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Thread: Tips on street photography?

  1. #1
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    Default Tips on street photography?

    Hi am relatively new to photography here.
    Have been investing most of my time in street photography.
    But I have a problem, I'm alwaysss very timid when I want to shoot people and moments.
    It's either I chicken out when they stare at me or when I think they are scary
    Please do drop tips! Thank you!
    Last edited by teh-peng; 20th December 2010 at 12:12 AM. Reason: spelling error

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    i find it helpful to have a lens that can go beyond 200mm... pretty discreet most of the time that way.
    d850 | a7r3 | I1P | P4P | Videos | Photos | Aerials

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by teh-peng View Post
    Hi am relatively new to photography here.
    Have been investing most of my time in street photography.
    But I have a problem, I'm alwaysss very timid when I want to shoot people and moments.
    It's either I chicken out when they stare at me or when I think they are scary
    Please do drop tips! Thank you!
    For me, if I am trying to take picture a person and he suddenly look up at me, I will steadily and slowly bring my camera down to chest level, still in shooting position, and look at them....somehow or rather, they will move away as they thought they are blocking me

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by teh-peng View Post
    Hi am relatively new to photography here.
    Have been investing most of my time in street photography.
    But I have a problem, I'm alwaysss very timid when I want to shoot people and moments.
    It's either I chicken out when they stare at me or when I think they are scary
    Please do drop tips! Thank you!
    If they stare at you I guess you are too close and if possible always try to ask for permission, esp with the older generation, some really don't like to be photographed. As for ah bengs, do it discreetly, don't wanna see another slash victim

    A longer lens would help keep you stealthy haha

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    bring along an mp3 player and play some music that suits your mood for the day or perhaps suits the theme of street shots you want to catch that day (moods, mystery, perspective, etc.).

    play your music as you shoot, that way, you wont hear what your subject would say (if ever they do). and also, it'd be like you are in your own world, just shooting away what captures your curious eyes!
    Why so serious... Son?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by spree86 View Post
    If they stare at you I guess you are too close and if possible always try to ask for permission, esp with the older generation, some really don't like to be photographed. As for ah bengs, do it discreetly, don't wanna see another slash victim

    A longer lens would help keep you stealthy haha
    Mmm but after you ask for permission they would pose and then all the natural expression and emotion would be gone. And because I'm running on film, I can't show them what I took when they demand it. What should I do then ? (thinks of running)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by mayhemics View Post
    i find it helpful to have a lens that can go beyond 200mm... pretty discreet most of the time that way.
    Ohhh i see! By the way normally what lenses are used for street photography?

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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by zurichdo View Post
    For me, if I am trying to take picture a person and he suddenly look up at me, I will steadily and slowly bring my camera down to chest level, still in shooting position, and look at them....somehow or rather, they will move away as they thought they are blocking me
    That's a great idea!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wurdelak View Post
    bring along an mp3 player and play some music that suits your mood for the day or perhaps suits the theme of street shots you want to catch that day (moods, mystery, perspective, etc.).

    play your music as you shoot, that way, you wont hear what your subject would say (if ever they do). and also, it'd be like you are in your own world, just shooting away what captures your curious eyes!
    HAHA Okay! Awesome idea thanks!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by teh-peng View Post
    Mmm but after you ask for permission they would pose and then all the natural expression and emotion would be gone. And because I'm running on film, I can't show them what I took when they demand it. What should I do then ? (thinks of running)
    Hmm if you are using film it would be tough, maybe you need to get a longer lens so ppl won't notice you snapping at them

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by teh-peng View Post
    Ohhh i see! By the way normally what lenses are used for street photography?
    Its all up to you actually, some people i know just use a 35mm or 50mm prime and stick to it all the way, others uses zoom lenses over various ranges, totally up to personal preference

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Hmm..

    street photography is fleeting moments in everyday life.. So pointing the camera at random people on the streets is fine and dandy but capturing little interesting snippets into the lives of people is a whole nother level of street photography.

    From the blank stares of people as they go about their routine to candid smiles between friends and even the frown of an agitated old man.

    But how do you go bout capturing these precious moments?

    Know your camera very well! have all the functions down to muscle memory as street photography is pretty much an instantaneous organic form.

    I had this great tip once: Use aperture priority and put the exposure meter to -1/3 or something like that and use a somewhat wide aperture. You'll get pretty good shots without the fiddle of the camera. But try not to use this as a crutch to learning what your camera can and cannot do.

    Learn to manual focus. Under low light, the auto focus is pretty crap.

    Learn to have great expectations. Imagine a scenario, and try to capture it. It's also known as goal setting. (For me this does not work unless I found a great location and I'm waiting for just the right person to walk into my great picture.)

    Respect the people you shoot. (I dunno.. if the person is nice say thank you, smile.. you know the drill.. be a nice person. If you sense any form of danger.. don't hesitate to vacate. No point getting a black eye over voyeurism.)

    Don't think about what lens to use but just use a lens. Most people get caught up with using a lens.. but when the reality is.. you can use any lens. I use my 11-16 ultra wide angle most of the time as well as a 50mm f1.8 but on certain occasions I use the 70-200 to achieve some different feels. Just use any lens and adapt to it.

    Think outside the box. Don't just point at people straight on. Use reflections, water puddles, bokeh, light, shadows, shapes, colours or whatever.. The sky is your limit or should I say your creative eye is your limit.

    A simple but very effective tip is to bring your camera everywhere.. It may seem cumbersome.. but some of my better street shots were just me going from one point to another.

    The live view. Very good tool for more discrete shooting.. Can help you manual focus better too but the downside is it eats batteries like a fat man at a buffet.

    Not really a tip but a general observation: making your picture black and white does not automatically deem a photo artistic or street. (I'm just biased because I force myself to shoot colour photos all the time.) =P

    Err.. shoot in raw? Sometimes you have great shots that are under or over exposed due to moments of panic.. it happens.. but you can salvage it.

    I am out of tips.. but I guess this are just stuff I learnt over the course of shooting strangers.

    I rarely ask for permission though...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken413o View Post
    Hmm..

    street photography is fleeting moments in everyday life.. So pointing the camera at random people on the streets is fine and dandy but capturing little interesting snippets into the lives of people is a whole nother level of street photography.

    From the blank stares of people as they go about their routine to candid smiles between friends and even the frown of an agitated old man.

    But how do you go bout capturing these precious moments?

    Know your camera very well! have all the functions down to muscle memory as street photography is pretty much an instantaneous organic form.

    I had this great tip once: Use aperture priority and put the exposure meter to -1/3 or something like that and use a somewhat wide aperture. You'll get pretty good shots without the fiddle of the camera. But try not to use this as a crutch to learning what your camera can and cannot do.

    Learn to manual focus. Under low light, the auto focus is pretty crap.

    Learn to have great expectations. Imagine a scenario, and try to capture it. It's also known as goal setting. (For me this does not work unless I found a great location and I'm waiting for just the right person to walk into my great picture.)

    Respect the people you shoot. (I dunno.. if the person is nice say thank you, smile.. you know the drill.. be a nice person. If you sense any form of danger.. don't hesitate to vacate. No point getting a black eye over voyeurism.)

    Don't think about what lens to use but just use a lens. Most people get caught up with using a lens.. but when the reality is.. you can use any lens. I use my 11-16 ultra wide angle most of the time as well as a 50mm f1.8 but on certain occasions I use the 70-200 to achieve some different feels. Just use any lens and adapt to it.

    Think outside the box. Don't just point at people straight on. Use reflections, water puddles, bokeh, light, shadows, shapes, colours or whatever.. The sky is your limit or should I say your creative eye is your limit.

    A simple but very effective tip is to bring your camera everywhere.. It may seem cumbersome.. but some of my better street shots were just me going from one point to another.

    The live view. Very good tool for more discrete shooting.. Can help you manual focus better too but the downside is it eats batteries like a fat man at a buffet.

    Not really a tip but a general observation: making your picture black and white does not automatically deem a photo artistic or street. (I'm just biased because I force myself to shoot colour photos all the time.) =P

    Err.. shoot in raw? Sometimes you have great shots that are under or over exposed due to moments of panic.. it happens.. but you can salvage it.

    I am out of tips.. but I guess this are just stuff I learnt over the course of shooting strangers.

    I rarely ask for permission though...
    bro... many thx for sharing...
    ive never tried street photography before.. but with these great tips.. i might go for one..
    ~PeaceNoWar~

  14. #14
    Member makolit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    some tips i picked up.

    go wide. 24mm or wider. most of the time, you can get close without the camera pointed directly at your subject. it can look like your shooting something behind the subject but the person is still actually in the shot.

    go fast. prime lenses come to mind. you need to have a fast lens to capture moments at a flick of a switch. continous shooting at high FPS helps too.

    go low. practice shooting "from the hip". less inconspicous, especially in noisy areas (not so inconspicous at tomb-quiet places as the shutter will give you away). you'll have to be aware of the angle you are holding your camera as most of the time you'll just get the floor.

    practice mate. and good luck.
    i wanted to do street as well, but it's still a daunting task for me.

    cheers!
    is using a digital camera that works ...

  15. #15
    Member willdoang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by makolit View Post
    some tips i picked up.

    go wide. 24mm or wider. most of the time, you can get close without the camera pointed directly at your subject. it can look like your shooting something behind the subject but the person is still actually in the shot.

    go fast. prime lenses come to mind. you need to have a fast lens to capture moments at a flick of a switch. continous shooting at high FPS helps too.

    go low. practice shooting "from the hip". less inconspicous, especially in noisy areas (not so inconspicous at tomb-quiet places as the shutter will give you away). you'll have to be aware of the angle you are holding your camera as most of the time you'll just get the floor.

    practice mate. and good luck.
    i wanted to do street as well, but it's still a daunting task for me.

    cheers!
    tips 1, it will fail mostly rather than work, no matter where u're pointing ur lens just ur presence with the camera already create an awareness
    tips 2, not needed on bright day light
    tips 3, yea and soon someone will report u of trying to get a skirt shoot and u'll lim kopi with the guys in blue trying to explain and there goes ur fine weekend lol

    i usually just bring out either my 50 or 55-250(if i'm super lazy to interact with people) for my leisure weekend street shoots with my big headphone attached to my ears lol
    Last edited by willdoang; 20th December 2010 at 09:55 AM.
    i buy i sell i use, repeat, such are the vicious endless cycle of GAS

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    I think having good situational awareness and anticipation helps a lot. Be more aware of what is going on, and try to spot potential shots that before they happen.

    Of course, quick reactions help - this is where you must know your camera very well.

    Another good skill to have is being able to shoot from the hip/waist, without looking through the viewfinder.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    aiyah.. Just follow me and shoot like this..


    Discreet Street

    (this was a joke.. but I think it would work in the real world. You'd get quite the response.)

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    a DSLR can hardly escape from eyes... therefore its good to learn how to shoot from hip sometimes... knowing zone focus will aid in hip shooting. Going beyond 200mm maybe discreet but that makes you pervy imo. Also, without going relatively near to the subject and establish some kind of interaction with the subject... the photo may lack depth. Once again my 2 cts.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by teh-peng View Post
    Hi am relatively new to photography here.
    Have been investing most of my time in street photography.
    But I have a problem, I'm alwaysss very timid when I want to shoot people and moments.
    It's either I chicken out when they stare at me or when I think they are scary
    Please do drop tips! Thank you!
    Quote Originally Posted by mayhemics View Post
    i find it helpful to have a lens that can go beyond 200mm... pretty discreet most of the time that way.
    if ts is shooting at focal length between 18 to 55. You will definitely get to "interact" with your "subjects".

    Draken413o. Interesting photo there. kinda make my day. thank you.
    Coolthought - 冷静思考 - クールだ http://xaa.xanga.com/0aba0666d143253.../t35917343.gif

  20. #20

    Default Re: Tips on street photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by coolthought View Post
    if ts is shooting at focal length between 18 to 55. You will definitely get to "interact" with your "subjects".

    Draken413o. Interesting photo there. kinda make my day. thank you.
    No problems! Hmm.. what about shooting at 11mm..

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