For amateur photographers, street photography can be intimidating. You generally shoot candidly, and in public places, in an uncontrolled setting where anything can happen and the scene is never the same. It’s definitely not the easiest discipline!
But street photography is popular as it captures the texture of a city in a single photo. It’s personal and raw, and captures a city’s true soul. For instance, it is more than just taking a photo of cars passing through traffic. It is about waiting for the right second, as soon as the car passes by with its windows rolled down and you can see the kids inside the car bored from traffic.
And even though this is the most practiced kind of photography, many beginner photographers have a fear of shooting in the street. So if you’re looking to overcome your fear of street photography, or improve your craft, here are some helpful tips to guide you.
Simple Street Photography Tips for Beginners
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Have an Objective When Taking Portraits
Street portraits are fun to shoot because it allows you to approach and talk to your subject. But try and have an objective in mind to start off. For instance, will you only take pictures of peoples eyes? Maybe people who have a weird sense of style but they carry it in a cool way. Keep this objective in mind and be on the lookout for people who fall under it.
For instance in Malaysia you can choose lots of subjects, from businessmen to hawker stall sellers. You can even choose fashion subjects because everyone knows the Asia has the most unique fashion sense, right? You won’t run out of people to take photos of, it is only a matter of narrowing down who you will be taking photos of for the day.
Use a Wide Angle Prime Lens
Photos taken with longer focal lengths are awesome, it allows you to take shots that are up close and, well, personal. But people who do this often are missing out on capturing different framings and perspectives.
For instance, in a city like Kuala Lumpur, where traffic is ever-changing, would you not want to capture the commute experience by taking a photo of not just the cars, but a section of the street as well, with the buildings and the people walking by the pavement?
Ask People to Come to You
If you’re tired of walking around the city, you can set up post and ask people to model for you or take photos of people candidly. This will only work if you have a certain subject in mind.
For instance, you want to take photos of the different people hanging out in the KLCC Park and the things they do to pass the time. These photos will tell a story about what Malaysians do on a work day in the park, how they kill time, and what not.
These are just some of the street photography tips amateurs can take note of during their stint. Just remember, if you have snapped a photo before telling someone so that the moment is candid, make sure to show it to them and ask permission if you want to post it online.
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