Street photography is worlds apart from staged family portraits and Instagram travel shots. It is the spontaneous capture of interesting human subjects or a vibrant street scene; blink and you’ll miss it. Street photographers take their trusty camera everywhere because they know a great photo could be around the next corner.
If you’re new to street photography, here are some useful tips.
Choose the Right Camera
Professional photographers typically carry a large DSLR, but for an amateur, a small compact is a better choice, as it’s easier to use on the hoof and less conspicuous. To begin with, use the P mode so the camera automatically selects the best settings, but once you get the hang of it, try experimenting with different shutter speeds and exposures. Wide-angle lenses are perfect for street photography. They allow you to get up close to the action.
Many photographers are afraid of causing offense by taking candid photos of passing subjects. They worry it will get them into bother. However, if you want to embrace street photography and capture the human experience, you need to let go of your fear and take a step out of your comfort zone. Find a place in an interesting location and wait for the perfect shot. If someone does notice you taking photos and is offended, show them the photo and offer to delete it if they object.
Tell a Story
Street photography is your take on the world. Look for scenes that speak to you. It could be anything from a crowded marketplace in Bangkok to a man sleeping rough in a concrete tunnel on a cold winter’s night. Look for contrasts. Rich and poor, old and young, even contrasting light and shade all make powerful images. The very best street photography captures an emotion, so you need to be ready with your camera. To begin with, start local in places you are familiar with, and then look for new locations, the busier the better.
The best photos don’t happen immediately. You may have to wait for a great image and you will probably have to take hundreds of shots to end up with one decent one.
Hot on the heels of our last tip, it is a good idea to wear comfortable clothing. Hanging around in one place for hours is tough in poor weather. Make sure you are warm (or cool).
Once you have captured an iconic image you’re proud of, look for the perfect frame in our online store!