The soul of Street Photography is to capture the moments of everyday life of people that we see on the streets. There is no need to travel far to capture street art, one can find the interesting shots around them when they are on the streets.
Street Photography is a style of photography generally done without the permission of the subject and it’s not a pre-planned photo shoot. As you go on in the streets, you will automatically observe things in a different way.
Do not be afraid to capture strangers. To make this smooth ask their permission and take their photo. In this way, you may get interesting portraits.
The main thing in photography is to enjoy the work that you are doing with your camera. Capture the happy faces, emotions, behaviors of the subject. Never let down your interest in capturing, take your time, be patient, do not stop capturing, practice more and finally, you will achieve what you need.
| Selection of the Correct Lens
Choose the correct lens that you want to use for street photography. You might have different lenses and different options in your mind, but it is better to choose the lens based on your comfort, availability and the subject you want to shoot. Most street photographers are likely to choose a wide-angle lens. Choose a less weight camera having DSLR features with compact size to manage in streets and crowed areas.
| Camera Mode
The smart selection of camera settings for street photography is to choose the S mode i.e. shutter priority and selecting the ISO manually. Based on the light condition the camera will decide the aperture size. The shutter speed selection is based on you, like what you want to shoot.
For example: If you want to shoot a fast-moving vehicle with the movement of the vehicle then keep the shutter number below 1/25th. It is a risky way that your photo may get shaky if you will not hold the camera tight without movement while pressing the shutter. This could be overcome by using a tripod and a remote for shutter operation. Though it is risky if you perform the operation in a correct way you will end up with resulting a good output.
Play With the Shutter
This shutter priority can also use to capture the fast-moving subjects and the adjustments for that is the shutter must be greater than 1/320th. However, you have to remember that the image gets darker as you increase the shutter speed to balance this increase the ISO.
With this mode, you will never miss the perfect shot and the right emotion in the right time. Though it is a semi-manual mode, I prefer the M (manual) mode. Even the photo may not come as you expected, do not give up keep shooting until you become perfect.
| Don’t be afraid to shoot close
Many street photographers take less distance from the subject using a wide lens rather than a telephoto lens. As the wide-angle lens gives a different look and boosts the image in its way. Using a telephoto lens will be difficult in a crowded area.
| Shoot from Top and bottom
Try to shoot from every possible way and never miss an opportunity to shoot interesting things. Take your camera everywhere keep clicking. Street photography is an art and does it in your way with the camera you are having. Bring the best from you. Your camera helps you to share your creativity, your thoughts. Always keep a small camera with you (most of the time) so that you will never miss an amazing photo opportunity.
Shooting from the top and from the bottom will give a fresh look to the photo. Involve some main subjects in the photos to boost the image. For this kind of shot, most street photographers prefer the market roads and the people who come to the market.
Even though you are shooting the architecture of the streets, bring a feel as you are showing the street things.
| Beat your inner voice
While doing street photography most of the part involves the people and their actions. In this case, your inner voice suggests you not to take a risk and leave the place. Many people face the same situation getting fear about the subject may behave seriously with you because of taking their picture. These are the most and commonly faced problems while doing street photography.
I have also faced this kind of situation in my life while capturing a person's action. He just shouted to me while I was capturing him; he called me in a serious way. I have reached him with so much of fear and he just simply asked, “Why are you shooting us?” Then I replied in a decent manner and he was satisfied with the answer then allowed me to take their photos.
In this type of situation try to beat the fear inside you and be positive. If the subject gets serious, delete the photo in front of him or her. If the subject agrees, then get the best portraits. You can also overcome this kind of situation by practicing more and more.
Find an interesting and comfortable place and set up your camera. I stood up in between the streets, shoots whatever I like to shoot. Even how many eyes see me I will not stop shooting until I get satisfied with the photo. Even though so many people observe you, never get yourself down. Keep clicking their faces and emotions too. Some travelers and street photographers suggest taking a seat outside of the cafes or restaurant and keeping clicking. It is a good way to start street photography if you do not want to get noticed by every person in the street.
| Build a friendly relationship with your stranger
After you got agreed with the stranger to take a photo, use the opportunity in the correct way. To get a good portrait of the stranger to bring a smile on his/her face. This makes the portrait much better. For that, you should be confident from inside and should maintain a happy smile on your face so that by seeing your confidence and your smile your stranger will also smile in a good way. By doing this frequently you will get to know how to be friendly with your stranger. If possible, pop some jokes with him/her and make them comfortable with you while taking a photo. Like they feel relaxed with you and you can get their style from them. Finally, give some compliment to your stranger
Getting feedback on your photos will become a plus to your photography. If the stranger is too good with you then you can also get some feedback from them. Some persons come to you just to see how you click their photo and some will not care about how you click their photo. After clicking a person with their permission, never forget to show them their photo and get your feedback from them.
| Be confident
The real key to street photography is to be confident. Your confidence should be seen on your face and in your body language. It will be interesting when you look confident and roaming around the streets with your camera, people will notice but they will ignore you as you are on your work. The main thing is if you will not look confident and looks nervous people may think that you are doing something wrong or you are shooting some wrong thing and they may come to you and argue with you, which makes you unconfident.
Therefore, being confident is the key to street photography, even if you are not confident and if you do not feel confident, act as if you are confident and bold. Moreover, put a smile on your face, which will look like you are confident.
| Shooting away from the eye
It is always not possible to shoot with the camera to your eye. If you want something new or a shot from the ground level, you cannot keep your eye on the camera. In this type of case switch to the viewfinder that will show the scene on screen. Place your camera on the ground level, set up your camera setting based on your requirement and keep clicking.
You can also do this by without switching the viewfinder ON. By your expectations, you can place the camera in the required place (not to your eye) and start clicking. I rarely do this kind of shot because I am not still good at this. I am also practicing to get more photos by using this process.
| Let your photo speak about the scene
Keep it simple and in an understanding way. Do not make much work on the photo. Let your photo itself tell you the story of the photo. Even though the photo having people in it or not, try to tell the story in a simple and powerful way just by focusing on the main things around you.
Even placing a half body in the frame will also look good. As the above image speaks about the wicket that we used to play on the streets when we are in the kids' stage. The image itself speaking that it is a street photo taken while some kids are playing cricket. Observe things around you and you will surely find some interesting things related to your story. After getting it, portrayed in a simple way.
| Bring out a series
As you go on in the streets and capturing the moments at one point, you will definitely find something related to each other photo. It will be difficult in some busy places and in the beginning state. Take a deep breath and proceed to low crowded places observe sideways, footpaths, bus stops and under trees. You will automatically find something interesting those suites to you. After getting it, do not look back proceed until you are stratified.
In my case, I spent time wandering on the streets of Hyderabad. At that time, I have observed many people are sleeping on bus stops and sideways then I decided to make a series of photos that tells the story of street sleep.
| Try with a different angle, camera
As we already talk about the selection of the camera, let us discuss maintaining two different types of cameras. I always carry to cameras with me one is a DSLR, the other is a small, and super wide-angled action camera, which gives me an opportunity to shoot in super wide-angle mode and that can be fit in the small places. As I look into the photos that I have taken from the small action camera it always gives me fresh feel, as it was a wide-angle camera.
| Capture the street life
While wandering on streets observe the surroundings and go on you will find some of the subjects will be in a lost state that they are deeply thinking about something. Grab that chance and make sure that those photos speak about the streets.
I have found some people on roads who lost in themselves and starts deeply thinking about something.
| Shoot street animals too
If you found any animals on the streets, do not hesitate to shoot them too. Because they can also give good emotions in their face. As it was the street photography, the pet animals also get involved. Make some stories like homeless pets if you find some dogs or cats on the streets.
| Shoot in monochrome mode
Most of the photographs that are shown in monochrome speak more and will represent a good story. When it comes to street photography, most photos are represented in black and white with shadows and highlights. Showing your story with shadows and highlights that gives a good feel to the image.
Here are the two images one is in monochrome and the other is in color both shot at the same time but different photos. You look and judge which one is good.
| Study composition
The composition of a photo is art. You can learn and trained in it by seeing the most popular street photographer photos and also some YouTube videos. You can also get some composition techniques from the best travel photographers.
The composition is one the important thing in the photography which deals with how to arrange things in the frame. This is what the composition is. When you want to make some good photos, you simply need to follow the composition rules and know how to fill the frame with the things you are having around you. There are many compositions in street photography so choose wisely and study some and if possible implement them and create your own composition. Creating something new is always a good thing.
Some of the best compositions are Rule of Third, Leading Lines, Pattern, Framing, etc.
| Gear upgrade is not an answer
New gear is not an answer. While you are shooting, you will feel like “I did not get this image properly just because I am not having the best camera or having a low-end camera”. Never ever feel like this because, if you are having a DSLR camera ether it is a normal or low-end camera that has an option to control shutter speed, aperture, and ISO manually then you are holding the right camera. You can do amazing photos with that camera. If you got a professional in taking a photo with a low-end camera and you are financially ok then only shift for new gear or new camera. Because new gear is not the answer. New gear is rarely the best way to improve your photography.
While you are clicking with your camera, you feel like you are not getting the photos properly. It is not a big deal. Everyone comes from here and becomes a good photographer just by doing more and more practice. Failure is the first outcome when you try a new thing. So follow your failures, learn from the failure, and achieve your dream. Even the best photographer will reject 50% of their shots.
So upgrading your gear is not an answer. Do your best with what you are having. Keep clicking.
| Make some extra postproduction work
If you are interested to show some creativity with your photos and make them look amazing then never hesitate to do post-production. While I was wandering on roads I found some bike riders going on roads, I got a thought to shoot them in a very slow shutter. However, at that time it was morning so the image will definitely come overexposed, so I decided to take a photo in freezing mode and then I want to edit that in Photoshop.
This can be done in a different process let me tell you how I did this. Firstly, take the unedited photo then edit the basic lightings as you liked. Then make a copy of the image just for safety. Then convert the layer as a smart object. After that go to filter then go to blur gallery and select path blur and choose the required settings then click ok. After that apply a mask on the image and erase the unwanted area using a brush.
| Finally, Enjoy your work
Whatever type of photography you are doing or whatever the work you are doing, the most important thing is to enjoy it. If you really do not like to shoot on streets then try another category that you like. Do what you love if not Love what you do. Try to love what you are doing if you cannot stay in it just leave that and do what you love the most. Be passionate.
It has been a year that I have started photography with DSLR. As I was not financially strong, I was doing this street photography in parallel with a small job. I choose this because it is the best genre of photography to learn and to capture the emotions and it does not cost much money. In addition, it feels fresh to me whenever I wander around new streets and capturing new faces. I feel confident we someone smiles at me while I am taking the candid shots. Therefore, this makes my love for street photography and I love it.
Photography requires more practice and street photography requires some extra practice, confidence, and patience. The more you practice the more your eye develops to find interesting things. Approaching to the people is much simpler and do not be afraid while shooting strangers, it will always be a good experience if someone disagrees with you while taking a photo. Be creative. Do some little manipulations and little postproduction.
Some famous Street Photographers says, “Strong street photos come from powerful ideas and emotions captured in a simplistic manner”. To improve the vision of shooting things and the way you present them.
Some of these tips may seem easy for you and some may be frightening to try. Remember that everyone started from the failures and the ones who succeeded are those who never quit. Always try to improve yourself, try being better each time when you walk out with your camera.
Go out. Set up your camera and keep clicking.
Extra Images that I have shot while I was on a street walk
| This I how people see while you are shooting your subject. Observe the people that are behind the cat in a blur.
| Chasing the shadow on the streets
| Empty stop
| Homeless me
| Sleep Organic – Live Iconic
| Lost in Millions of thoughts
| Safe Walks
| Beat it!
| I felt interested when I saw this man. Therefore, I approached him asked his permission to take a photo and he happily agreed. However, I forgot to show him the photo that I have taken.
Show the photo to the subject that you have taken and get compliments from them. Therefore, you will build up your confidence level with the help of a smile on their face.
| Track Walks
| Sleep is everything
| I have to do this!