In this article we will talk about technical informations for street photography. The most important rule of street photography is, without a doubt, to be “always ready.” The street is dynamic. Life flows and stories are lived.
Life doesnt wait:
to run home and get our machine
put the right lens on
make the necessary adjustments according to the light
we put the frame
the final decision and take the photo.
This is why, if we are to document life, it is essential that we take some measures to control these six variables. Let us open a parenthesis here and remind you that the information we give is generally the techniques that the majority apply. They’re not strict rules. Everyone replaces some of these rules with what suits them. Let’s close the parenthesis and explain what can be done to speed up the six variables we just counted.
1. Life with the machine: street photography has a terrific side effect. From a few months on, even if there is no machine next to you, people starts to simulate “how would I shoot here if there were.” Although the human mind does not want to, it composes every moment it walks down the street, and unfortunately the person takes perhaps the most beautiful photos of it in his mind when there is no machine with him, and we never see them. The best precaution against this is to lighten the camera bag.
Normally everyone’s wallet, phone, etc. in this case, a 50mm1.8d Nikkor lens is easily carried with the Nikon D3000. Of course, it is not necessary to carry a DSLR every time you go out. Since the images that will be encountered on the way to work every day are more or less obvious, photography is usually done after work and on the weekend.
In addition, compact machines are especially suitable for taking street photos during the day. Especially the Nikon P Series machines are high performance and very convenient to carry on the side.
2. Lens: Street photography is taken with all the working lenses in the world. However, prime lenses with fixed focal lengths close to the viewpoint of the human eye are the most commonly used. Fixed focal length, on average 2 stops faster than zoom lens aperture possibility and sharpness stands out.
However, regardless of the focal length, the prime lens trains the eye to adjust the frame, increase the speed, so it is often preferred.
3. Aperture-shutter-ISO setting: in street photography, wide clear depth of field and fast shutter speeds are generally desirable. The narrow aperture sharpens the photo, increases clear depth of field, and facilitates focus. Aperture priority mode is usually used on the street,and if possible 1/5, 6 F and above aperture is more appropriate. As the sensor length grows, it is necessary to use the aperture narrow.
The ISO on the street is usually set 1 stop higher than landscape photography, and the camera light metering mode is usually set to matrix.
4. Composition: As we mentioned before, the development and acceleration of the composition is possible by educating our minds by taking lots of pictures and anticipating the photograph that will eventually occur. In the street, the object is human, and no one wants to see a lens pointed at their face in the street. The best thing is to observe in advance, to animate the photo in the mind, to lift the camera in 3 seconds, to make the adjustment and press the shutter button. That way no one will bother.
5. Focus: we have less than 1 second to focus. We can rely on Nikon’S AF and AF-S engines because the AF speed is now too high. If faster focus is desired, are focus can be achieved with relatively wide angle lenses with the help of an aperture, so no immediate focus is required (zone focusing-prefocusing).
6. Taking photos: Street photography, as in other disciplines, is a long way to walk with mastery and practice. It is important to take plenty of photos, but more importantly, it is not to reflect on what you look at, it’s what you see, what you understand, what you observe.
If you need more ideas, technique, tips and tutorials you can check our Photography page here.
May your light be bright. Stay healthy.