So where i come from in Lincoln if you point a camera at some one down the high street you are likely to get a slap such is the attitude to people with camera these days, people are so protective and judgmental and society has its place to blame in that so my stage in the street photography world is practically non existent, you can’t blame people for that but street photography is such a great way to tell a story through images that every photographer has to battle with their deamons and at least get out and try it.
I think that good street photography captures people unawares so being a sneaky photographer can be a good thing, going and asking someone if you can take their photo is good etiquette but straight away they will pose for the photo, that isn’t natural so what do you do?
Ive tried doing some street photography on occasion but find the strange looks and unwanted attention too much hassle to give it a serious go, taking a large camera and lens sure draws attention to yourself so lesson learned there, now ill take a very capable Canon G7X II as i usually do my Vlogging with this anyway and its so small i look like a tourist rather than a sniper looking to take someones head off. You can look at shooting through a reflection in a window so not to draw the attention of the subject, careful there is no one sitting inside the window if its a shop or cafe though as I’m sure they don’t want to be snapped with there mouth full of dinner.
Ive done some research for some street photography tips and there is lots of good and bad advise out there, here are a few that stood out for me.
- Look for Shade in bright situations.
- Look for reflections in windows or puddles.
- Look at the foreground and the background.
- Tell a story.
- Ask permission if you want to get close.
- If posible set lens to manual hyper-focus (everything in focus).
- Shoot from the hip.
I find that if you are somewhere you would expect to see someone with a camera then its not so much of a problem, however hanging out somewhere near a children’s play area or following scantily clad ladies about will soon result in a black eye so choose your location wisely. Once there don’t act suspicious as that will make it look like your doing something strange, don’t point your camera at children unless you ask the parents permission and be approachable and talk to people, if its a street performer go and talk to them and ask if its ok to snap them, maybe tell them what the photos are for.
Mirrorless cameras are very popular and articulating screens make it good at consealing the fact your taking a photo, i would prefer shooting with my Nikon D810 with a 70-200 lens though. However, attaching a big lens on DSLRs makes you stand out like a sore thumb.
Ive always enjoyed looking at the old black and white street photos and the genre goes back years, i find they are similar to those taken by the brave photographers shooting in war zones but without the danger and violence, its all about telling a story and allows the audience to look into moments in time and imagine the larger story.