Beginner to Expert: The Ultimate 50 Street Photography Tips for You

My goal of this blog is to share my experience of learning Street Photography myself. Along this road, I wrote many long-form articles on certain Street Photography tips. Longer articles where I wrote about the importance of leading lines, or how you can conquer the night with your camera.

With the following list of Street Photography Tips, I wanted to give you an overview of topics that can help you to become a better Street Photographer.

How To Use these Street Photography Tips

50 Street Photography Tips are a lot to digest at one time. This list isn’t supposed to be read in one going or that you try to apply as many tips as possible when you are on the street the next time.

We as humans are bad at focusing on multiple things at the same time. My tip would be to focus on one or two tips the next time you go out on the street and improve step-by-step rather than mixing everything up.

Get Closer

To start off the list of Street Photography Tips here is one of the most famous tips to get better results.

Robert Capa said “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”

This is true in many ways and often beginners are too afraid to get close to the subject and rather shoot from a “safe” distance. Approaching Street Photography this way has many disadvantages. You are disconnected from your subject, the subject is barely visible & the surroundings are too distracting.

If you are interested in a person, get closer until the subject fills the frame.

Overcome your fear of photographing in public.

Shoot from a low Angle

When doing Street Photography we can either be lazy and always shoot from our normal point of view when we are standing, or we could put some extra effort into the photograph by searching for unique perspectives.

This Street Photography tip means to put more work in your Street Photography.

Shooting from a low angle has the advantage that we normally don’t see the world from this low, which makes any image automatically more interesting.

Use the LCD screen rather than your viewfinder and you can even lay your camera right on the floor. Pre-focus to make sure that your images will be sharp.

Layer Your Images

If you are interested in landscape photography you probably noticed that most sunset photos by the ocean also feature a rock or boat in the foreground. This is not because the photographer is a rock fan, but because it improves the composition and helps the viewer to scale the dimension.

Your pictures should be interesting on every layer from foreground to background. When going out for a photo walk the next time, search for a subject, but also keep your attention to place something in the foreground and background.

By doing so, your photographs will be more life-like and three-dimensional, helping the viewer to immerse in the scene.

Zone-Focus

Street Photography is a fast sport. From spotting a scene to capturing the photo, sometimes only a fraction of a second passes. The auto-focus of your camera might take longer to focus on what your point of interest is.

Therefore using the technique of zone-focussing can help you to not worry about missing the focus anymore.

In short, you use an aperture of at least f/8 and set your focus to manual. Then you set the focus distance to around 1.5 to 2 meter and most of what is near you will be in focus.

For a more comprehensive guide and the math behind it

Know Your Camera

Street Photography can be already very frustrating, but when you miss a shot because the camera doesn’t work in your favor it can really mess up my day.

Therefore get familiar with your camera beforehand. Learn the most important settings and functions at home, where you are not in a stressful situation and have all the time you need.

Don’t experiment with the settings too much, find what works for you the best and go with it. Stay with that gear for a long time and don’t change your equipment every week, otherwise, you won’t even have the chance to use the potential of your current camera.

Use the Automatic P-Mode

Photographers are often worried that in order to get great shots you need to use the manual mode. “P-Mode is only for Amateurs” and other nonsense is easily thrown around.

Truth is, modern cameras are very advanced and in 90% of the situation they do a very well job of metering and adjusting your settings correctly. For the edge cases, you can still switch to manual anyway.

For the best experience, set boundary limits to your shutter speed and aperture, so the settings always stay in a certain range and are more predictable for you.

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