Complete Tips For Street Photography, What To Do When Confronted, and the Best Camera Setting

Hi! How are you doing? I hope everything is going pretty well on your side.

Street photography is getting more common in the photography world. While it is quite simple, yet there are some things that you want to keep in mind when you hunt for street photos. I would like to share you some tips to help you shoot great street photos. Well, here they are!

1. Crowd is your golden nugget

The key to successful street photography is people. This means that the more people you encounter in an area, the better your chances are to witness a moment and capture it. For that reason, it would be very helpful if you know your area well.

By knowing your area, you know where the crowds are, and you will know where to go to take street photos. I don’t say that you have to solely rely on the crowded places that you know already. In fact, sometimes having a walk to random places may be very rewarding too.

One thing for you to keep in mind is that hunting photos in a big area will overwhelm you. My suggestion is to focus on a small section of street or a corner for each trip. Either way, to start with, I would just plan my roaming route before I go out to take photos. This will make my quest be more focused.

If you are new to an area, I would suggest you visit the community center to gather information on where the people gather. Another alternative is just go and roam around the neighborhood and see what the town has to offer.

2. Risk Versus Reward

Street photography is quite different compared to other types of photography. In street photography, in case you haven’t read my previous article, all moments are captured as it is, spontaneously. Whatever you in the frame is what is really happening.

You may be encountering some ‘golden’ moments for street photography such as gang fights, drug dealer transactions, wars, etc. I would say those things are super rare for street photography. Yet are they worth it? You can make those kind of photos in a studio with the help of professional models anyway.

Another moment which you may want to think twice before capturing it is like a mother changing her baby’s diaper. It’s like, do you really want to capture the moment?

Keep in mind that street photography is also an art which has to be done for aesthetic reason.

3. Permission, Law and copyright

Do you really need permission from the people you are taking photos of? I don’t really tell people for their permission. Asking permission it is not necessary as long as you are not using the photos commercially.

If you are selling your photos, let’s say on microstock libraries, then you have to get the model release from the person you are taking picture of.

Using the photos for commercial purpose also requires you to get rid of any logo, brand, and symbols. Those things are copyrighted, and you’d better erase them or otherwise you have to pay royalty for using them commercially.

For a private collection or putting them on your private blog, you don’t need to sign any release. The photos are the manifestation of your own creative intelligence. You have a full right on your creation.

4. What to do when confronted

At some point you will be in a situation where the person you take picture of gets upset. The best response you can give is to smile. You are not doing any fraud to anyone. If he demands to know what you are doing, just explain humbly. You are an artist or a photographer, and tell the person that the photos are for your own collection.

Most of the times it’s enough to just look at anything but the person. If the person calls the police, then just explain that what you are doing is an art or street photography project. As street photography tells what happens in society as it is, you also have to explain what you are doing as it is. Just be honest and in most cases you will be just fine.

5. How to not attract people’s attention

Preventing is always better than curing. Here are some tips to minimize the possibility to get noticed by your street photography objects.

• Wear dark clothes. Bright colors attract attention easily.

• Keep your elbows in when taking the photos. Spreading your body makes you stand out.

• Have the camera set. Get the photos quickly.

• Keep the camera strip high, closer to your head. It minimizes the movement required to have the camera ready.

• Get use with the camera. Always carry your camera everywhere, as if it was your second skin.

6. Find interesting street photography subjects

Street photography is about telling a story on what is happening in the society through your camera. You can get an interesting story with a proper preparation. There are some ways to get a good story for your image.

You can find an interesting people and follow them, expecting they will encounter an interesting moment for you to capture. For example, during the autumn season last year I was planning to shoot a picture of people enjoying the foliage. So I waited in a spot where I often saw people walk by, which has autumn foliage. After a while a couple of young people walked by and I took the picture. Easy.

You can spend a good amount of time before coming to a street photography theme. For me, I don’t like to spend too much time on planning, instead I would plan a simple subject and then hunt for the photos immediately.

7. Get your camera ready all the time

You don’t want to lose the moment. Some moments in street photography may not happen again forever. I have to admit that I have missed some precious moments because I did not bring my camera when I needed it the most.

The bad news is that moments may occur unpredictably. The good news is that as you become more experienced in street photography, your instinct is getting better.

Train yourself to be at the right place at the right time.

8. Good time for street photography

Here is the thing. You would need high shutter speed to capture a precious quick moment, right? Then you have to have much light to compensate. I personally, many other photographers may argue differently, prefer more light quantity than quality.

With a bright light, you can maximize your shutter speed to freeze your frame completely.

Having said that, my favorite time for street photography is morning and evening, especially during the summer time when the sunlight is abundant.

9. Where to shoot from

This one could be tricky. The point here is that you want to capture the whole scene, but you don’t want to look so suspicious.

I would suggest you to stand close to your object. The first reason is that you will be able to capture the scene perfectly. Secondly, standing too far will make you look suspicious.

When you encounter a great moment, take plenty shots at it. You don’t want to leave too early and regret later.

10. Camera Setting

What is the best camera setting for street photography? I would say first is maximizing your shutter speed. But remember to compensate with the light. If the light is less then you may want to reduce your shutter speed.

Most of the time I use shallow focus 1/5 so that I could emphasize the object I want to focus on. But when I want to capture the whole scene, then I go with smaller focus 1/22 or lower.

There is no exact textbook correct camera setting for street photography. It is an art. If you are happy with the photos, then you are doing perfectly fine.

11. Color or Black/White?

Again, street photography is all about your own preference. Nothing is better than the other.

Black/white, for my opinion, is good to give a retro impression. If you have big desire on classical-type photos, then black/white may be suitable for you.

If you feel that the color has the power to tell the story of your street photography image, then colored photos are the best.

12. Take action now!

Street photography totally requires you to go out and take photos. There is no other way to be a great street photographer other than going through a decent hours of practice.

I hope these tips are useful for you. Have fun taking photos!

Discover Photography: The Art of the Image

Since the time of Stone Age Man, when images of the animals and men hunting were first used to decorate the walls of cave, we have been fascinated by the captured image. Although it was not until the invention of photography that truly made this fascination into an art form that everyone could enjoy regardless of artistic ability. People all over the world take pictures of themselves, relatives and friends, pets and landscapes whether or not there is a particular circumstance or reason for doing so. But how much do we actually know when it comes to photography? Below are some of the different kinds of photography that will help us learn more about the different ways of taking photographs.

Amateur Photography has grown in recent years with the advent of cheep digital cameras and this digital photography that has become easily accessible to the amateur due to the low cost of both equipment and reproduction of the images, that we will have a brief look at in this article.

Black and White or Monochrome Photography

The first are to consider is black and white or monochrome photography. This is not simply presenting an image in black and white. Black and white photography explores the contour and character, tone and texture, the aesthetic art and beauty of the subject. The two components of black and white photography that give depth and feeling to the image are the shadows and highlights, if we learn to use them then we can create great images.

Colour sometimes obscures the texture and form of subjects, it draws our attention the way flowers attract insects and birds, and ripe fruit catches your eye on a tree. Sometimes that’s what we want, but black and white can emphasise the texture of the subject.

The variety of ways that different colours convert to different greys means that you can have quite fine control over just what parts of your picture will be light and dark, in addition to lighting levels. The absence of light can be as important as the highlights. Good deep shadows can give a depth and solidity to an image. It allows us to separate out the effects of colour and luminosity, put another way black and white photography allows us to use colour more effectively.

Action Photography

Action Photography may be where the photographer takes pictures of sporting event, or of children playing, anything intact where there is movement. Either set the shutter speed to freeze the action or try a slower shutter speed to blur the movement. This blur effect can create the sense of drama and movement. If the subject is moving across the frame try to track the subject, this is called panning, the effect once perfected is the subject is sharp but the background has the movement blur giving the impression of speed.

Shooting Action Shots of Athletes, people and animals in motion, and other moving objects create wonderful photo opportunities. However, capturing fast action on a digital camera can be challenging.

Certain settings on many digital cameras allow photographers to photograph action in a point-and-shoot mode specifically designed for moving subjects. Other times it is up to the photographer to manipulate the digital camera to achieve the best possible photos.

Digital cameras with less shutter lag capture better action shots. Regardless of your camera’s specifications, you can further minimize shutter lag by pre-focusing before you snap the picture. To do this, hold down the shutter button halfway and then once the camera has focused; press it down all the way to take the shot.

Fast shutter speed allows photographers to capture great shots of moving subjects. If your digital camera supports a slower shutter speed, it is still possible for you to shoot some wonderful action shots. It may take some practice, but try panning the camera, keeping the lens on the subject’s action.

Shoot in continuous mode if it is available to you. You might feel like the paparazzi when you first get started, but you will love how this quick mode doesn’t let you miss a shot! Digital cameras that support continuous shooting work nicely for action shots because they are able to write all the photos to memory at the same time instead of one by one.

Anticipate the action and position yourself accordingly. If you are shooting sports, camp out by the goal line or find a good location where you can get clear shots of the athletes.

Invest in a good lens. Many action shots will benefit most from a digital camera with a 200mm lens, though you can interchange lenses for different effects. Zoom lenses work wonders for sports action shots.

Aerial Photography

Aerial Photography is best if you want to photograph a landscape or cityscape. Sadly we can’t all afford to have our own helicopter, but great effects can be achieved from the top of tall buildings, bridges or mountains. So although true aerial photography may be out of reach, we can still have the illusion of aerial photography.

Travel Photography

Travel Photography is not just about your holiday snaps. It is about capturing something of the feel, the emotion, the essence of a place. It is about telling the story of the people and the landscape; it captures the mood and the setting. But you don’t need expensive foreign holidays; travel photography can be your record of the next town or city or even neighbourhood. As a is an exciting local city for me to explore, but with the added advantage that it is not far to travel to.

When photographing people in their local context there are a number of techniques that I try to use but keep in mind the principle of treating people with respect.

I’ve already talked about making shots contextual but one great way to do this is to think about what’s in the background behind the people you’re photographing. Ideally you want something that’s not too distracting but that adds to the context of the place you’re shooting in. Another technique for shooting shots of people that ignores the ‘contextual’ rule is to find a brightly lit position with a dark background. This can really help the face you’re shooting to pop out and capture the viewer’s attention.

Some of the best shots I’ve taken of people while traveling have been where I’ve tightly frames people’s faces. This means either getting in close to the person or having and using a good zoom lens.

Go for natural (un-posed shots) – While sometimes the posed shots can work quite well they can also lack a certain authenticity. Photograph your subject doing something from their normal daily life, at work, the marketplace, home, or just crossing the street etc.

Most of the shots I’ve taken of people over the years while traveling have been of single subjects alone in the shot. This is partly just my style but is something I’ve become quite aware of in the last few months. Adding a second person into an image takes a photo into a different place. No longer is the shot just about a person and their environment but it somehow becomes relational. The viewer of the photo begins to wonder about the relationship and a new layer is added to your image.

Quite often it’s the shots of people dressed in national costume that tend to attract photographers when traveling. While these shots can be very effective I wonder if they are always really representative of a culture. Quite often these people have dressed up especially for a show or tourist attraction and the majority of people in that country look quite different. Mix up the types, gender and ages of the people you take photos of and you can end up with a very effective collage of faces of a country.

It goes against the nature of most travel photography which is usually very fast and spontaneous, but if you can spend time with people, if you have the opportunity to sit with a person for a longer period of time and photograph them in a more extended manner this enables you to tell the story of the individual and can lead to some wonderful sequences of shots using different photographic techniques, lenses and situations, while the person becomes more relaxed around the camera.

Keep your camera to the eye for taking those spontaneous shots between the more posed ones. It’s amazing what images that you can find when the person isn’t ‘ready’ for you to shoot. These shots often include people interacting with others or expressing true emotion. I find setting my camera to continuous shooting mode often leads to some wonderful candid shots. If conditions permit don’t replace your lens cap until you pack your camera away.

When it comes to choosing lens, I find that a focal length between 24mm and 135mm is a good range to work with. Going for wide angle lenses can also produce interesting shots but you will often find that they do distort your subject’s face a little. Choosing a longer focal length can be useful for putting your subjects a little more at ease.

Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography has become more accessible with the advent of cheep underwater cameras. Whether you intend to take photograph in a pool, lake, river, or the sea underwater photography can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things to do.

The difficulties you encounter when in shooting underwater can be summed up in one word, “limitation.” Communication and travel below the surface are limited. Natural light and visibility are limited. How you tackle these limitations depends on your skill underwater and your photographic equipment.

However the most important advice you can receive has little to do with photography, and everything to do with your safety. A watery environment can be a dangerous one, even if it is a swimming pool. No photograph is worth your life. Depending on the type of underwater photography you wish to practise, you must first acquire the appropriate specialised knowledge and training, and obtain certification from a qualified instructor. This applies to every aspect of underwater activity, from basic swimming skills to advanced sub aqua diving techniques.

This list is by no means exhaustive; they are just some of the various types of photography you can discover. There are so many other forms of photography from infrared to medical, street, landscape, portrait, macro and Panoramic photography. Photographic work can be divided into dozens of categories, many with lots of sub-categories. But for now, just go and have fun with your camera and discover the joy of photographing you chosen subject!

Benefits Of Trick Photography and Special Effects Photographs

Photographs are amazing keepsakes alone, but there are special techniques which can enhance and spice up your pictures, making them even more unique. You do not have to be a professional photographer to use special effects or trick photography.

Even beginning photographers can shoot really amazing pictures that will require a second look. Learning these techniques is simple when you know the basics of photography, and the creative possibilities using the various techniques are endless. Here are just a few of the benefits offered by special effect photography.

Beginning Photographers Can Learn – You do not need to be a professional photographer to use effects or trick photography. It does however help to know the basics of photography such as shutter speed, aperture, and film speed. If you know the basics of photography and have adequate practice using your camera, then learning to do special effect photography is just learning the techniques used.

No Expensive Equipment Necessary – You can achieve special effects and trick photography techniques without spending excessive money on equipment. Any camera can be used if you know the special effects photography techniques.

Adds A Personal Touch To Photographs – If you want a photo to stand out, special effects and trick photography is the way to achieve this. Photographs which start conversations or require a second look, are just more fun to view sometimes, and with a little effort and practice, you can take the pictures everyone wants to see again.

Unleashes Your Creativity – Using your creativity through photography is exciting. You can capture a moment with time-lapse photography, or see the entire view through panoramic photography. Light painting can give your pictures a surreal look, and steel wool photography can make your pictures light up with sparks. You can capture the tiniest details with macro photography, and add more vivid color and detail using High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. The possibilities and combinations are endless, and only limited to your imagination.

Adds The Wow Factor To Photos – Adding these effects to your photography can be a conversation starter, or bring out details that the human eye cannot see. They can be shot for your own personal satisfaction, or for a certain event. If you want people to look at your photos in awe, this area of photography is an element to use. You may just spark an interest in someone else who would like to try using the techniques.

If you are bored with looking at the same photographs, and want to make them more unique, special effects and trick photography is simple to learn. Not only will it increase the use of your creativity, but it will also improve your photography skills by using the camera on various settings and in various environments.

Special effects and trick photography is not a secret photography method that only professionals know and use. Anyone with an interest in photography, who has the most basic photography skills can achieve brilliant and eye-catching shots with practice.

Creativity is part of the total photography process, and with special effects, you can show off your creativity to friends, or to the world and be proud of the amazing photographs that you have taken.