The beauty of street photography is that it is an ever-changing landscape and created endless opportunity for photography. Here are a few ideas to get the most out of a street photography session.
Find Your Setting
Think about what it is you’re trying to capture and consider all your choices. Not all streets are created equal. A deserted street may result in a much more moody photo than being caught in the centre of a carnival, while a bustling city centre may create much more opportunity than a quiet side road.
Framing can transform a photo into a composition. By using the setting around you as your frame, you can manipulate the way your photo is seen and add a more interesting element. Look for things like leading lines – something to draw the eye to a certain point in your photo, such as roads and horizons, or use what the urban landscape has to offer, such as billboards and phone boxes.
Find Your Lighting
Some settings look bland during the day and come to life at night. Others are dark and intimidating at midnight and bright and welcoming at midday. Lighting is so often discussed in photography, and with good reason – the same photo taken in the soft light of dawn or dusk can look drastically different to the harsh light of the brightest hours of the day.
Get up early and catch the sunrise and the first few hours of light, or stay out and watch the city’s nightlife slowly waking up. If you take a disappointing photo during the day, try the same one at night and see what happens – get to know the area you want to photograph and figure out what time gives you the lighting and atmosphere you’re after.
Streets are full of motion – use it! People are constantly animated, vehicles whiz past and birds scatter skywards… You’ll never be lost for movement if you really look around you. Use it to create dynamic photos that show a blur of colour, or a single element picked out the focus from a flurry of movement behind.
Remember, above all, that the best photos can happen in a split second, as nothing in the world of street photography stays the same for very long. Always keep an eye out for opportunity!