Anybody can be anything when there’s an iron resolve.
Yes, you can be a great Street shooter if you really want to be. Some folks might be wondering where to start from since cameras and training in photography are expensive these days. Well, I’ve got news! There are 3 basic things you need to pursue any dream:
** Desire. Skill. Knowledge **
You’ll need to really want to put in the effort, get skilled – keep practicing – and keep acquiring knowledge. Keep doing everything you can do with these 3 things that will prepare you for opportunities. Who knows? What you are chasing after might come chasing after you someday.
Street photography is a genre of photography that involves documenting everyday life and society on the streets. It’s about capturing moments in the society. It is usually done without the permission of the subject because most people aren’t even aware that they are been captured, but these photographs can also be staged.
THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TAKING GOOD SHOTS WITH CAMERA AND HAVING A CAMERA SHOOT THROUGH YOU. A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER KNOWS THIS. PERHAPS, THAT’S THE ONE THING THAT DISTINGUISHES A PROFESSIONAL FROM EVERY OTHER PERSON SINCE THE INVENTION OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY.
So, you want to be a great Street photographer? These 7 ideas can set you on the right path.
Choose the best lens
You may be tempted to use telephoto lens, but this won’t do you much good. Many Street photographers choose cameras that are less confronting than DSLR because those cameras are inconspicuous, they are smaller and easy to carry around. Use manual settings Switch to AV; aperture priority mode. Select f-stop or aperture and ISO manually. The camera will decide the shutter speed depending on the exposure f the camera. On bright sunny days, you can set the camera on f/16 with an ISO between 200 to 400. If the camera displays a shutter speed higher than 1/200th a second then you’re good to go! Be mindful of the shutter speed though, you run the risk of a blurred vision if the camera is reading 1/80th.
It is safe however, to set the camera to P mode – program or auto – if you’re new to photography and the camera will select the correct setting. You can adjust the EV if you want to over or under expose the shot to your liking. Program mode is great especially when you’re shooting run and gun, but you can’t rely on it in low light because your shutter speed will be too slow to freeze the action.
Capture the moments
The goal in Street photography is to document the emotion, depict character, and to show humanity. Get intimate. If you need to seek permission from strangers when you spot an interesting character, go right ahead. It takes time to get a good shot. With unceasing practice and patience, it’ll be worth it.
Focus on what’s important
It’s quite shocking to find that what’s important in Street photography is not the quality of pictures. Of course, you will get quality pictures every now and then (it’s a plus) but the things that are really important here, are composition, light, drama, and the story you want to tell with the pictures. And those are the things can’t be substituted for fine picture quality. In Street photography, poor composition, lighting or expression with fine picture quality is not an option you should consider.
Take your camera everywhere you go
Since Street photography is impulsive in nature, you will need to take your camera with you as you go out. See your camera as an extension of yourself. It’s what you use to project the story you want to tell. There are decisive moments…that you can’t afford to miss because you won’t get a second chance to shoot. If you don’t have your camera with at such times, you will lose the idea forever.
Shoot from the hip
There are times when it’s not possible to raise your camera to your eye. Shooting from the hip will help increase your focal ability which will be useful for capturing decisive moments.
Shoot at night
There’s something about shooting at nights that gives your images a unique feature. Find interesting lines, shadows, and composition to give a bold visual statement.
Remember, it’s not about taking pictures alone in Street photography, but depicting characters and showing emotion and humanity. Don’t box your thinking. Creativity is on your inside, just draw it out. Don’t imagine that there’s a box somewhere. Think like there’s no box at all.