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Street Photography Tips for Beginners

November 2, 2017

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Street Photography Tips for Beginners

November 2, 2017

Street photography is an art or inquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. The essence of street photography is about documenting everyday life and society on the streets. You can find opportunities to practice street photography everywhere and you don’t necessarily need to travel to capture great shots.

It’s a genre usually done candidly without permission and without your subject’s knowledge.

Here are few tips to motivate you, when you are just getting into Street Photography.



# Best Lens for Street Photography

Deciding which lens to use is one of the most important factors for street photography. You may be tempted to use a telephoto lens, but in my opinion, when you are physically closer and not using a longer lens doesn’t have the same effect. Use a wide-angle lens and get lost in a busy crowd.          

In the beginning, you might be afraid to get close and receive negative reactions. But, remaining calm over time helps you to get positive reactions while on the street photographing.

Being closer has many advantages. You will be able to connect better with your subject.




















# Camera Settings

The Easiest way to set up your camera for street photography is by switching the camera to AV / A / Aperture-priority mode and selecting your f-stop (aperture) and ISO manually. In this mode, camera will then decide the shutter speed (exposure). During daylight, it’s good to start with aperture value F/16 with an ISO between 200-400. Take note of the shutter speed your camera is reading and make adjustments to aperture and ISO accordingly.

If you’re new to photography you can set camera to P mode or Program Mode also and let the camera select the correct settings. This is useful if you are in a hurry with no time to think, but you have little control over what the camera is doing, but this isn’t always the best option.




# Storytelling Pictures

Before you click a picture make sure you think about the actual subject of the picture and then fill the frame only with objects that are relevant to this subject and their story.

The photographer can play with different storytelling elements. If keeping storytelling in mind, a street photography project can become the more interesting.





# Work the scene

One of the common mistakes in street photography is that photographers only take 1–2 photographs of the scene, and move on because either they are too self-conscious, nervous, or impatient.

Work the scene. Take multiple photos of the scene. Preferably 15–20 (more tends to be better).

The more you “work the scene” the more likely you are to make a great photograph. 


# Think outside the box

Photographing by having the camera in front of your eyes and from this point of view without changing the perspective is means that pictures from the standard eye level are very regular and appear uninteresting.

By choosing a different angle, you show a different view of the world that we usually don’t face. You can lie your camera on the ground and take pictures from there. It may be difficult in some busy places, but take a walk down a side street and look for different subjects that interest you.

Be creative. There are infinite opportunities for all kinds of images with or without people.




# Look for Lines / Patterns / Texture

You can do more conceptual street photography without people that focuses on lines, patterns, and textures.  By finding lines, patterns, and textures of old buildings or places, you can add more character and emotion into your photograph.




# Leading lines

A leading line paves an easy path for the eye to follow through different elements of a photo.

The easiest place to find a leading line is on a road. Roadways are inherently leading because they go somewhere, give us a feeling of motion.

Leading lines are all around us in cities and in nature. Before taking a shot, take a moment to examine the scene for its prominent lines. Leading lines are the key compositional element that carries our eye through the photograph. They can be used to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between two objects.

# Embrace negative space

Negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in your photo and the main subject is known as the "positive space”

I always prefer having negative space in my photograph. Negative space allows your photograph to “breathe” and for your viewer to focus more on the single subject in your photograph. 

You can add more negative space to your photograph by capturing dramatic shadows. 



















These are some practical tips and techniques to use in street photography, but this isn’t a full-list. Try a combination of these techniques.

Though we all have different styles and approaches, trying something outside of your comfort zone will help you grow and develop as a photographer.


All the Best and Happy Photography!





Blog & Pic Ref: Various sources from Google.




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