Street Photography – Be Involve, Be a Part of the Story
September 4, 2010
Street photography is my passion, I love walking around crowded places looking for that right moment to freeze. As I always say, the streets is alive and there is always something happening which I am a part of. Through photography a second can last a lifetime.
Photograph with a Canon Rebel XS and Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP VC at 17mm
Here are a few street photography tips.
- Try to capture a moment of the subject in it’s environment. I try to capture a moment that is deeply human.
- Blend in and try to be friendly as much as possible. At least for me this works all the time. As an example check out the photos here. Most of the photos on that set were taken with permission from the subjects while having a friendly chat with them.
- Be patient. Don’t just walk around trying to find the perfect photograph, sometimes all you need is a good spot to relax, and wait for the right moment. It’s a good idea to bring a coffee with you.
- Don’t bring Big Mama with you. When I go out to shoot in the streets, I commonly use my Canon Rebel XS with no battery grip and a 50mm F/1.8 or the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8. This way, people don’t get intimidated when they see me. Bringing Big Mama, like the 70-200mm F/2.8 or 100-400mm F/4 may sometimes scare people away.
- Don’t shoot and hide. Let the people around you know that you are doing photography, like what I mentioned above, just blend in, smile and be friendly.
- Don’t think twice, trust your feelings. The correct reaction to your thoughts is to grab the camera and shoot.
What is the best gear for street photography?
You don’t need expensive fancy gear for street photography, you can use any type of camera and a point and shoot will often get the job done, sometimes small cameras provide a great advantage, because of their smaller size they don’t look intimidating compare to a professional grade cameras like the Canon 5d MK II or any of the pro(1ds mk III,) and pro-sumer(50d, 60d, 7d) cameras. I myself uses the Sony Cybershot DSC-t20 8mp point and shoot camera, this camera is always with me attached to my belt, but my favorite street photography kit is the Canon Rebel XS and the Nifty-Fifty (EF 50mm F/1.8) attached to a Black Rapid RS camera strap ready to shoot without hesitation. I don’t use the battery grip when I’m doing street photography because I prefer a light and small camera that won’t intimidate people. I also love the versatility of my Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 VC lens, but it’s big and heavy, I only use it on events, rallys and other gatherings.
Photograph with a Canon Rebel XS and Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP VC at 33mm
General street photography where you just take some random photos isn’t hard. Taking photograph of people in it’s environment on their personal space is what’s hard and is also difficult and certainly not an exact science. By including those simple tips above in your photography endeavor maybe you can catch a moment that will last a lifetime. Just keep on shooting and have fun, and always have a smile in your face. Oh and for my last tip, if someone objects to having their picture taken, just comply, smile and walk away.
If someone objects to having their picture taken, respect them and just comply, say ok, smile and walk away. The guy in the photo is Jared he want’s his photo taken but, kinda shy, he doesn’t want to reveal his face.(;-))
My Street Photography Gear: