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  • Writer's pictureSoren Sciera

7 easy steps to Street Photography

Have you ever wondered how street photographers manage to capture candid shots of their subjects?

When you look at Street photographs, you probably noticed, that most of the people in street photos seems unaware of the artistic invasion, as the photographer allow us a glimpse inside the world which they have created through their lenses. In a 1/250 sec. he manage to make us to become witnesses of a stolen moment of intimacy between two people in a city square, or a Up-Close and personal shots of the homeless that intrigues us, and leave us wonder who they are.

The secret behind taking great street photography is a combination of technique, emotion and patience. Below I will try to reveal some of the basic skills that leads into some of the “secrets” that you might find intersting and make you improve you to create more inspirational images.

Dress for succes

Here discretion is the keyword. Always try to blend in to everyone on the street. The plan is to walk around among people and yet stay unnoticed.

Point and shoot

One of the first mistakes a lot of beginners in street photography makes, is asking a person to act natural. How many times have you not tried to take a picture of a friend, and told them to “just act natural”? I bet while you were attempting to take the shot, your friend was staring into the camera. Don’t ask for permission. Do not try to pose people either. Once you do that, the moment is gone forever. Shoot first, ask later - or never.

Stalk the shot, not the people

If you won’t get noticed taking photos of people, you can try shooting from the hip (Takes a bit of training). Position your camera on your hip and shoot. Do not use the view finder. Currently there’s lots of wonderful point and shoot camera’s on the market, suitable for street photography. Personally I use a Leica M Monochrome with a 35 or 50 mm lens.

Move your body, not your lens

You must always keep an open eye and walk where your eyes takes you. Never use long lenses. Long lenses attempt to separate you from people and prevent you from interaction with people. Further more, long lenses makes you feel like you’re spying on someone.

Look for emotions

Find something that stirs an emotion or idea. Use the integration of people and places to capture a sense of passion and feeling.

Less is better

Always bring minimal equipment with you on you walks. You might choose a camera and a lens, but leave it at that. Leave the camera bag, backpack and vest safe and comfy at home. Remember, that you want to stay unnoticed, not look like a press photographer.

Be patient

Work at scenarios that seems busy and of natural interest. It makes it much more easy to blend in. The wait for the right moment, before you shoot. You certainly don’t want to miss out on the real action, just because you were wasting time photographing mediocre ones.

Now that you got some tips on how to do street photography, I encourage you to go out and try them.

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