Hans Morales Photography


Street Photography Techniques Professionals Refuse To Share

Posted by Hans on June 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Street Photography Techniques Professionals Refuse To Share

street photography

Many photographers find the challenge and excitement of street photography very enticing. For them, they feel exceptionally rewarded when they are able to create great pictures from street photography. There are a lot of interesting and unique subjects to take photographs of in the streets. Good street photographers are able to take great pictures of the various situations and people on the streets.

Photographers dabbling in street photography deal with subjects in public places and in candid situations. There is a wide variety in the kind of subjects and the pictures that are possible in street photography and that will give people a glimpse on the everyday drama that happens on the streets and in other public places. A single photograph can freeze a particular moment in time of the life of a subject and make it available for closer inspection. One good thing about street photography is that there is that possibility that the final viewer of the printed image can see more than what was originally seen by the photographer.

When doing street photography, a photographer can be distant from the subject and concentrate on a single moment and catch a poignant or decisive moment. On the other hand, a street photographer can also take the opposite approach and gives a very personal and literal rendering of a particular subject matter to give the viewers a more visceral experience of the various walks of life. There are a number of techniques that can be used when doing street photography and here are some of the basic things you need to keep in mind if you want to try out street photography:

The Street Photographer as A Participant

One of the most challenging aspects about street photography is the matter of taking pictures of strangers. For one, there are photographers who fear taking photographs of strangers and many people are wary of people who take their pictures. Another challenge would be making sure that the subject naturally behaves and the street photographers should be careful not to change this. With practice and with the right technique, these challenges could be surmounted. The key here is for the photographer to be a participant.


A street photographer should blend in with the crowd. You should also dress like how the people you are photographing dress up. You should also not hide your camera so that the people around you will know that you are street photographer and for them to become comfortable with the idea that you may be taking their photographs. This is important if you don’t want them to be startled or surprised if you indeed take their photographs.


Lens and Focal Length

When doing street photography, use normal to wide-angle lens. By using wide-angle lens, you can capture a subject passively. As much as possible, avoid using telephoto lens as this may create anxiety or tension as you may be mistaken for a voyeur. Moreover, the ideal focal length to use would be 35mm but if you want to use more, be sure that it is not longer than 50mm.


If you are into street photography, fast exposures from 1/100 of a second to 1/2000 of a second would be ideal especially if you are shooting in daylight or if you are trying to take pictures of cars in motion or a person’s expression. By using fast exposures, you can capture motion while reducing blurring in your images. When shooting in low light, you can let in more light by using a higher ISO setting. For extra light, the ideal ISO values to use would be from the 400 to 800 range. However, higher ISO usually means grainier images so be careful and try to get the right combination by experimenting. 

Practicality or Usage

You can use these photography techniques both in hobby photography or if you want to start a photography business. Both of those links take you to services to expand your knowledge and effectiveness.



When contemplating about the composition of your photographs, remember that images revealing dichotomy to create tension, build a narrative, or challenge your viewer’s preconceived notions makes for great pictures. To do this, try to split the composition between the scene and the reflections on the ground or you can try to capture parts of a building in split darkness and light. If you are considering other compositions, wait for the composition you have in mind to come together. Waiting for a specific scene to come together requires patience so you must have lots of this if you want to succeed in street photography.


Angles and Perspectives

Try and experiment on various perspectives and angles. You can try shooting from a higher viewpoint or from below. The perspective that you choose can create a narrative as shooting from above can make the subject seem small and this can diminish the importance of the subject while shooting from below can create an impression of grandiosity.


Hope this has been useful…


Roy Barker

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