Basic Tips for Street Photography
Street photography is a beautiful sport. You will find everything on the street, and it is continuously moving. It is a way to capture everyday life, and that is one of the reasons that many people are so taken in by beautiful street photographs.
But how do you make a good street photo? And how do you ensure that you do not stand out? Here 10 tips for the (starting) street photographer.
1. The camera
If you want to be serious about street photography, then there are some factors of your camera that you have to pay attention to. First, you want a silent shutter. In this way, you draw less attention from the people around you when you take pictures, and you leave the surroundings as intact as possible while you can walk unobtrusively.
You also do not want a delay between pressing the shutter release button and the actual print. In street photography you usually have to be fast: the street is alive, there is constant movement, so the moment you see something you want to photograph, you have to be able to take the picture very quickly.
Further points to watch out for are that your camera is sensitive to light and therefore can focus on dark places, that you have a usable high ISO (i.e., no disturbing noise at), and that your camera is light enough for you. As a street photographer, you usually walk around for a few hours and then you do not want to carry too much.
2. Prime lens
It is strongly recommended in street photography to use a prime lens, for example of 24mm or 35mm. This has several reasons. First of all, prime lenses are smaller and therefore less noticeable as a photographer. If you have a zoom lens of 200 mm, you will soon attract attention and people will also have it when you point the camera at them.
Second, a prime lens often focuses faster than a zoom lens. This is convenient for the above point: you have to be able to act very quickly in street photography. It will be an embarrassment if you miss your shot because your zoom lens needs too long to focus. You can also use focus lock for this if you already know that you want to take a picture from a particular place and wait for the moment that something happens.
Finally, a prime lens is also simply lighter than a zoom lens. And that really saves you more than you think the moment you spend a whole day with your camera in your hand or around your neck.
A prime lens apparently means that you have to get closer to your subject if you want to make a close-up. If you’re going to take a portrait photo of a stranger, it looks scary at first glance. But it is actually less noticeable. People do not expect so quickly that you take a picture of them from close by, and taking a photo from close up seems a lot less suspicious than when you aim a vast zoom lens at someone from the other side of the street.
You will soon see that you become more active in learning to watch and that you simply collect a lot more beautiful photo. Of course, you can experiment, and you have to decide for yourself what works best for you.