It goes without saying that if you want to get better at something you have to practice. Simple, right? The thing is, that unlike more structured pursuits such as sports or music, the idea of practicing street photography seems a bit hard to wrap one’s head around. But before we get into that, we should establish the best methodology for practice in in general.
Street Photographers are not known for their reserve. We are happy to give advice on gear, framing and technique. But I believe the best photographers are those who also seek advice and look to learn from others. But not all advice is equal, and some ideas are outdated, narrow minded, or just plan wrong. In this article I am going to go question some of the advice that has almost become folklore in Street Photography, and pose the question, is it time to move on?
One of the best exercises for street photography I ever adopted was to focus my internal monologue into a process of constantly describing what I am seeing. I have always been introspective about the way I work, when it comes to what influences my overarching approach, what draws my eye moment to moment, and what I look for while curating.
Street photography is one of the more chaotic yet fun genres of photography that many people choose to pursue. Even if it’s not something that people do regularly, it’s something that many of us do anyway when we go on vacation as just a regular part of documenting our trip. But how do we optimise our camera for this sort of shooting if we’re used to doing something more controlled, like portraits or product photography?
In this video, street photographer Frederik Trovatten talks about how he sets up his camera for shooting street photography. While he’s using the Fuji X-T3, the principles he mentions are common to many DSLR and mirrorless cameras. He also touches on shooting street photography with negative film, too.
Ethics and law in street photography is something that can create a lot of confusion and debate in the community. No matter how well you know the law, you’ll often come upon situations that will be new to you. Also, not everything is black and white in street photography: sometimes even lawful things can still be unethical. To help you answer the most common questions on the law and ethics in street photography, Sean Tucker has filmed yet another fantastic video. He interviewed Nick Dunmur, a member of the legal team at the Association of Photographers (AOP), who will help you deal with anything that might be baffling you.
Ah, the night. What a wonderful time to go out and do some street photography! As a photographer who got his start in the streets of Tokyo, it was inevitable that I would end up photographing mostly at night. To me, the city becomes its ‘true self’ when the sun sets, and the artificial lights come on and illuminate the metropolis. But let’s save my romanticism for another time.
I hope to share with you my methodology, some tips and tricks, for night street photography. First off, please don’t expect any magic tips or secrets. I keep my photographic approach pretty simple, but fundamentals used well lead to great photography!
If you want to capture genuine, candid moments in street photography, you need to be discreet. Oftentimes, getting noticed by your subject will completely ruin the moment you wanted to photograph. So, you need some techniques to stay unnoticed, yet don’t seem like a creep. In this video, Samuel Lintaro Hopf will show you ten tricks that will keep you low-key just the right way.
Street Photography is hard to do well. Really hard. Even if you are great, most of your shots will not be.
The internet is filled with boring street photography. The biggest problem is people thinking any photo taken on the street is now Street Photography. There is so much more to Street Photography than that so how do you capture more in your Street Photography?
One way to strive for great Street Photography is by avoiding some of the habits of boring Street Photography.
Here are 7 of the Most Common Habits of Boring Street Photography:
Photographs are as much about what is not included as the subjects in frame. Being aware of the things I avoid is as helpful to me as the things I gravitate towards when it comes to composing an image. Adding or removing elements through composition is one of the most significant parts of adding/removing/changing the context of an image. Including or choosing not to include certain things can alter a story in very serious ways, so it is always important to have ownership over those choices.
There are plenty of ways to grow as a photographer and improve your skills. In this video, Martin Kaninsky shares three techniques for street photographers that will help you up your game. But, I think it’s useful to have these techniques in mind no matter your preferred photography genre, so make sure to take a look.