Street photography is the art of capturing the everyday scene, but taking good pictures on the street can be a daunting task requiring confidence, an understanding of the rules and a practiced eye for anticipating the frame. At CoinaPhoto we have pulled together our top tips for amateurs wanting to get started in street photography that will let you take unique pictures you’ll want to share amongst your friends and networks.
- The images and scenes you capture on the street are all around you and the best way to get better at street photography is to step outside and look around. If you love the sights, sounds and scenes of the street you’ll enjoy trying to capture them with your camera.
- Be aware that any great street photograph may have taken hours of walking around with a camera in your bag observing. Dress for a lot of walking with walking boots and clothes that won’t get in the way of your camera and no heavy bags that will wear you down. Travel as light as possible, so leave the tripod at home.
- Choose your camera wisely. A point-and-shoot camera takes a couple of seconds to process each picture, which doesn’t work for street photographs that require fast shutter speeds. iPhone cameras have good shutter speeds and app filters, but for great photographs you would need an SLR camera. Steadily learn how to use your camera’s manual settings to learn the best aperture and shutter speed settings, don’t rely on automatic settings.
- For your first outing, choose somewhere that is likely to be crowded so that you are less noticeable. The best street photographers are invisible.
- There are no rules on spotting a good photo – everyone has different interests and opinions on what makes the best picture – humour, melancholy, the mixture of weather and mood on any given day. Once you start taking pictures you’ll develop your own style.
- Many great photographs are accidents – for example the blur created by someone walking in front of your shot could be artistic. Starting out you have to learn the rules, and once you’ve mastered them you can learn how to break them to great effect.
- Pay attention to the light – take your pictures at sunrise or sunset, use light from windows, streetlights or any other incidental or natural light so that you avoid adding flash.
- Street photography requires speed, precision, instinct and good judgement. A great street photographer hones their eye to anticipate the picture before it happens by paying close attention to their surroundings. You don’t need permission to take pictures of a street and most people won’t even notice you, but if you want a close-up portrait go up and ask, the worst they will say is no.
- The best way to recognise what makes a good shot is to look at lots of other photographers’ work; not so that you mimic their work but to help you learn your own style. Art is great inspiration too; seeing how everyday life has been depicted for centuries still informs how we see things today.
- Take a lot of photos and edit when you get home. Out of 100 pictures taken you may find you have one great photograph that you can develop professionally or share with your friends and networks on CoinaPhoto.
Want to learn how to upload photos on to CoinaPhoto? Check out thevideo below:
The first 20 photographs that get uploaded on to CoinaPhoto’s Public Library with the tag ‘street photography’ will receive a prize of five gold CoinaPhoto tokens each, ready for you to gift, donate or cash out as you see fit.
(Conditions apply) For the full terms and conditions of this competition please visit here.