On the surface, street photography can seem like a simple practice: go out, wait for those lucky, incredible moments, and take the shot.
But in reality, street is one of the most difficult forms of photography to pull off.
You often need to wait for a very long time for those spectacular moments to occur, and when they do appear, you can miss the moment or ruin the shot.
Still, getting great street photos is not impossible. Read on for seven street photography tips which will make everything much easier, both technically and conceptually.
Practising these tips will help you roll the dice with much better odds.
Raise Your ISO
Street scenes move lightning quick. Some of the best moments will appear and disappear in front of you in an instant. To offset this, you have to set your camera to be able to catch these fast-moving scenes.
The most important setting is your shutter speed. The shutter speed I prefer to use is 1/250th of a second, which will guarantee that your subjects will be sharp.
At night you can go slower, to 1/160th or 1/125 in order to let in more light, but slower than that will introduce motion blur.
Secondly, I prefer to use a smaller aperture (when possible) so that I get more depth of field in the image. This is a personal preference, of course. I prefer it because there’s less of a chance to screw up your images.
If you miss the focus on your main subject slightly, a larger depth of field will minimise the chances of that ruining the photo.
If you have multiple interesting subjects entering your scene at different depths or if you have a great subject and a great background, a smaller aperture will allow you to get them all as sharp as possible.
But unless you are shooting in direct sunlight, the only way to use a fast shutter speed and a small aperture is to raise your ISO.
I typically use ISO 400 in sunlight, ISO 800 in light shade, ISO 1600 in dark shade, and ISO 3200-6400 at night.
You can use either Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, or Manual modes for street photography depending on what you are used to.
Keep in mind that Shutter and Aperture Priority modes can be very advantageous in situations where the lighting is variable.
One second you will be turning into the light and the next second you will be turning away from it.
If you have to change your manual settings each time you do that, it will get cumbersome and you may miss some fast moving moments.