Street Tips

Simple street photography tips:

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1. Crouch down

To make more dynamic photos, crouch down.

The above photo I shot it this way:

  1. I saw the simple white background and waited for someone to enter the scene.
  2. The man entered the scene, and I crouched very low, and photographed the scene.
  3. He was in the shade, which darkened his face. I darkened (burned) his face in further, using minus exposure with the adjustment brush in Lightroom.

2. Shoot into a crowd

Fishermen fish where the fish are.

As a streettog, shoot where the people are.

This means when you have the chance, go to busy and crowded downtown areas in your city, and shoot into the crowd!

If you shoot into a crowd, you will be a lot less self-conscious, and you can shoot more courageously!

Tip: when you’re shooting, keep your eyes glued to your viewfinder or LCD screen, and pretend like you’re shooting a video (video camera street photography technique).

3. Photograph strangers at bars or restaurants

Don’t limit your street photography just to outdoor public places. Shoot inside bars, restaurants, etc.

Ask for permission. Photograph staff at stores, or any folks you find interesting.

Tip: photograph people inside the Apple store!

4. Photograph children

Children are some of the best subjects to photograph, because they’re not camera-shy. If their parents are there, just ask for permission.

Another idea:

Start photographing the kids (without permission), and smile at the kids, wave at them, interact with them, and also chat with their parents.

5. Photograph tattoos

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want me to photograph their tattoos.

Tip:

Compliment people on their tattoos, and ask them what their favorite tattoos are. Then ask them to show their tattoos to you.

For example this guy told me his favorite tattoo was his Superman tattoo, and he took off his shirt for me to photograph! (above photo with orange background).

Another photo inside a bar, this man rolled up his sleeves to show me his arm tattoo:

6. Just shoot it.

When in doubt, just photograph it.

Don’t hesitate. Even if you think a scene has a 1% chance of being a good photo, just shoot it.

7. Take more risks

You’re gonna piss people off when you shoot street photography, this is unavoidable. But better to take a powerful photo and (mildly) annoy someone, than not to take the photo.

8. Keeper rate is very low

Your chance of making a potentially good photo is very low.

For myself, 1 good photo per 100,000 digital photos is a good keeper rate.

For film photography, 1 good photo per 100 rolls of film (3,600 pictures) is good.

Morale of the story:

You have to shoot lots of photos to get a few good ones.

You gotta grind a lot of coffee beans for a tiny (and delicious) espresso.

Shoot lots of street photos for a few good ones.

JUST SHOOT IT!
ERIC

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