Street Photography Techniques

Photographs taken on streets, parks, beaches or other public places are referred as street photography. Usually the main subject is people in their every day lives, often concentrate on a single decisive moment.

The principal obstacle in creating good street photographs is shyness, most photographers can find very hard to expose themselves with the camera in front of some unknown people.

You must bypass this feeling and the only way to get over this is to start taking some shots in agglomerated public places. This will be much like a therapy and will give you enough confidence for making good street photographs in the future.

In street photography is recommended the use of a small and silent rangefinder camera because can offer you a good conceal. However, in closer approaches on the street, most people will change their attitude if they observe your camera, and the naturalism of the scene will fade away. In this situation, the camera lens will play a decisive role. Using a telephoto lens will assure you a safe distance from the subject just enough to not be noticed.

Another concealing method is the waist-level shooting position, having the finger steady on the shutter button and wait for the action, people will don’t notice your intention. Also, the camera can be cloaked in different objects. The general idea is to keep people from being aware that are being photographed.

Technical Advices

– Because street shots are handheld is recommended a higher ISO setting or faster shutter speeds, especially in low light condition and high movements.

– The aperture can be set between the range of f4 to f8, but for static subjects this can be as larger as possible for isolating the subject from the background.

– Pre-focusing of the lens is a good thing, thought, for this setting you must close the aperture more than normal to ensure a large depth of field, this will help having a sharp focus regardless the subject distance from the camera – in a given range, but will also increase the shutter time, making inevitable the appearance of some blurry shots, depending of camera and subject movement but most of all by the light conditions.

– The equipment used must be as light as possible, reliable, fast to operate, quiet and of good quality. If your actual camera doesn’t have at least some of these characteristics, and you dislike closer street approach, you can stealth your camera or you can use a long lens.

Legal Aspects

You can take photographs of whatever you see as long as they are taken from public areas, however, if you want to publish your street photographs you must ask for permission from the person being the subject (if the face is recognizable), this is done through a model release which is signed by the person asked, giving you the right to publish the image. Buildings can be published as long as they are photographed from public views.

I'm a photography enthusiast with a passion for classic film cameras and writing. I believe that photography is a powerful tool for storytelling and I strive to create images that are evocative and meaningful. I hope you enjoy my work!