By @ijyoyo | October 09 2020 | Envision
Back in my early high school days I did a lot of street photography. Street photography was the most accessible photography for me even when I wasn’t able to take photos of people.
What is Street photography? Street photography is where you take photos in the city, you take photos of people, urban environments.
This article will give a few street photography tips and explanations for creating amazing street photography photos.
1. Remember one thing. Story Telling, Story Shower
I wish I knew this earlier then I did. When starting street photography and art in general that things are subjective to the viewer.
This was a good basis for street photography ideas.
Whatever is happening in the scene happens. That’s the thing that inspires me so much about street photography, nothing is really planned and everything is in the moment unexpected to both you and the reality.
However as a photographer you should be able to compose the shot so you are also telling a story with your image.
Focus on your subject and what you would like to portray. Choosing a subject or a setting is a good place to start.
Some examples for subjects include animals, street portrait photography, buildings or a general condition.
Color Theory is so important for starting photography. Some color theories to learn may include complementary colors, Triad colors, Monochromic.
My favorite tool while learning photography and to this day is Adobe Color.
Very helpful for visually seeing color Theory. Black and white street photography is popular as well.
You can also use monochromatic or color pops where everything is a single color expect for one area of the image. This allows the eye to look at this as a pivot point for the rest of the image.
How to shoot street photography portraits? Composition is essential for any photography or videography work. Story telling with a purposeful composition can enhance you image so much. This may be by shooting from a higher point from your subject, shooting at eye level with your subject, or at a lower point from your subject.
Urban streeting photography allows you to think of yourself as in a box for a second where you are placed in the middle with your camera. You can move forward and backward. You can also shoot to your left or your right.
But you can also shoot while squatting or you can go from a higher perspective and think outside of the box.
A few thing sI have learned over the years is to interact with your subjects. When you are going down the street you will see all sorts of people from young children to older people. I think I really fell in love with Madison while I was out taking photos downtown.
Interacting with your subject may mean talking to them before taking their photos, getting them comfortable and actually being human. If people aren’t interested in getting their photos taken just accept it and move on.
I used to say I was getting into photography and some of the photos turned out really good. Oftentimes I find it also makes people really happy and it’s a really great time. How do I get comfortable shooting strangers? Well first ask them if it is okay to photograph them for your portfolio/instagram.
Be polite always. Also make sure to check your state laws to see if you are legally allowed to take photographs of people in public. Most states it is legal to take photographs of others in public, however if someone asks you to delete the images respect their privacy.
I’ve also learned that often if you are confident and don’t seem suspicious taking photographs of people, people generally don’t mind and will be thrilled to help you out! When I was first starting I would scramble my camera around and maybe get a good shot.
However once you do it enough times and you can show relationship to your subjects people will be much more comfortable and willing to be a subject in your street photography journey.
Another huge tip I use every time I am out is to frame the shot first, and wait for a few people to come into your frame. What I mean by that is get everything on your camera ready for the perfect scene.
Lighting- How will someone coming into the frame effect the lighting. View the best time of day for photos
Background- what is the background looking like, where are you going take the image where the subject will match the composition. The first or third frame? When I say that I am referring to the rule of thirds. This is just one of many street photography composition techniques.
Potential wait time- Figure out generally how long it will take for someone to appear on your frame. This could be a few seconds or a few minutes.
Shoot what people are like. If it is an up close shot use a lower aperture, if it is a far away shot use a higher aperture.
Try to use less shots. Plan your shots strategically. That way you don’t have to go through more shots during post production. Plan and figure out what will work and experiment.
If something isn’t working take a note of it and move on to another potential shot. There is so much to shoot.
Get the shot. No Matter what. This applies for the night mainly but can be applied during the day time too. Learn About Blue Hour. If you have an overblown white and underexposed image this might not be good- however when you are on the street moments happen very fast.
But one thing is that you either get the shot or you don’t. So if you need to use a higher ISO near an image to get the perfect other settings correct don’t be afraid to do that.
This is also a great way to get faster and efficient at learning your camera. From my personal experience I took street photographs all the time.
Some great street photography lenses include the 35mm street photography lens or 85mm street photography lens.
I learned to change my camera settings rapidly as something developed like a skateboarder or someone doing flips.