This is part of a three part series on how to start Street Photography…
Good Street Photography is difficult. I have recently read an article whereby a very experienced photographer stated that 99% of all Street Photographs are crap. He may have been more blunt…
This article may help you enter the exciting world of street photography. Let’s start with the basics.
It is not important. This is the thing that many new photographers stress out about. You are not alone, experienced photographers also obsess about gear – and this includes me. Here is the truth, the camera is the least of your worries. There are many great websites showcasing some awesome photography, go look at them and I defy you to spot the difference between a shot taken with an iphone or a high end professional DSLR.
These photos were taken with three different cameras of mine, a Nikon D7100, a Ricoh Grii and an old film camera. Can you tell which is which?
OK, I lied. Do some research, find one you love, spend that extra cash if you want the better model. You are going to spend lots of time with it. Think about what you want from it. Do you want a small camera that will not stand out too much? Will a tilting screen help you capture candid shots? Do you need video? Is it comfy in your hand? Google, ‘what camera is best for street photography’, there are lots of recommendations out there.
With DSLR’s it is often the lens that has more of an impact than the body. My Nikkor 35mm will have to be torn from my dying hands before I give it up.
There are better things you can spend your money on than a new camera if you want to improve your Street Photography.
Books – real ones not downloads. Look at the work of the greats and learn. Look at books on technique, look for books with strong opinions (and then disagree with them), look at ‘how to’ books and learn a new trick in PhotoShop, or a new camera setting.
Magazines – These are great for inspiration and ideas.
Lessons – I took lessons a year ago. I went for the beginner course and was worried I would know it all. I spent three days being drilled on ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I did know it, kind of. But after three days I really new it. Street photography is all about reaction, you have not got time to think about your settings.
Holidays – go somewhere out the way. Take photos. Be Inspired. Just go.
The one you love – Street Photography requires a lot of time wondering the streets all by yourself. Other people can be a distraction. Wait on buying that camera for a little while, there will be a better one out next week anyway. Take out the one you love and spoil them rotten. Believe me, this will make it easier in the long run when you do want to shell out some cash on new gear.
A decidedly un ‘street’ like photo of the Gorgeous Faye Page, who deserves to be featured due to her unending patience with my GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome…) . Promise to self ‘spend more on her and less on cameras!’
If you are still here I am guessing you are interested in Street Photography and already have a camera. As always, this blog is a little tongue in cheek. Remember, the best camera is the one you have on you. Buy one you love (and spare batteries…).
Look out for my next article on how to frame a great Street Shot.
Have fun and keep clicking! Chris