If you’re excited after watching some awesome street photography and are planning to become a street photographer, it’s understandable. Street photography is indeed extremely appealing. However, it’s not an easy task. It’s therefore helpful to get tips from eminent street photographers with their experiences, approaches and memories connected to their photographs.
Here’s Bastian Peter, Street Photographer from Switzerland, sharing valuable tips for aspiring street photographers.
1. Understand What Street Photography is
Although it’s named street photography, you don’t need to take shots only on streets. Street photography is photography done in public places, whether it’s a street, a restaurant, a bus or a railway station. The photos should be candid and may be of people or even animals, and should tell a story of the situation. Each of your shots should essentially contain a story and subject/s. Finding a story in a situation and narrating it through a photograph is not a simple task. But when you know that you should do it, you start trying it and one day succeed in it for which you should first understand it.
2. Learn How to React When Caught Taking Pictures
Obviously, while taking natural shots, a photographer would want to remain hidden and unnoticed. This may sound difficult at first. But an easy trick is to react appropriately if you’re caught taking pictures. Act natural purposefully. The most important thing is to learn to anticipate. That special moment can come any time. You should learn to identify it. This will teach you how to keep your camera off your eye for maximum time. Still, you can capture the right shot. Also, learn to observe. Observe people, situations, people’s various acts, their intentions and surroundings. Look for anything unusual and interesting. You can even find interesting factors in ordinary incidences which common people cannot. Look for a spot from where you can shoot. If you don’t find one, keep moving. Make the necessary adjustments to your gear while anticipating the moment, so that you can capture a story right when it unfolds. Once you learn to make these necessary preparations, it will become easier and easier for you to capture those golden shots.
3. Increase Your ISO
As you know, street scenes happen and finish wink fast. You may face several moments when you may have to repent for not being able to capture a moment just because it happened within a fraction of a second. To avoid this, you should set your camera so as to capture the fast-moving scenes.
The most crucial setting is shutter speed. A shutter speed of 1/25th of a second is right to make sure that your subjects will look sharp. Next a smaller aperture is preferable whenever possible so as to get more depth of field. If the focus on your main subject is slightly missed, a larger depth of field will reduce the chance of ruining the photo. But you may have your own preference. Watch the photos by Bastian Peter, captured by making perfect settings.
If you have a wonderful subject and an awesome background or if you get multiple subjects in your scene at various depths, you can get all of them as sharp as possible due to a smaller aperture.
However, unless you shoot in direct sunlight, you can use a small aperture and fast shutter speed in only one way – by raising your ISO.
Many people are scared of this. But since the noise in the modern cameras looks much better than it used to look in the old cameras, you don’t need to worry.
ISO 400 in sunlight, ISO 800 in light shade, ISO 1600 in dark shade and ISO 3200-6400 are typically preferable.
Last but not the least, learn to enjoy going out, seeing and meeting people and animals, enjoy the overall experience and you’ll start enjoying the learning process. This will increase your chances of becoming a successful street photographer. All the best!