What is Street Photography to me ?
To me street photography is real you. I mean my first love is landscapes and travel ..but when I see my street pics .. I know how bad I am at it .. getting a point of view , getting those stories , getting your frame , focus right in fractions of seconds is your real test .
Not only your commercial work , street photography can make you famous , real famous .
Streets to me is about the drama in the shot , the patterns and lighting , people , involvement of your self in the shot . Would always prefer a wider angle lens than a telephoto …
Its that particular moment time of people in public places you capture and showcase to the world , daily lives of different people and all the happenings in different areas
“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Robert Capa
Sharing my TIPS ( these are not new – but thought to put them together in my own words )
#1 Pre-visualizing the shot
No matter what is your POV , learning to pre-visualizing the shot needs practice , patience. Yes you should be able to see and judge your shot in advance , try to hunt the right place , angle and wait like a tiger for a kill .. You would know your backdrop , lighting , angle and you know what will make a great shot . This is also true for moving subjects .. you should be able to foresee if moving subject will make a great story at XXX place , angle ..run there and grab the shot
#2 Shoot from the hip
Well this technique is very common but a great deciding factor in your POV . This technique has been there even before street photography was a genre ( Yes I read that in an article ). Changing to a lower POV immediately gives height dimension to your images and makes people come to life
It may be very difficult to always look into the viewfinder and shoot from the hip , well with practice you can actually imagine your frame with a prime ( at least ) and judge your shoot . Let’s say for example : regular tiles you see in floor ,you can judge with practice that 1 tile away it will be a close-up shot , 2 tiles away will be half body and 3 tiles away you will get your full figure in frame
A horse shoe bubble levelers are also available in market for you to see get the right horizon ( no tilt) when shooting from hip ( about 500 – 1200 Rs INR )
#3 Manual Focus is the key
You really do not want your camera to focus and judge the best focus in streets ..it will focus based on light , distances to objects and many more … shift manual focus . Many times it may seems your whooping 52 focal points in auto are a ++ , well not many times ..
#4 Do not remove the eye from viewfinder after the shot
Yes do not remove the eye from the viewfinder after the shot , keep looking here and there and people will think as if you’re still searching for your frame . It will avoid unnecessary attention from the subjects
#5 Contrast and Shadows
They work wonders so many-times its not only early mornings and evenings ..afternoons are your best times for shoot
#6 Not only people
Yes , arguably >> the most controversial point of street photography . It requires people and lot of people or candid portraits .. ACTUALLY NO !
Streets is more than just people . No questions that human element brings / adds life to the shot ..but focus may not be on human element only / itself . Patters , colors , contrast , geometrical shapes ( like leading lines , curves , frame splits , light plays ) play crucial roles in street photography and main focus can be diverted to this instead of life on street ..
#7 Be your self
Either you shoot gorilla style ( hide from people and take the shot ) or get into real conversations and take the shot with pre-acknowledgment ..it’s you who decides what’s the best thing to do at a particular moment . Be your self . Shot how you feel comfortable ..do not be scared to come out of your comfort zone ..