”. Keeping your eyes open and giving situations and scenes a chance to be “seen” is something I am considering more as a result of seeing Mike’s work.


A wonderful use of parallel lines. It sorta reminds me a little bit of the Golden Ratio… Not sure if it specficially works within the theory, but the curved parallel lines work beautifully here.

My favourite use of the Golden Ratio of all time!

My favourite use of the Golden Ratio of all time!

The subject is moving in a linear, straight line, which contrasts with the curved lines on the road. The straight, yellow lines increase the tension – they are both straight vs the curves, and different in colour.

The curved theme is even reflected in the advertisement on the side of the tram.

The image is very dynamic – there is motion throughout the image, creating a compelling interest. There is tension between the subject and the curved lines – almost as if the subject is breaking through different barriers.

The colours in the image are aesthetically pleasing. The shadow of the subject falls onto the road in a way that highlights movement.

I also picked out some other images from Peter’s stream on flickr to discuss here.


Images like this make me want to get out and take on the challenges of shooting at night. The repetition is strong in this image, with “threes” being aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. The balance of the image favours the right hand side, with the vacant ATM on the left. The silhouetted subjects break the illuminated framing of the ATMs.


A great reminder of how leading lines can create a great image. The different subjects along the line of the rail makes a great “slice of life” style image. From the couple completely oblivious on their phones on top left, through to the pensive look of the girl bottom right, there are contrasts and different stories along the rail.


I am just a sucker for Fan Ho style images! So, I had to pluck this one from Mike’s feed.

Thanks for spending some time with MSP Mike!


One Response to “Featured Street Photographer – Mike Reed”

  1. Wow, super post with super pictures.


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