Of all the different genres, street photography can be the most unpredictable. However, by its nature it can also be one of the most exciting and fulfilling. Capturing striking, interesting and unique images of everyday life certainly involves a great deal of luck, but it also requires quite a bit of skill if you’re to be successful.
Undertaking some professional learning, like a Joel Meyerowitz photography course, which we’ll mention at the end of this article, is the best way to gain a meaningful grounding, but there are a few simple tips you can begin applying straight away in order to make your images really shine.
This is the most important decision you’ll make, and you have to make it before you leave home. While you might imagine a long lens would be best in order to capture something from afar, in fact having a camera with all the bells and whistles on display will ruin any chances you have of blending in. Go for a wide-angle lens and a small camera that’s not only lighter to carry around, but won’t announce you everywhere you go!
Get Set for Success
Camera settings, that is. The best thing to do (particularly when you’re starting out) is to set your camera to automatic, but, if you’re a little more confident, making aperture a priority is ideal. This means you still have a valuable element of creative control but you won’t have to fuss around with setting your shutter speed. As long as the aperture you choose results in a speed of 1/200th second or faster, you’ll get decent results.
Of course this advice comes with caveats and you certainly shouldn’t be poking your camera in anyone’s face if it’s intrusive. The beauty of using a wide-angle lens means you can get close to a subject and really become part of the scene without drawing attention to yourself. The key is to stay alert at all times so you don’t miss out on any opportunities that might pop up as you’re walking around.
Use a New Angle
You may have heard the phrase ‘shoot from the hip’ and in street photography this can be used very effectively if you’re unable to get the shot from your eye height. You may wish to stay unnoticed, you might see an opportunity to capture a subject from a unique perspective, or you might be looking for an entirely candid image that would be impossible otherwise. Whatever the motivation, while it takes a bit of practice to get used to, shooting from the hip can produce some truly incredible, once-in-a-lifetime images. Learn from a Master on a Joel Meyerowitz Photography Course
If you’re serious about taking your skills to the next level, doing a Joel Meyerowitz photography course online will give you a massive insight into the life of a working street photographer. You’ll be able to ‘follow’ this legendary Master as he wanders the streets in exotic destinations, sharing his tips and tricks. You’ll learn first hand his tactics on how to become ‘invisible’ and how to become a ‘magician’ on the streets so you can develop your own creative identity as a street photographer.
Adam Harper is a Photography Consultant at Masters of Photography. If you’re looking for courses from the world’s greatest photographers, they offer a Joel Meyerowitz photography course online as well as other excellent Masterclasses. Suitable for all levels, the courses provide lifetime access to easy to follow classes, allowing participants to learn valuable tips and tricks and take big steps to improve their photography. The online community affords the opportunity to find inspiration from both the Masters and fellow students.