10 things to care about while doing street photography

1. Start Local

When you are going to do street photography do not go to special places like hills, big markets, lakes and beaches. Go out and take pictures randomly without asking for their permission. When you go out of your house you can see a lot of random stuff, people emotions while working, or doing any activity just capture them.

2. Avoid drawing attention to yourself

Just a normal thing if you want to take candid photos you have to blend with the environment. Kind of invisible mode to take the best of your piece of work in street photography. Wear dark or neutral coloured clothing to minimize how much you stand out in a crowd. Try not to make eye contact with the subject this will ensure anyone that you are going to take his or her picture. Sometimes playing the role of tourist can provide a good disguise to shoot with abandon in well-known areas.

3. Watch the light

An important suggestion always to see the weather before going on to street photography. By taking a picture on a street, you are also telling a story so the lighting matters. A simple change in light from warm to cool or vice versa can change the entire mood and atmosphere of your images.

4. Get your camera setting sorted before you start

You can use aperture priority mode if you want. However, for suggestions do it in manual mode, it will help you to understand your camera and you can set ISO between 200 and 400.

5. Stick to one lens

While doing street photography you can use any lens but use a fairy wide-angle lens between 24mm and 50mm. When you use a 35mm wide-angle lens, it leads to close involvement with the subject and you can get a detailed image of the subject. If you are not comfortable going near the subject the then use a longer lens but after some days switch to a 50mm lens.

6. Walk everywhere

Chazz McBride is an artist and photographer based in New York, a city where almost everyone prefers to walk. He finds that slowing his pace increases his chances of capturing remarkable moments. “It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy streets,” he admits. “Take your time as you walk and look. There are so many opportunities that can be easily missed because you are moving too fast.”

7. Focus should be right

Autofocus or manual focus both you can use. If you want to use autofocus then put the camera into AF-S/one shoot mode & make use of the AF-L/AF-ON button on the back of your camera. By pressing this button, you can lock the focus at a set distance & fire more shots without refocusing it each time.

If you are shooting through the glass, it can add a nice layer to the shot but you have to use manual mode here because autofocus struggles with reflective surfaces.

8. Shoot in RAW, with a black-white preview

According to the rules of Henri Cartier-Bresson, it is required to shoot the street photographs in black and white only. As time changed a lot of photographers do photography in colour. Since the raw images give you a lot of chances to change the image.

You are also able to choose the colour in black and white. Setting your previews on the camera’s screen to black and white will help you decipher the light in your scene. A monochrome adjustment in the camera will work too while shooting.

The camera setting for this process as follows:-

  • Set your file type to RAW(This is necessary!)

  • Set White Balance

  • Set your Picture Control (Nikon) or Picture Styles (Canon) to Monochrome

  • Set your exposure with whichever method you normally use

  • Turn on your Live View

  • Turn on the rule of thirds gridlines on your preview

  • Use the black and white preview in Live View on your LCD to compose your image, paying special attention to the entire image for tones, shapes, lines and textures. Remember also to use all of the usual rules of composition, such as the rule of thirds, etc.

9. Look for different elements and shapes in the shot

Look for interesting elements in the background and foreground that leads to adding interest to the main subject. It will create a more interesting layered image. Avoid friction and awkward overlaps between the different elements at the same time. Shot a lot, the more time you spent on the street the better you will get. Also, return to the same spot and try for different shots.

10. Process of editing

The process of editing is just as important as the process of shooting. Look for patterns and keep track of what worked and what did not. Also, find that when creating a series of images it is best to stick with either all colours or all black and white. Do not over-process your images. Street photography is all about documenting reality, and it is very easy to go overboard. Remember that it is all about trial and error with street photography, there is no right or wrong and at every step of the process, there is always room to improve.

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