Street photography is a form of photography that involves capturing candid and unposed moments of people and life on the streets. Here are some tips to help you get started with street photography:
A Village in Nagaland, photographed by Munish Khanna
Yes, unless you move out and explore the streets, you cant get any shots sitting at home. Photography is all about practically exploring the options of getting a great photograph. Once you make the efforts and shot in your own style of framing the subjects, you wont know if you have caught a master piece as such because the subject and the environment you are shooting in is entirely unpredictable.
Know your camera:
You need to be familiar with the technical aspects of your camera, such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, so you can quickly adjust settings on the fly as you capture moments on the street.
Street photography can be unpredictable, so make sure you have your camera with you at all times, and keep your batteries charged and memory cards empty and ready to be exposed. Be aware of your surroundings and be ready to capture moments as they happen.
As a Photographer, even though it's a bit difficult to avoid but do try to be discreet and mixup and blend with the crown as much as possible.
Explore shooting in black and white:
Black and white photos can create a timeless, classic feel and can also help to simplify a busy scene, making it easier to focus on the subjects. If you are shooting on RAW, which is always recommended, you can restore back to the colour in your RAW converting software. You can convert to Black and White later also from colour but shooting in BW straight out of the camera helps you visualise your shots better as you shoot and view them on your camera's LCD screen
While street photography often involves capturing strangers, it's important to be respectful and not invade anyone's privacy. If someone asks you not to take their photo or simply wants to check them out, respect their wishes and do oblige them.
Look for interesting subjects and moments:
Street photography is all about capturing interesting moments and people in everyday life. Look for interesting subjects, unique backgrounds, and candid moments that tell a story.
Experiment with different angles and perspectives:
Try shooting from different angles and perspectives to add visual interest and variety to your shots.
Evaluate the Opportunity:
As you move around or one can say walk around, looking for something to shoot, do not waste you time if you see nothing. Rather, move on. On the other hand, if you see a situation which has a potential of an existing opportunity or where events may turn interesting, spend your time here. You need to understand where you will get these opportunities.
Keep your eyes open and explore around once you are at the location, where you are expecting the action. You will be lucky to have the action happening around you but a bit of exploring a bit helps you spot the real action.
There are several photo walks and workshops which may be good to learn street photography and are not really the right way to go for some great shots on the street. with so many photographers, the subjects are alert and on the guard that leads to no candid and spontaneous photographs.
Los Muertos Crew
You don't know how far and where all you may walk around. Keep everything that you may require for your photography and this includes the essentials like water, rain cover and something eat. Of course, it goes without saying, keep all the required lenses, cards and accessories. Keep it light as you would be carrying it around on your own for a long time. Backpacks work well for street photography but these do not allow quick access, so I usually carry a small V shaped bag as well or wear a Photographers jacket which can accommodate an extra lens which you may want to quickly switch over to.
Carry a Flash
If you are planning to shoot towards the dusk or into the night, its a great idea to keep a small portable flash with you which you may attach, keep somewhere on the side a bit high or simply bounce it off to add some illumination is the situation demands.
Practice, practice, practice:
The more you practice street photography, the more comfortable you'll become with it. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. Remember, the best street photographers are those who are able to capture the beauty and spontaneity of everyday life and their shots are quite simple but caught in an interesting and unusual manner.