Thought I’d write a short piece about street photography this week as I seem to be taking quite a few ‘street’ type shots at the moment as I continue with my 365 Project.
There are many great street photographers and there isn’t time to talk about them all here, so I’ll list a few for you to go and explore;
Street photography (different from street portraiture) is characterised by candid, honest depictions of everyday life – usually on the streets of big cities, and nearly always involving people.
As the greatest of all, Henri Cartier Bresson, used a Leica camera and black and white film, this is usually the style (and if you can afford it, the kit) of choice for street photographers. For those of us with shallower pockets, the new range of mirrorless cameras or high-end compact cameras provide the opportunity for high quality with a small and less obtrusive camera body. I mostly use my Lumix TZ60 (and before that the Powershot G10) for street shots.
Most street photographers prefer a fixed focal length prime lens usually of a wide 24mm or 35mm angle to allow a whole scene to be captured, thus giving context to a shot. The downside (or upside depending on your point of view) is that you are forced to move around in the scene to get the composition you want.
I’m only an occasional street photographer and prefer the option of a zoom lens to enable me to shoot more discreetly. I’m also a fan of literally shooting from the hip – whereby I hold the camera down by my side and shoot scenes and views from this low, inconspicuous position. It’s a lot more hit-and-miss but does get some pleasing results – both the shot above and the one below were shot “from the hip”.
Another method is sitting down with my camera on my lap, this enables me to look in one direction and shoot in the opposite direction without anyone realising, as I did with this shot and the one further up of the people on the train;
Using your mobile phone is a great way to be inconspicuous and get good images;
Go on . . . give it a try . . .