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Tips for Shooting and Editing Street Photography | Settings for Street Photography

10.05.2021
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street photography tips

Definition of Street Photography

Street photography is one of the oldest genres in photography. It originated with the advent of the portable camera. We love her for her non-staging because the composition of the frame is real situations on the street. Nobody poses here, doesn’t pick up artificial lighting, and doesn’t care about additional attributes.

How to start street photography? Street photography has always been and will be the most accessible genre. Creativity in this case requires a keen interest of the photographer to the world around him and compact photographic equipment. Where to look for plots? How to catch sincere emotions and remain invisible? What kind of weather is good for a street photographer? Read the answers to these and many other questions in the street photography tutorial.

Street Photography Tips: Use a Discreet Little Camera

The legendary Henri Cartier-Bresson, the great master of street photography and the father of reportage photography, spoke about this. The French photographer was known for covering the shiny parts of his watering can with dark duct tape to stay invisible in the crowd.

People around you react much more calmly to a mirrorless, moreover, it allows you to shoot from a belt, without aiming directly at a person. People do not feel your attention on themselves – you never know what you are looking at down there – and some do not even suspect that they are being photographed. Doing this street photography technique, the rotary touch screen can instantly point your finger at any object in the frame, while simultaneously releasing the shutter. A qualitatively different principle of street photography has emerged.

How to Do Street Photography: Shoot with a silent shutter

Continuing the stealth theme – ideal if your camera has a silent mode. Passers-by are more likely to notice a loud shutter click, especially if you are using burst shooting. Thus, you may miss a moment or plot that is important to sneak up on so as not to frighten off.

Tips for Street Photography Beginners: Look for Unusual Angles

street photography tutorial

Imagine: beautiful evening light flooded the street, but you don’t see the frame. Think about how to show the light beautifully? Try to walk around the building, see how the composition is built in this case? Maybe the shot will become more interesting when you choose the lower point of the shooting? Use a flip-up camera – “inconvenient” shooting points will simply disappear for you!

Street Photography Camera Settings: Experiment with Long Exposures

The street is the environment where the movement does not stop for a second. Cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and against their background – a majestic temple or the silhouette of a motionless stranger talking on the phone. By shooting long exposure shots, you can convey the dynamics of the urban rhythm, or you can focus on a stationary object, which will add ambiguity to the frame.

Where to Do Street Photography

The subway as a subject of shooting is always, one might say, at hand. The shooting conditions are quite tolerable in the subway: dry, warm, light all year round from 5:30 am to 1:30 am. A great alternative to shooting outdoors if it’s rainy or dark! The metro is a very curious social environment. You see hundreds of people, interesting both individually, and in groups, and in a crowd that behaves generally in their way, dozens of scenes unfold in front of you. You cannot shoot in the subway with a tripod.

Settings for Street Photography: Alternate Color and Black and White modes

Disputes about color and black and white will exist for as long as photography will live. Therefore, now we will not divide the subjects into color and monochrome, but simply advise bringing more variety to creativity. Going for a walk, for example, set yourself up to notice exclusively objects of orange tones or combine shades of a certain color in the frame.

Or vice versa – concentrate on monochrome black-and-white drawing, watch the black-and-white works of the classics and try to choose similar subjects.

Tips for shooting and editing street photography

street photography technique

In addition to choosing a plot and embodying a certain idea, you are shooting a landscape or people, maybe animals, you need to decide on the settings of photographic equipment. On a sunny day, these are usually:

  • Shooting is desirable in aperture priority mode (A – Nikon, Av – Canon) if you do not shoot dynamic scenes.
  • ISO minimum is 100 or lower (if supported by your camera).
  • The aperture (f) is closed, meaning the value is large. This is necessary so as not to damage the optics in the sun and so that the rays do not expose the frame. It is recommended to set f from 10. But to shoot a portrait, such aperture may not be suitable, because not only the character but also everything around will fall into the field of view. Low f and very fast shutter speeds can be used to achieve the minimum depth of field.
  • Exposure can go up to thousandths of a second. This will again level the exposure. If you shoot in aperture priority mode, the shutter speed will be set independently.
  • White balance “sunny day” or 5200-6000 Kelvin. Manual mode has undeniable merit, but only works in the hands of a knowledgeable person. Feel free to use it if you can accurately assess what color rendition is in reality and what will suit you in the picture.
  • Do not take pictures against the sun. The subject should be well lit and not blocking out sunlight. Unless you want to take off the black silhouette. You can shoot against the sun, but only with flash compensation.
  • It is advisable to photograph in the shade. Direct sunlight, such as on your face, creates harsh shadows and your subject squints in the sun.
  • It’s time to use filters! For example, neutral greys and polarising greys, which reduce the amount of light entering the camera, also remove glare and outline the sky. I use polarising all the time if I shoot during the day.

What awaits us in cloudy weather? The settings are completely different:

  • Shooting is desirable in aperture priority mode (A – Nikon, Av – Canon) if you do not shoot dynamic scenes.
  • ISO 100 and above. There is less light, which means it’s time to increase the sensitivity of the camera. Do not get carried away too much, as in some cameras the 800 is an indicator at which signs of image noise are already beginning to appear. My advice to you, change the ISO last if you understand that there is not enough light at all!
  • Aperture (f) open. Not necessarily the maximum, but a value of 10 or higher, which is quite adequate in the sun, is too high here. In practice, I often use f 7.1. Well, here it is also important to know what you want to achieve. If you are shooting a portrait, then the aperture can be opened at 2.8 or 3.5 (if your lens supports it).
  • The shutter speed is also short, but no more than 1/200, 1/400. Otherwise, the illumination will below. Again, if you shoot in aperture priority mode, you don’t have to worry here, the camera will adjust itself. Most importantly, it should not be longer than 1/60 s. (there was no 1/30, 1/15, and so on). With these values ​​for handheld shooting, the photos are not clear.
  • White balance “cloudy”, “shade” or from 6000 Kelvin.
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