Street Photography, one of the most interesting forms of photography, has fascinated me from always. The idea of freezing life in a shot is captivating.

The waking up of a town, the appearance of street vendors in the lanes, the increasing buzz of people, kids leaving for school, surfers hitting the waves, the crowd thinning again around noon – hawkers catching a quick nap by the road before the evening rush, the drowning Sun colouring everything golden, light bulbs coming alive with a twinkle, mountain breeze (oh I cannot stop mentioning mountains) swaying the trees, bunches of friends chatting over in the roads, guitarists hitting some chords and the revelry that often continues till midnight – this and everything about life makes for Street Photography.

While people are usually a part of such shots, presence of a human element – of life – also makes a photograph fall in the genre of Street Photography.

If life has fascinated you like it has fascinated me, here are some quick tips for Street Photography –

1) Know when to use a zoom lens and when not to

shepherd in Gujarat Rann of Kutch

While there is something quite intimidating about a bigger lens for the subject, it all depends on the distance of the camera from your subject. If you are quite sure of the subject and want to focus on just that, you might as well pick a zoom lens. If you have picked a person for your subject, make sure that they know of it! There is nothing more annoying for strangers than to have a huge lens pointed at them.

2) Break the ice

GUjarat Bhuj women

Again, if you have picked a person for your subject, you need to break the ice. I, usually, start with asking them to click a photo of me! Most of the people love handling huge cameras and will oblige you. Once that is done, you can politely ask if you can take their photo. If this much of brain work does not suit you, give them a compliment and see if your words have worked any wonder on them.

3) Show gratitude

 

”Return to TOSH – A Slice of Heaven” with a purpose to hand over their own pictures, their portrait frames. I found that it was more than anything a photographer or a traveller could do for them. They were so happy, it was the best feel for me to watch them sitting and staring at their own pictures. Few of them said; they’ve never expected this from any traveler, who ever visited the place or clicked them while expedition. Living with them was one of the richest experiences I had; even with less access to the facilities they’re always genuinely happy. #life #kasol #tosh #travel #happiness #people #photo #moment #winter #mountains #friends #love #nrcclicks #instagood #happy #photographer #style #chandigarh #himachal #india #nitinraichaudhary

A photo posted by NRC Clicks (@nrcclicks) on

While people have started accepting money for posing for a photograph these days, a majority does not. Nitin Rai Chaudhary of NRC Clicks has been sharing framed photos of people with them, often visiting the same places to distribute those. I often send back photos via emails or post. There is nothing like a good photo of oneself right.

4) Play with Depth of Field

Chow Rasta Market Darjeeling

If you have fallen in love with the way some photos focus on just the subject while having a haze-like effect on everything in the background, this one is for you. Use the Aperture Priority mode on your camera to watch this magic begin. This one is no rocket science.

5) Go Wide Angle to get that street

Use a wide angle lens if you want to catch all the action that is happening in that street. If you would rather have all the action in your photo than focussing at one point, choose a wide angle lens. Best used when there is a flurry of activity, like a carnival, or a fascinating landscape around and you want to capture the essence in one photo.

6) Give directions, but go candid

Varkala Kerala India

Most of the people are not experts at posing for photographs. Do not hesitate at giving directions, let them know how and what you want to get on your lens, pose for an example to help them out. The more important part is to stay candid even when the pose is rehearsed. So, rather than asking them to strike a particular pose, give them an activity wherein you can capture multiple shots and then choose from one of those.

Know of more tips for exceptionally good Street Photography? Feel free to share in the comments below or write to me shikhagautam1@gmail.com

I’ve written this post on the assumption that you are already well-versed with handling a camera and its know hows. If not, do write to me for more tips.

Credits for the featured image – (www.sjoerdlammers.com) Source – Flickr Commons

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