Photography tips The Secret to Great Street Photography2020-01-25 | photography
Street Photography is not an easy thing to master by any means. The modern world is fast moving and complex, no street or scene will ever be the same.
What Makes a Great Street Photograph?
Street Photography is not an easy thing to master by any means. The modern world is fast moving and complex, no street or scene will ever be the same. A lot of practice is needed in order to capture this fast moving and constantly inspiring modern world. In this fast moving world a great street photograph can tell us something about life, the world, and give us an insight into different cultures. They speak to us, creating emotion and thoughtfulness. A successful street photographer will need to make the viewer think or invoke a particular feeling. Super street photographs are available to you everywhere you look, in every public space. You can create your own thought inspiring street photographs by using the magical opportunities you see every day. The Secret to Creating a Great Street Photograph?
The first and one of the most important keys to creating fantastic street photography is to slow down. Although it is fine to treat your street photography as if you are taking a beautiful stroll through the city, you will find it very difficult to walk, pay full attention and be able to capture quality street photos at the same time. Try stopping every now and again and just sitting or standing for a short time. You will discover many ordinary scenes which can be turned into extra-ordinary street photographs. If you are too busy moving you may find yourself out of position when a moment arises and it will be very difficult to stop your motion enough to achieve a sharp shot whilst framing correctly at the same time. You may be shocked at the amount of great photographical moments that pop up when you’re just sitting and waiting.
Yes you will need to slow down in respect to waiting to capture the perfect street photograph, but you will need to be quick and ready to capture what’s going on around you. After all street photography revolves around responding to what’s going on around you. Yes walk slowly, ensure you are always scanning for curious events happenings, but move quickly when you spot the opportunity for a great street photograph. Capturing the significant moments is essential. It’s important to remember that the perfect moment won’t wait!
Make the most of what’s around you and what you know. You don’t need to go searching for some exciting new location to shoot your street photography. The most interesting places are more often or not the ones closest to home. A further advantage of shooting your street photographer locally is that you will have an instinct for where and where not to go. Make use of the local knowledge you already have and use it to your advantage.
Know your boundaries
It is important when shooting street photography and capturing interesting moments to know your boundaries. If someone interesting something catches your eye, then by all means follow them for just a few steps, or indeed cross the road to get a better view. But be wary of making people uncomfortable, you don’t want people to think you are stalking them. Getting your distance right is important which you will perfect with a little practice. Yes you want to get near enough to the scene to capture the action, but still give people enough personal space. You can combat this by searching out interesting billboards, textured walls, great window displays, to name only a few, and waiting. Just slow down, wait a few moments and when someone walks into your chosen background, take the shot and complete your picture.
Light and Shadow
Great street photographers will pay attention to where shadows are falling, and in contrast, to where the light is shining. Generally in photography it is common knowledge that the early morning and late afternoon light is better to shoot. But with street photography you can shoot great photographs any time of the day, just make sure you focus on what the light is doing. There is power in good lighting so if you are lucky enough to find a thought-provoking scene and the lighting is good, I would definitely suggest hanging around and waiting to see what happens.
Make Use of Angles
Don’t always shoot from eye level; sometimes this may make for a good street photograph, but certainly not every time. Why not try shooting from different angles, such as the hip, up high and down low. Try standing on benches or crouching. Don’t be afraid to experiment with angles, simply holding your camera and moving it to different angles. This way you’re bound to shoot thought provoking interesting street photographers with interesting compositions and angles.
Don’t worry too much about the kind of camera you make use of for your street photography. DSLRs are both fast and responsive, but these bigger cameras can be heavy and you’ll stand out more. Compact cameras are great for the street as you’ll be less visible, but they’re not always as quick. But street photography is not only about the type of camera you use, it’s also about creativity and communicating a story, so don’t worry too much when you’re starting out.
One of the best ways to get started or improve your street photography is to take a look at the work of great influential street photographers. Take inspiration from other great street photographers who have worked hard to communicate stories, such as Eric Kim, John Free and Bruce Golden. A simple google search will pull up many more street photographers which you can use to enhance your creativity and learn what makes a great street photograph.
If you want to get started in street photography or just improve, you can use the ideas above to get started. Try some of them for size or just a few, either way you will soon discover what works for you. Remember to be inspired, consider your location, the camera you use, the light and angles and you’ll soon be creating superb and memorable street photography.