You know what, after the previous article which I wrote about street photography, many readers were requesting me to also share some tips on how they can make their own street photography. Well, here are some tips which I hope will help you with street photography.
1. Crowd is your golden nugget
The people is very important in street photography. Visit the town center or the places where people gather. Even though street photography does not necessarily require people to be in it, yet most of the times having people in your street photography strengthen the story of your image.
Sometimes you may encounter an event you want to take photos of. For instances, drug dealer selling drugs, people fighting, and war are just some examples of events which you may want to rethink before taking photos of.
Street photography is sometimes risky, yet the risk makes it unique. But keep in mind that you have to also calculate the risk against the rewards before taking street photography.
3. Do you have to ask permission?
I don't really ask permission of people I'm taking photos of. It does not matter as long as I'm using the images for private collection. If I'm using them commercially, let's say selling them on stock libraries, then I must get their approval and have them sign my model releases.
Brand, logo, symbol, and other copyrighted pictures can be photographed as long as they are not used commercially.
Other than that, street photography is totally free to take.
People may not like a stranger taking photos of them. Then what to do? My suggestion is to avoid looking at them in the first place. If you can avoid conflict, that is the best choice.
You are not doing anything wrong by capturing street photography. So if someone approaches you, just tell them honestly. The worst thing can happen is that they ask you to delete the picture.
5. How to not attract people’s attention
Preventing is always better than curing. Here are some simple tips to minimize people's attention while taking street photography.
• Wear dark clothes. Bright colors attract attention easily.
• Keep your elbows in when taking the photos. Spreading your body makes you stand out.
• Have the camera set. Get the photos quickly.
• Keep the camera strip high, closer to your head. It minimizes the movement required to have the camera ready.
• Get use with the camera. Always carry your camera everywhere, as if it was your second skin.
6. Find interesting street photography subjects
Autumn is the season when the trees become so colorful that they look so romantic. During the autumn last year, I was planning to take street photography about couples. Then I waited at a spot where I had seen many couples walk through.
Picking a theme for street photography is essential. You want to share your audience about the story in your street photography.
7. Always have the camera ready
Street photography is all about moments. Most of the great moments are not repeatable. Carrying your camera all the time is the best advice I can give if you want to take street photography.
Train yourself to be at the right place at the right time.
For street photography, I personally like to have the highest shutter speed possible to capture blink moments. For that reason, I prefer light quantity over quality. Having said that, the best time of the day to capture street photography is during the morning and afternoon, especially during summer.
9. Where to shoot from
Stand close to the object. You want to capture the whole scene. When you are on the spot, take as many pictures as you can. Don't leave the scene too early. Make sure you have captured everything you can get.
10. What is the best camera setting?
There is no fixed guide on the best setting you can use. The rule of thumb is use the shallowest focus to emphasize on the object and blur the background.
11. Color or Black/White?
Again, street photography is all about your own preference. Nothing is better than the other.
Black/white, for my opinion, is good to give a retro impression. If you have big desire on classical-type photos, then black/white may be suitable for you.
If you feel that the color has the power to tell the story of your street photography image, then colored photos are the best.
12. Take action now!
Street photography totally requires you to go out and take photos. There is no other way to be a great street photographer other than going through a decent hours of practice.
I hope these tips are useful for you. Have fun taking photos!