How to Take Your Street Photography to the Next Level
Street photography is a very interesting “sub-specialization” to pursue. You don’t need models, high end gear, nor do you need to travel in order to practice and learn it. All you need to do is get out with your camera and be ready to meet new people, document life on the streets, and the ways of our civilization.
While street photography may sound like something very straightforward, there are certain tricks and tips that could help you bring your game to the next level. If you are eager to find out how to do so, you are at the right place. Stick with us because we are going to share some tips you might find useful.
The thing about street photography is not the immaculate image quality, but the moment captured on it. I mean, yeah, you have to know to take clear shots with as little damage as possible, but the scene and the emotion is what counts the most. And, you won’t be able to achieve this with a big lens that makes you look like a Soviet spy airplane.
You need to use a smaller, wide-angle lens that will help you to stay discreet. Whilst on the subject of discretion, try not to wear something that will make you stand out. If you want to take real action shots, you have to get close to people and blend into the crowd.
Another important thing is to stay as light as possible. You don’t want to miss that perfect shot that awaits you just around the corner just because the heavy gear wore you down and you have to take a breather at some local café.
Inconspicuous gear is what will get you unnoticed and allow you to make shots a few centimeters away from the subject. This is why you should leave that “threatening” DSLR and buy a compact point and shoot camera. Make sure to get the model that allows shooting in manual mode and can store images in raw format, so that you can send those raw files to experts, should you decide to pay for photo editing services.
Some of the cameras you should check are Nikon 1, Canon EOS-M3 and Fujifilm X100T. If you want to be able to make those ninja shots from the hip, a camera with a flappable screen is a nice addition to your ninja gear. Stealth mode will allow you to get some very nice shots without being noticed.
Get Some Accessories
While getting accessories is not of the utmost importance, they are still handy and could help you a lot on the streets. Get a strap that you can tie to your camera and around your wrist. Put on some cool shades and you are ready to blend in and take some very close shots.
There is No Need to Be Afraid of People
Rule number one of street photography is: “Do whatever it takes to not kill the candid moment!” And, asking people for permission to take a photo is exactly this. Sometimes, asking for permission is a must and it all depends on the circumstances. For instance, you won’t take photos of someone sitting in a café or restaurant without previously asking them, while on a busy day in a marketplace, or public transportation, you can go wild and capture dozens of candid moments with your camera.
Nightlife provides amazing opportunities for street photographers. The dimmed lights at night can provide that unique moment in your frame. If you haven’t practiced shooting in the night before, you will need a bit of practice. The catch is to learn how to avoid blur and how to compensate the lack of light with your aperture and ISO.
Make sure to bring your tripod with you if you want to play with long exposure shots. Traffic lights on the busy street can help you take some of the most amazing night shots you have ever made.
Ask around if there is an open basketball court nearby. You can take some very dramatic close ups of the street players. Make sure to ask people for permission in this case, especially if you are not familiar with the neighborhood.
Become a True Moment Hunter
Street photography is all about capturing the emotion and drama of the moment on the image. There is no general advice to read and become instantly enlightened. You will have to discover this for yourself. Usually, the first thing that attracts your attention as a photographer on the street is very possibly your street photography niche.
Also make sure to learn as much as you can about composition. While there are many things that can be fixed with professional photo editing services, bad composition is not one of them.
Use Your Smartphone
The Fujifilm X100T, the compact point and shoot camera that we have mentioned above, is fully compatible with a smartphone. This means that you can place this camera wherever you want and take full control over it with your smartphone. When you can manually control your camera via smartphone, you will be able to take those close-ups without anyone ever suspecting that you are taking shots.
As any other photography field, street photography requires experienced and a knowledgeable photographer in order for it to be rewarding in a professional sense. You could see quite clearly that this particular field requires far more mingling, wandering through town, and having a sense for the right moment to take a shot. This is why the most passionate street photographers don’t spend time post-processing their street images but instead use photo editing services. This way, they get more time to spend out there, on the streets, developing their eye, intuition and confidence.