Street photography is really unique, moody, but taking this photography is really hard. It combines between portrait and landscape photography. So how to take photos for beginner? Let’s check it out.
Do you have 2-3 hours to take street photography?
This is really important for newbie who will be street photographer. Street photographer isn’t same as portrait photographer, event photographer that’s too hard to practice yourself. Street photography can raise your experiences faster and easier. If you’re office worker who work start at 9:00 AM and work off at 6:00 PM, you should plan 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM to go somewhere and shoot photos. Although that’s nighttime, but nighttime can get beautiful photos.
Not only working day, at weekend you should plan your available time to take street photography at daytime in weekend. If you shoot often, your experiences will raising higher as same as farming level in RPG games.
Don’t have camera? No problem
I trust everyone have smartphone that have camera. You can use smartphone to take street photography. That isn’t too hard to take photos and you can get great street photography with smartphone camera. Don’t insult to quality of smartphone camera until you take photos. with it.
Smartphone camera have angle approximately 24mm or 28mm that is suitable for street photography. If you need to take with 35mm, you can zoom to 1.5x on your camera app, but quality is less.
Start with your lovely camera
I don’t fix you to buy mirrorless camera (due to my earlier posts I bias to this camera). DSLR can take street photography well. Read reviews first and try demo at any camera shop.
This is really important. Someone doesn’t use mirrorless camera well, but they are great to use DSLR. Let you love with yourself. Don’t believe any recommendations that doesn’t from you because they aren’t you.
Someone recommend me to use Leica M10 that I never test or use demo because no camera shop in Thailand never let customer try this camera, so I cannot guarantee this expensive camera can take photo well. Believe other opinion only 50% and 50% left is your mind.
Why is this important? Because if you buy mirrorless or DSLR camera, you will buy lens and more accessories. But if you want to buy new camera with other brand, you must buy accessories, lenses again. That’s so expensive.
Use kit lens to learn lens angle
Someone (and I) recommend you to use 35mm or 50mm lens. But stop!! Do you love take photo with 35mm or 50mm lens?
If you never take photos with this real prime lenses, don’t buy it, but try these angles with your kit lens first. Kit lens is the teacher lens that teach you with your camera angles. Many kit lens tell focal range clearly. (Except kit lens with power zoom). Turn your kit lens to any focal length such as 24mm, 35mm, 50mm that show on your lens and take it.
Advantage of kit lens is… You can determine focal length with zooming.
Open “Rule of third” grid on your camera
Very important for beginner. Rule of third grid can help you to take photos with correct composition. I cannot describe more until you see the result when using “Rule of third”.
Pick subject at the red vertical line. That’s easier to adjust composition.
Use “JPEG” file format
That’s so stupid to recommend beginner for using JPEG file format, not RAW. I think RAW is for commercial using and taking street photography is getting too much photos and if you use RAW, your SD card will full quickly. Street photography is similar as art that exhibit from your imagination or your deep mind of inspiration, so commercial usage or money doesn’t mention with street photography as same as event, portrait, wedding photography that target is sending photos to clients for very high quality. No clients for street photography. That’s only you.
Street photographer is near same as artist. Don’t tell about quality much. But if you have too much TB harddisk or 128 GB SD card, that’s yours to decide shooting with RAW or JPEG.
Pick you camera to go anywhere with you
Passion of street photography is unexpected moment. Although street photography can take photo with smartphone camera, but I also recommend real camera that turn on and ready to take photos. Using smartphone camera when you go to camera app, that’s slower due to you go to app and waiting camera app turning on.
Bring your camera at your neck or shoulder to go anywhere. When you see unexpected moment that is so really beautiful or great composition, take it without thinking anything or you will be missed great moment.
Take candid photos
Candid photos is photography that you take it without requesting permissions. That’s really important to get
beautiful moody street photography.
Stop say about beauty in street photography. Don’t use “beauty” to scale value of street photography. Using moody to scale value of street photography is better. Taking candid photos you need 50mm lens or moderate telephoto lens.
Candid photos isn’t voyeur. Don’t misunderstand with this.
Main restrictions are “NO PHOTO” sign. You see this sign? Don’t take photo or you will be sued or accused.
In Thailand, you cannot take photo when you’re in these situations.
- Royal caravan
- Concert that doesn’t allow to take photos
- Police station
- Military zone
- Government zone
- Department store (if you take photos for commercial usage)
- Every place that have “NO PHOTO” sign.
Don’t be photographer, but be character in open world games
If you do with photographer when you take street photography, someone will leave away from you due to you will use for commercial or condemned in social network. You must think you’re foreign tourist who doesn’t know what this place is and doubt about any places. You take photos because you need memorial moments that ever come to this place. You think these first.
In open world games, you can explore every place you want. Observe every moments you see and take it.
50% is your skill, but 50% left is your luck
50% for your skill and 50% for your luck can make your street photography to be beautiful. At film camera era, street photographer purchased more film to take photos and choose best photos, but now, digital camera, you can take photos a lot until memory card is full. But now new memory cards have capacity more than 16GB. That’s greater to take street photography!
Read more at “LUCK” MAY BE IMPORTANT FOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY”.
Learn about street photography
If you search “Street Photography” via Google, you cannot know what’s street photography clearly, but you should search with Street photographer‘s name, such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Gary Winogrand, Vivian Maier, etc. Look their works and learn them.