Street photography is one of the most popular genre of photography. If you are wondering how to get better at street photography? Well good news for you! In this article I will be sharing with you “12 Amazing Street Photography Tips And Tricks You Should Know” in order to get better at street photography. These tips will also help you to make street photography as convenient as possible. Make sure you read this article till the end as I will be providing you with two more bonus tips.
Now, before we get into our main topic let’s first take a look at a short description of street photography:
What Is Street Photography?
Street Photography is a genre of photography which is dedicated to capturing everyday life in a public place. Street Photography enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge but not always, it can also be posed. Don’t mistake yourself by thinking that, street photography can be only done on streets. The name might suggest that but capturing photos on beaches, in museum’s and zoo’s, etc. are also considered as street photography.
Now, enough of this introduction let’s get started!
12 Amazing Street Photography Tips And Tricks Every Street Photographer Should Know
Here is a quick look at these 12 Amazing Street Photography Tips And Tricks:
- Use A Compact Light Weight Camera
- Hide In Plain Sight
- Always Pack Light
- Consider Using Burst Mode
- Get Off The Beaten Track
- Find True Colors
- Always Find Different Angles To Shoot
- Don’t Shoot Only In Golden And Blue Hours
- Be Ready For Anything
- Experiment With Long Exposures
- Get Creative
- Always Have A Spare Battery
Now, I am going to explain what each one of those means and how will it affect your street photography skills. The first three tips are more of a practical point of view rather then a technical point of view but they are also as important as any other tips mentioned in this article.
1. Use A Compact Light Weight Camera
When it comes for choosing a camera for street photography, always opt-in for a compact and light weight camera. A compact and light weight camera is ideal for street photography because it makes it easy to carry it around everytime with yourself and not attract the attention of the public, as it usually focuses on candid photographs.
Bottom line is, just find camera which fits your needs according to your photography skills and make sure it is not too heavy or very huge as it will make it harder for you to carry it around for a longer period of time and it will also attract the eyes of everyone which is what you usually want to avoid while you are doing street photography. I recommed you read my Ultimate Guide On Buying Your First Camera, Lens And Accessories especially if you are a beginner photographer.
2. Hide In Plain Sight
By saying “Hide In Plain Sight” , what I mean is do not be very flashy so that it will attract the eyes of everyone around you as well as do not try very hard to hide as it will be suspicios for the people around you and the resul will be the same. For instance, do not dress too well as it will attract the eyes of everyone around you as well as do not dress very poorly as it will do the same.
You wouldn’t want to do street photography in a 2000$ suit or a t-shirt which is very dirty and have several holes in it nor you want to try very hard for hiding by wearing a hoodie, a mask, hat, sunglasses and a muffler around your neck all at the same time while doing street photography as it will also do the same thing, attract the eyes of everyone around you.
Just wear something which is normal and casual which will help you blend in. This is because if you are a beginner photographer and when everybody will be looking at you, you might get nervous and wouldn’t be able to perform well.
3. Always Pack Light
While doing street photography you need to always pack light. Make sure you do not carry around a huge camera backpack with several lenses and too many high end professional equipments. Always carry a small camera backpack and a compact lightweight camera (#tip 1) with one or maximum two lens(es) one on your camera body and other in your backpack. If you wish to carry any sort of equipments and accessories I would recommend only a lightweight tripod and lens filters such as: UV lens filter, circular polarizer filter or an ND filter.
This is because a huge camera backpack with many equipments will make it harder for you to carry it around for several hours as it will be very heavy and also it will exhaust you and make you tired quickly.
4. Consider Using Burst Mode
If you’re observing a particular person and/or action, or expecting some sort of “climax” for your shot, then use continuous shooting mode (Burst Mode). It will give you the ability to capture several frames per second and will guarantee that you’ll get the shot you’ll be satisfied with. For instance, street performers, parades and other street entertainment can be great subject matter on the street and you wouldn’t want to miss any moment. In this kind of situations where there are many things happening you should use burst mode. This will guarantee you that you will be able to get every moment you want in your street photograph in just one click.
5. Get Off The Beaten Track
When it comes to street photography, you can capture sincere emotions and the true life of the city anywhere you are. Don’t just go to touristy places. Look around you and you’ll see excellent scenes that are worth photographing. Try to get ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘real life’ scenes in your street photographs.
6. Find True Colors
There will be debates about color vs. black and white for as long as photography lives. Black and white is often where it’s at with street photography but at times colourful situations arise and can really make a shot worth capturing for your street photograph. Always be on the look out for these kind of situations.
7. Always Find Different Angles To Shoot
Street photography is without a doubt a great photography genre to get creative. Experiment with different angles and framing to capture compelling images. Ask yourself, should you go with the birds-eye view? Or maybe some other unique way to capture the moment? Always find ways to get up high or down low, these new perspectives on subjects that are familiar can lead to eye catching shots for your street photography.
8. Don’t Shoot Only In Golden And Blue Hours
While it’s important to choose a particular time for landscape photography (for example, shooting before 11am or after 5pm), shooting during the golden and blue hour only doesn’t really work for street photography. For instance, shoot at night.
Night photography in the city is a great opportunity for unique images. It’s not as easy as shooting during the day as you will need to be mindful of low shutters speeds to avoid blur and use your ISO and aperture to compensate for low light. I would recommend you to read my article on Tips For Low Light Photography especially if you are a beginner photographer.
9. Be Ready For Anything
In street photography it is important for you to always be ready for anything that comes at your way. You do not want to miss any eye catching moments happening on the streets. This is also another reason to consider using burst mode (#tip 4). This is because in street photography you need to have your camera out and ready to shoot at all times. Things can move quickly on the street so if you’re not ready you’ll miss lots of opportunities.
10. Experiment With Long Exposures
I will say it again, street photography is one of the best genre of photography where you can get creative. That is why you should experiment with long exposure. There’s a never ending movement on the streets such as cars, pedestrians, cyclists with some interesting objects in the background. By using a long shutter speed, you’ll be able to convey the dynamics of the urban rhythm, or you’ll accentuate on a fixed object, which will give the shot multiple meanings.
11. Get Creative
This is the third time I am mentioning it. Street photography is one of the best genre of photography where you can get creative. This is because it helps show your artistic side of photography. For instace, you can use reflections in your street photography shots. Photos with reflections (or smoke/steam) add that sense of mystery in your shots. If done right, using reflection in photography will lead to stunning images.
12. Always Have A Spare Battery
You never know when you will find a perfect moment for your street photograph. You do not want your cameras battery to die when you find something interesting to capture. That is why not just for street photography but photography in general, it is very important to have few extra spare batteries so that you wouldn’t miss anything.
As promised at the beginning of this article, here are two bonus tips for you just to appreciate for dedicating your preciouse time for reading my article this far.
2 Bonus Tips:
- Shoot From The Hip
- It Is Important To Have Fun
1. Shoot From The Hip
As a general rule of street photography, if you can get the shot with the camera to your eye level, you will get a better shot. However, there are times when it’s not possible to raise the camera to your eye, and so shooting from the hip is a useful method of capturing a decisive moment. At first you won’t be successful right of the bat, but the more familiar you will become with your camera and the focal length you will be able to manage to capture some great candid moments.
2. It Is Important To Have Fun
It doesn’t matter what photography genre you do, it is very important to always have fun. Not just photography but life in general, do what you want which makes you happy and always have fun doing it. If you are not having fun while doing street photography, you might be doing something wrong or street photography isn’t just your cup of tea. If this happens step back and think what truly makes you happy.
You won’t get photography masterpieces every time you go out as there are a lot of factors involved, among it being luck, having the right mood, as well as a number of external circumstances of the city life. Street photography requires practice and the more you get out there, the more your eye will develop and your will confidence grow.
The approach is much simpler than other genres and manipulation should be kept to the essentials, with minimal to no post-processing. Strong street photos come from powerful ideas and emotions captured in a simplistic manner. It comes down to perception to force yourself out with your camera to capture decisive moments that unfold in front of you.
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