Approaches to Street

ianbarton

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Aug 18, 2020
Hey all,

I have never felt particularly comfortable with street photography and curious to hear about other folk's approaches to street photography such as best practices for asking people to take their photo, shooting from the hip as opposed to from the viewfinder, location scouting vs happenstance, etc.

Thanks!
Ian
 

KayMCee

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I've just entered this realm of street photography a few months ago. It's been mostly challenging for me because I don't want to get in people's faces. My friend is a photojournalist and has zero problem doing this. I live near Chicago so I spend time there and look touristy, taking shots 'of architecture'. In camera, I compose to be sure the people line up and grab the shot. When I pull the camera away, I'm always looking up at 'that building I took a picture of'... lol. I also LOVE finding folks in a beam of light and typically convert those to black and white. One thing I'm not comfortable with is children unintentionally caught in the shot. I usually just delete that image.
Now that I'm a little more comfortable walking around taking what looks like random shots, I'll try to find some comedy in the composition. Have fun!
 

Kasboh

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I also started to try street photography. So far I just try to hide faces in shadows or maybe to shoot from the back.
like here
 

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Devoncadams

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I like the A7iii's angled screen so I can shoot while looking down to the camera. I used to do this all the time with my Olympus & no one ever felt you were shooting them. It's a lot less "in your face".
 

Kriszti

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It depends where you are in the world as some countries don't actually allow the photography of people in the streets, but in the UK I tend to use the 35mm Sony f2.8 lens, which has quite a low profile, and as long as you're on public property (although with some sites you have to do your research as to whether or not it's allowed). I'm quite comfortable with taking images of street life and have a happy and approachable demeanour if anyone asks what I'm doing. I do try and make it obvious that I'm taking shots of the street that happen to have people in - so I'll not make it obvious I'm watching or following anyone with the camera. I've not yet had anyone make a fuss, but if they do I'm happy to talk about it, and if they become really tetchy I may consider erasing the image - but I've not had to do that yet.
 
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Carlos

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In Spain, unfortunately, it is not allowed ... Well, there really are problems if you make money from those photos. It's a shame, since that's what I like to photograph, even if I can only share in forums and in privacy ...
 
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Drewid

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Photography is changing so much, almost everyone is a photographer due to the fact that their phone has a camera on it. Therefor people taking photos in the street is becoming more and more the norm.

I find it quite easy to ask someone in perhaps a less developed country if I can take their photo. They have always said yes and I have always paid. In Sri Lanka I apparently paid the ladies collecting the tea leaves a whole days pay!

Street photography at home in the UK is a different matter and needs to be carried out with more care and less in your face techniques even though in a public place you are free to photograph who you like.

Hmm, I did get attacked in Spain when I photographed a chap selling what looked to be wild birds. He battered me with a walking stick, I got the shot though so worth the bruises!
 
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keithinmelbourne

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If you really want to get comfortable with street photography practicing at public events is a good place to start. Usually, you will find that people are more comfortable with photographers when there are so many about. Some events, such as remembrance parades provide great opportunities. Look for local festivals or events, it doesn’t matter what they are, but they ‘give you permission’, almost, to wave your camera around.
 
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Kalych

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For me it's two different approaches: either snipe from further out using a telephoto lens, which does not require substantial interaction with the subject. Easy enough on my aps-c body. Second is actually approaching people asking if they're ok posing for a photo...hit and miss with the last one 🙂
 
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galatas

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As Kristzty says it depends where you are. I prefer that people look spontaneous but I proceed in very different ways depending on the situation. Most of the time a big smile is enough. Once you ask permission the picture looks more a portrait than a street photography. In countries where they don´t like to be photographed a telephoto can help.
 

Jmartinayers

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Oct 17, 2020
Hey all,

I have never felt particularly comfortable with street photography and curious to hear about other folk's approaches to street photography such as best practices for asking people to take their photo, shooting from the hip as opposed to from the viewfinder, location scouting vs happenstance, etc.

Thanks!
Ian
I like street shooting as well. On piece of advice that I was given about street is to use a smaller camera. One that make you look like a tourist than a Photographer. People get nervous and uncomfortable when they see a lot of gear...big camera pointing at them. A lot of famous street photographers use this technique in catching notable shots.
 

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