I recently got these 10 street photography tips from an anonymous street photographer who wanted to share this information with you. I found these tips to be very insightful, and I hope you will too! Keep reading more to learn about all the goodness.
1. Meter off your hand
When there is nice light, hold your hand into the light and meter off that. This will result in a great exposure, and works especially well if you are shooting in manual mode.
Often time when you are shooting in automatic modes (Aperture-priority or program) the camera doesn’t always give you the best metering or exposure. If you are shooting in manual mode, try to keep two settings: one for the light and one for shadows. Try alternating between the both when you are out shooting, and your exposures will be much more precise.
2. Keep moving
When waiting in a certain area (e.g. an area with great light), keep walking around. Standing still brings attention to yourself.
3. Always be ready
Always have our camera in your hand and ready to shoot. Don’t just have your camera around your neck, which can cause a delay in you shooting. If your camera isn’t in your hand, you’re not ready to take a photo.
4. Hide your camera
Hold the camera behind the wrist so it’s out of view. This will further bring less attention to yourself when shooting on the streets. (Disregard sexy image above of AG‘s Leica M4-P hung around his neck)
If right handed and you shoot off camera flash, walk along the right hand side of the street. Why? Right handed people hold flash in left hand. So you can aim flash towards people in profile as they walk past. Doesn’t work the other way. Think about it.
6. Fiddle with your camera
Try fiddling with your camera, like Winogrand. You’ll look like a beginner and people will think you are testing it rather than shooting. Watch the video above and see how he handles and shoots his camera!
Try following someone, speeding up, and then walking around them to get close. This will allow you to shoot them head-on which is often much more interesting than shooting them from behind. Why? People’s faces show so much character and tell stories. The back of people’s heads? Sometimes, but often not.
Frame the background. If it is ugly, an interesting subject won’t make the picture better. Always be careful about your backgrounds, especially when shooting using hyperfocal focusing and using a large f-stop such as f/16 or f/11.
It’s always best to press the shutter button if in doubt.
Think about all the photo-opportunities or decisive moments you may have missed because you hesitated. This applies in sports as well. In basketball, if you pass the ball to someone on the 3-point line– you better hope they don’t hesitate. Even a fraction of a second of hesitation can prevent them from shooting or missing all-together. Shoot with your instincts.
10. Obsess yourself with street photography
As Thomas Leuthard likes to say, street photography is a way of life. Apply this to your mentality when it comes to shooting. If you want to create memorable images, obsess yourself with it. Eat, drink, and sleep street photography. Always have your camera by your side, and constantly shoot, read about street photography, look at street photographs, and visit exhibitions and museums with inspirational images. This is the only way you can truly become great.
As Malcom Gladwell mentioned in his book “Blink”, most successful people have put at least 10,000 hours into their craft. Haven’t shot for 10,000 hours yet? Well go out and shoot!
What are some of your personal street photography tips? Share them by leaving a comment below!