Street photography is the perfect way to express your creativity while perfecting your photographic technique. The shots you create can weave together a vibrant story of a neighbourhood or a local community, while challenging your photography and helping you to develop an artistic style.
The first of the urban photography tips is to discover your approach in capturing images. Are you looking to simply strap a camera around your neck and look at an area through a photo-journalistic method, or do you desire to talk and interview someone and create a portrait?
Photojournalism takes an approach were the photographer is standing back to capture moments happening without interfering or posing their subjects. If a shot is missed, there is no way to recreate it; as a substitute you look ahead to the next chance.
A more unique side to street photography tips is to focus on the individuals on the street, find their story and capture an intimate image that reflects their personality. That person may be a businessman, someone who is homeless, or even a priest who is handing out his literature on a street corner. The photograph of that person that you take then becomes part of a larger narrative that weaves through your images.
The second item you as the photographer will need to figure out is the subject or the aim of your images. Quite possibly your subject will be any person you meet who is willing to talk with you. Maybe the subject becomes more specific, such as individuals in a particular area. It is important to find a focus for your photography when starting out, and as you become more positive to broaden your perspective.
Thirdly, it is critical to determine what kind of equipment you have and acknowledge its limitations. For instance, if you have a compact digital camera, it might not have a quick enough shutter speed to take photo-journalistic photographs at night, so it might be best to focus your pictures to daytime hours instead of returning home with a set of blurred images.
The fourth piece of advice to a new street photographer is to work with light. Natural light is most photographers’ preferred lighting technique. When you are starting out in street photography it is important to take a moment and look around an area and pick out places that look too dark, like alleyways, that will underexpose a photograph and make it too dark to see the subject. Consequently, if an area is too bright it might cast dark shadows on a subject, or wash them out in a photograph. Look instead for areas that have an even light. Chances are if you can see everything clearly with your naked eye that your camera will be capable of as well.
Finally and if you can, bring an assistant with you when embarking on a street photography session. This person does not have to be a photographer, but someone who can be there and carry any equipment would like to take with you. Most importantly, this person acts as extra protection and safety for you and your equipment when partaking in urban photography.
The most important of all street photography tips is to continually take photographs. Practice will allow you to hone your skills. Even skilled photographers anticipate taking hundreds of photographs in one session out on the streets and realize only a handful may turn out. The most important part is meeting people and uncovering the essence of a community. Capturing the photograph is simply the final step of the process.
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