Street photography – Technique and Tips & Tricks (EN)

Following the introduction in street photography, i think it will be appropriate to give you some suggestions about technique and some tips and tricks.

TECHNIQUE:

  1. Although a DSLR is very good for street photography, i recommend small cameras like Fujifilm (X100F, T or S, X70, X30 or even lower. I used a lot an X10, without problems). Very powerful and not intimidating.
  2. The camera is best to be black and you can cover with black tape the colorful elements and logos. Sounds odd but it works. A guy full off yellow, red gold and red logos screams I am a professional photographer!!! and we don’t want that. We want to be invisible and to take our shots. Some street photographers paint all parts of the camera in black.
  3. Use apertures from f/8 to f/22 based on your gear and a shutter speed faster like  1/250, based on your lens focal range) to freeze the movement. Moments vanish quickly so we have to be prepared.
  4. Light is very important so if you have a DSLR, use the fastest lens you can afford.
  5. Search for areas with dramatic light, places with interesting shadows or places where light cast interesting shadows.
  6. Go out in advance and test different parts of the city at different hours and do some test shots and take notes of the best settings on a given scenario.
  7. Learn by heart the settings of the camera. Read the manual, it won’t take long. You must know very well what buttons to push when you’re out shooting and you go from harsh light to underground.

~

TIPS & TRICKS:

  1. In tourist areas it’s easier to photograph persons because everybody is doing this. A little different is when you try to make candid portraits in towns without tourism, in outskirts carrying an animal of a full frame DSLR. It can be done though!!!
  2. Wear neutral clothes, single dark colors, not to stand out from the crowd. But if you are at the sea side, you will blend in the environment better with flip flops, shorts and t-shirt with palm trees. 🙂
  3. Act!. Anticipate when the character enter the frame and look through the viewfinder before it does like you are waiting for something else. After you take the picture, keep the camera at the eye level, that way no one notice you did your job.
  4. Bring a friend with you and while you are talking to each other you keep taking pictures.
  5. Learn to anticipate action, emotions, humour.
  6. Don’t hide, do not use camouflage, you are not a freak, a maniac, a psycho. You’re just taking pictures.
  7. Keep your heart open. If you are afraid, people will sense that and they will “see” you faster.
  8. If you are “caught” and questioned, explain very clearly what you do and don’t try to tell some stupid lies. A small compliment can get you miles, don’t hesitate to give it to your subject.
  9. DON’T take pictures of kids without the parents consent or kids that are somehow far from their parents sight. Think how you will react as a parent.
  10. In other countries, check the law regarding photographing in public.
  11. Respect the people! Respect yourself.
  12. Relax! It’s a passion. You don’t have to be stressed about it. If in 2-3 weeks time you start to hear voices, try fishing instead. 🙂

Myself i got lots to learn so if you have any suggestions, critique, please feel free to contact me.

Have fun! 🙂

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