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Feature Image by: Stephen Finkel

Ten Tips for capturing Street Photography

While much of street photography involves prefect timing and a watchful eye, Canon Collective Community Manager Stephen Finkel has put together some tips to capturing candid imagery.

Typically, street photography is about candidly capturing life in public areas and capturing the human condition. Street photography should be totally candid. None of the elements in the image whether people or other elements should be arranged or staged in anyway. It doesn’t always require people in the scene or be shot on a street to be considered street photography.

Keep an open mind and be aware of your surroundings no photo is worth injuring yourself or putting yourself into a potentially dangerous situation. Always have a full charge in your mobile. Shoot with a friend always good to have an extra set of eyes and ears. Try and read the scene and the people avoid taking images of people arguing or acting errantly, there are somethings best not photographed.

Image of arch entryway

1. Think about what you will wear
Wear comfortable shoes as you will spend a lot of time on your feet, avoid loud bright clothing so you do not standout, you don’t want too unnecessarily influence the subjects in the scene with your presence.

2. Choosing the right equipment
Minimise your gear just one body and lens, the Canon RF/EF 24-105mm f/4 is a perfect lens for street photography. My Kit Canon EOS R5 with RF 24-105mm Lens with a crossover shoulder strap so the camera hangs by my side and is mainly out sight and very comfortable for long periods of shooting. Also bring some spare batteries and memory cards with you.

3. Label your Gear
Label your batteries and cards with your email or mobile number may help you if you misplace or lose them on your adventure on the street.

4. Sound
If your camera has silent shooting, you may want to use especially in quiet places and indoors like cafes, public transport etc. Shooting from inside a café etc. though the windows can give your images a completely different look.

Image of a skater in action

5. Be ready for anything
Things can move quickly on the street so if you’re not ready you’ll miss lots of opportunities. So have your camera ready, for capturing and freezing walking subjects shutter speeds of 1/250sec or higher are ideal.

6. Shoot from the hip
Shooting from the hip is a technique that can take a little practice but can work well in some situations, the flip screens that are available on many Canon camera models are perfect especially when coupled with the touch shutter option.

7. Try Black & White
Black and white is ideal for street photography street photography is about experimenting.

8. Keep your Eyes Open
Find a great background for your image and wait for a suitable subject to enter the frame, if after 20mins its not working, move on to any another location. Street photography is about exploring.

Black and white image of a couple in the ocean taken by Stephen Finkel

9. Think about Light
Look for the light, built up areas like cites you find pools of light and shadows which are great to catch subjects as pass thought, even in street photography you can get creative using what is in front of you. High key or silhouette images can make for great images.

10. Do Your Research
Research the areas you’re planning to photograph. Some places can be no go zones for photography or you may need permission to photograph there. You also need to be respectful of other people’s privacy.

For more tips from our community, head to our Facebook and Instagram or Join the Canon Collective Facebook Group here.