Street Photography Tips – Part 1

Dubai | June | 2011

Just thought of sharing some tips on street photography “dos and don’ts”. Everything that you read here is from my point of view and from my experience of extensive street photography.

There are millions of tips to share about shooting on streets, but let me round up some of the most important ones for now.

Thumb rule of street photography is “there is no rule”. In simple “Don’t worry what camera you use, just capture the moments.” 

To begin with : For a beginner the biggest confusion lies in “setting up the settings” for each shot and in streets, its about capturing a moment instantaneously ,which can be easily missed while you struggle to set the controls. Once you know your camera in and out (with experience ofcourse!), settings are a matter of few scrolls here and there and takes just about a second or two. So for all the beginners out here, put your camera on auto mode and start shooting. Work on composition and perspectives while camera decides the settings.

This shot was taken during my initial days of street photography and on auto mode…intention was to capture the feel of “Back to Back” perspective of “a tourist” here for leisure vs “the worker” here for existence. if I had fumbled across to set the details on cam, I would have easily missed this sync of them facing each others back.

Ditch your Zoom lens : Zoom lenses are not really appropriate for street photography as they attract a lot of  attention and makes people suspicious. Especially when you are shooting around in places like Middle East, it can sometimes be risky aswell. So better off stick to prime lenses or Wide angles and keep it simple.Also avoid your camera bag, as its better with some reduced weight during long walks.

People on a break playing cards…managed not to grab their attention because of the simple equipment used.

Paint with light : Photography in general is all about lighting and it can be used at its best when on streets, where street serves as your studio and sun as your flash guns. Look for shadows and you may end with some cool looking shots.

A candid street shot with the elongated shadows…it adds a new dimension to the whole picture. Look for shadows especially during the sunsets.

Get Candid : If you are hesitant to approach people, go candid. Keep the settings of your camera at its optimum depending on the lighting conditions (or put it on aperture priority @ f8) and start clicking candidly without them noticing.  You will have story telling pictures this way around as it captures their mood as it is. Here are few of my candid shots to illustrate…

A candid shot on a early morning street walk…subject seems to have lost in thoughts…if he had known i was clicking, the whole feel of the picture would have vanished.

Another of those candid shots where subjects are absolutely lost in conversation.

Candid shot of a fisherman having a smoke break…here the blurred clutters in foreground adds to the feel of candid picture.

A ship builder on work…he didn’t even notice that he was being clicked…which makes the shot very much natural…again blurred clutter adds to feel of candid shot here.

As mentioned in beginning there a million tips that can be given for shooting on streets. These are just the few but very much most important ones. In the next blog you would read about perspectives and various angles of shooting. 

Happy Shooting 


About subodhshetty
This entry was posted in photography, Street Photography, Tips and Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Street Photography Tips – Part 1

  1. hius mendoza says:

    Nice one, keep it up..

  2. Pankaj Solanki says:

    Nice explanation behind the intention of each photograph. cool 🙂

  3. adambacker says:

    I like your idea of using f8 with the Av mode for candid shot capture. This reminded and confirmed me that I am also in the right direction. Hoping to read more from you.

  4. Rosh. says:

    Liked the narration, all the best for you as a blogger.

  5. shailesh says:

    thanks dude 4 d tips…those ll help us:)

  6. Sanjay Pradhan says:

    like your work ! keep it up !!

  7. nice blog. keep it up…

  8. Sara Castaño says:

    Amazing shots, congrats!!!

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