If you see an interesting scene in street photography, and you think you might be able to make a good photograph, linger longer than you think you should, continue to click the shutter, keep your feet planted, and keep shooting! The longer you linger and continue to shoot, the more likely you are to make a good photo!
I was outside of the coffee shop, just sitting and enjoying the tranquil sounds of the streets, and was letting my mind wander, and I saw this scene uncover before my eyes: a taxi picking up two ladies, and loading a plant into the trunk of his taxi.
I lingered and started to record a video on my phone, for around 1 minute 30 seconds, and just allowed this nice human drama unfold before my very eyes:
It was a nice and simple happening. To me, it is the beauty of mundane and ordinary everyday happenings like this one which makes street photography so fun. You don’t need a super-dramatic film to watch, when “all the world is a stage” (in the words of Shakespeare).
To linger is seen as a bad thing. We are socialized to “not loiter” or hang around, or that “staring is rude”. But look at children; they stare all the time, because they’re always curious. Our eyes are the best tools to examine, observe, and learn from reality. How sad it is that as adults, we are discouraged to look, stare, observe, and analyze.
To be a better street photographer, we must linger in certain scenes and situations longer, and we must be comfortable staring at people and scenes. It is not rude to stare; this is all socialized nonsense. In the past when we were tribal, perhaps staring at a foreign tribe member meant potential death. But in today’s world, the worst that will happen is that people might feel slightly uncomfortable, or someone might get aggressive and ask why you’re staring at them. A practical tip: if you stare at someone, and they stare back, don’t look away. Just stare back (kindly) and smile and wave or start to talk with them.