Do you wish you could capture the beauty and essence of street life? Those who travel, walk, work, and play on streets all over the world have a story to tell, and you could be the photographer to capture it. Practice will obviously improve the quality of your shots, but where do you begin?
We have the answer to this and solutions to many of your questions on street photography. Read on to find out the definition of street photography, to learn effective poses, and to see which techniques can work wonders.
What is street photography?
At its very heart, street photography is all about capturing ordinary, everyday life and society. It can be any part of any street. You can practice near your home or in a town center.
Street photos can often be taken surreptitiously without subjects knowing they are in your pictures. However, it’s best to get their permission, at least after photographing.
As long as you have fun with your shots and take your camera everywhere you travel, you will enjoy these types of shots. Capturing the emotion and humanity of people you encounter in their normal lives can take practice, but it is an extremely rewarding style of photography.
Street photography tips
- Use the best equipment. Not only your choice of the camera, but your choice of lens will influence how successful your street style photography will be. Many professional photographers use a smaller compact camera rather than a larger one. This allows them to blend in with the crowd on the street and not be seen by the people. Also, a wide-angle lens is less conspicuous than a telephoto lens. Blend in and see how many great shots you can achieve.
- Check how your camera is set up. The settings on your camera are just as important as which camera and lens you choose. A fast setting is to turn your camera into its Aperture Priority Mode, and select your aperture and ISO settings manually. Increase ISO to reduce blur. If you are not an experienced photographer, using the Auto setting on your camera is perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to let your camera work for you on the streets. There is often no time to take detailed measurements and make adjustments to settings. However, Auto mode is not best suited to low-light conditions. Instead, try a manual aperture setting.
- Never be without your camera. This sounds a little obvious, but the perfect subject and setting can appear at any time, so you have to be ready. You often only have a second to take a shot that will be perfect before it is lost forever. So be prepared for anything.
- Don’t be afraid to shoot from the hip. You will always be able to frame a photograph more imaginatively by looking through the viewfinder or LCD screen. However, this is not always possible on the streets. It might be more appropriate to discreetly take shots with the camera at your waist or a little higher. This allows your camera to blend into the environment much more easily and allows your subject to act naturally. You will achieve some great, candid shots this way. This method may also be suited to beginner photographers as it is less intrusive. If, at first, you are not successful in acquiring great images, persevere, and you will learn where the perfect focal length for your camera is, as well as how to frame from your hip too. Practice makes perfect.
- Embrace nighttime. Nighttime can be perfect for dramatic shots due to the lighting that comes alive in the darkness. You will probably need to use a tripod to capture sharp images in low light. Use a longer shutter speed to adjust for the lighting conditions. However, this can cause more blurring. But the blurring can always be used creatively and stylistically.
The best poses for street photography
- Laughing. This can be an extremely successful pose in street images. If you can capture your subjects laughing, they will look at ease, relaxed, and natural. However, try not to force this type of pose. It will not look natural if you do. Instead, interact with your subject and see if you can make them smile or laugh that way.
- Performing a task. Many examples of street images show a subject carrying out a duty or task that they usually and naturally perform daily. This can be cycling past a shop, preparing fruit and vegetables for display on a stall, or maybe a knife sharpener in action. Many of these shots can be taken without disturbing your subject. Just be ready to capture a photo whenever you can.
- Walking. This is another shot you can take without disturbing your subject. People on the streets walk, or cycle past all day long. Capture them as they pass a certain doorway or sign. This action shot is slow-moving, so it will not require too fast a shutter speed. You should be able to achieve a good balance of clarity, blur, and light.
Taking the best photos you can on the street takes patience and practice. The more images you take, the better you will become at this type of photography. The tips above will help you to frame wonderful images that require little or no editing afterward. The best images are often simple but capture emotion. Take your camera on every journey outside of the home. You must be ready to take a shot at any time when the opportunity presents itself. You can even post-edit shots with a background eraser tool online for free. Being flexible in your approach will help you become a good street photographer. So take a camera, find a street near you, and start practicing!