Sounds like a tall order… 5 minutes?
Actually its simple. Photographers develop a style. They know what they like to shoot, quickly getting good at it. To get some good street shots, start with what you know and enjoy.
It is supposed to be fun!
Most photographers starting with street shots feel a lot of pressure to do the the “street photog” thing. Actually there is no such ‘thing’. When you are out on the streets you are a street photographer. You can shoot whatever you like. In fact the more you do what you like the more you will enjoy the experience. Concentrate on what you enjoy from your existing experience first. If you are a landscaper then shoot long wide street shots. If you like still life, then concentrate on the detail in the shops. There are also shots of buildings, vehicles, clothing and the streets themselves… anything you enjoy.
I really enjoy portraiture. Much of my street photography concentrates on shots that portray the people walking past. I love to capture the street expressions of people. The photograph above was shot with a 200mm lens from street seating in a wide precinct. Sitting there I was an unthreatening observer of street life, comfortably out of the way but still a part of the scene.
Work on what you know and enjoy first
If you’re worried about taking people shots at the start, learn to enjoy the streets for other interests first. OK… so now you have given yourself permission to get out there and do some sort of ‘photog’ stuff. With your previous experience and skills you can get some great shots. Getting good pictures and being comfortable on the streets will build your street experience and confidence for the next step.
Once you have made a start, and got some good pictures using your existing skill-set, start to stretch yourself. Try a few shots you consider daring. Push the limits. Make it feel exciting, enjoy the rush. Even if these few challenging shots don’t return great images, you have started to develop your experience. You can build on it next time.
It’s about extending your experience
If you come back from your street trips with some pictures you have enjoyed, and some you have pushed yourself to get, then the trip has been a success. As with other types of photography extend your experience bit by bit. Enjoy yourself, challenge yourself and move forward.
For further information on street photography visit the Street Photography Resources page. It is available on the main menu above under “Articles”.
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