Street photography is an art that does not get the right amount of recognition. Many people believe that the true calling of photographic art is to travel to exotic destinations and capture vast landscapes through your highly expensive camera. In fact, you can take amazing photos on the streets of any city in the world if you take it as a serious challenge. With practice and dedication, you can learn the secrets of documenting real life without ever leaving your neighborhood. Here are five tips that will help you do that:
Promptitude and boldness
The key to taking the perfect street photos is to have your camera with you at all times. A small street in a busy city can reveal thousands of daily opportunities to capture life in its purest forms. If you have your camera ready, you can document simple actions like children playing in the street, people arguing or dogs chasing cats, but all in a majestic light and with a profound emotional meaning.
The second most important thing that you will need to take great photos on the street is courage. Don’t be afraid to capture anything you want as long as your practice does not break the law. You cannot ask a street vendor to act naturally and pose for your shot. Instead, you can take a photo of him working casually, and then share with him both the photo and your passion for street photography in a cordial manner.
The right camera settings
Before you begin taking photos on your street, you need to learn everything about your camera. The perfect photographic opportunity will not wait for you to test the settings multiple times. You will also need to know how your device copes with artificial lights and how much the time of day influences the result.
A safe option is to keep your camera settings on ISO 1600 or below. This feature allows you to take clear pictures in darker conditions. Unless you live in a city that basks in great sunlight throughout the day, you will be able to take amazing photos with this simple trick.
Many street photographers choose to stroll continuously through the city in search for the ideal event to capture. The secret is to wait for the light to change the way a street looks like, instead of wandering around waiting for something to happen.
Forget about the people
Sometimes an empty street tells a more compelling story than a busy market. Take your time and camp in a usually crowded alley and wait for the exact moment when there are no people in sight. The absence of any living being will give your photo a different understanding and a unique view, depending on the time of day.
Take the night shift
Many street photographers obsess on the idea of capturing the life of a neighborhood in the middle of the day. Others only take their cameras to the streets at sunrise and at sunset to take classic shots of the changing light. If you want to diversify your skills, try taking pictures at night and see how the artificial light changes the entire appearance of an alley.