Advanced street photography techniques

John Hill

Street photography moments are fleeting. They rarely allow you to get ready and then take a picture. You’ve to be quick with your hands, and your hand-eye coordination has to be extremely fast to quickly take a picture of the moment. To do this, you need a fast shutter speed that can capture the moment. You also need to know the camera like the back of your hand. In this article, we’ll discuss a few advanced street photography techniques.

Know your camera gear

Knowing your camera gear like the back of your hand ensures you can use it constantly without having to look at it. This takes time, but once you’re able to do the basic things like changing aperture (in manual mode), changing ISO, and changing the shutter speed (in manual mode), or dial in the exposure compensation button without having to move your eyes off the viewfinder.

Push your ISO

Two things are required to use a fast shutter speed. First, you need a wide-open aperture, something like f/2.4 or faster. And the second thing you need is a high ISO number. I will talk about aperture some other time. For the moment, I will concentrate on the ISO number. You must push the ISO number high to ensure you can use a faster shutter speed. Even in good light, pushing your ISO allows you to use a fast shutter speed. If it’s moderately overcast, you can push your ISO to 400. In low light conditions, you can experiment by pushing your ISO to 800 or even 1600.

Use a fast shutter speed

A fast shutter speed is a must-have for shooting street photography. A majority of the scenes that unfurls happen at a very fast pace. A slow shutter speed will not be enough to freeze the action. Not that I am against motion blur or something, because if you do it tastefully, even motion blur appears classy in street photography. But in most situations, you would want to capture a sharp, crisp photo, so a fast shutter speed is warranted.

Choose the right aperture

Street photos are best shot with a large depth of field. You need to shoot with a small aperture, something like f/5.6 or smaller, to ensure that a large depth of field can be maintained at all times. A large depth of field will ensure that much of the photo is in focus, a necessary parameter for good street photos.

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