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Better Street Photography

In its simplest forms, street photography is about capturing unscripted, candid moments and emotions of everyday life in public spaces like streets. This can range from stills of buildings captured in the reflection of a puddle to stress exemplified by a man sitting on the curb with his head in his hands. Street photography may be an anomaly to some as photographers can’t pose subjects and, instead, need to wait for the perfect shot so their presence doesn’t affect the authenticity of the moment. However, the possibilities are endless if photographers are patient, vigilant, bold, unafraid of shooting in public places, and have the right equipment with them.

Street photography is one of the most popular genres of photography because of how accessible it is. Unlike beauty photography, street photography doesn’t require an intricate setup, and subjects don’t have to spend hours in the makeup chair. Unlike wildlife photography, street photography doesn’t require photographers to visit remote locations across the globe. All street photography requires is a camera and an eye for capturing unique moments. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a seasoned pro, these street photography tips will help you get the most of your time on the streets and take more great shots!

© Klaus Wohlmann
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Use a smaller camera

Larger cameras may have better specifications and can produce higher resolution images, but they’ll alert people to the fact that you may be photographing them, ruining the candid element of street photography. Smaller cameras draw far less attention in public spaces, preserving the impromptu, unfiltered look at life that makes street photography so compelling. You’ll also be doing a lot of walking, so carrying a large, heavy camera will slow you down and tire you out much quicker. This is not to say that you can’t use larger cameras though, they may just make your job a little harder. If your focus is more on cities and the streets themselves rather than the public, it makes sense to use a larger camera along with a lens like the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 A032 that can maximize the potential in the latest high-pixel-density cameras and delivers amazing image quality and sharpness. For a smaller camera, consider a fast standard zoom like the 28-75mm F/2.8 A063 or an all-in-one such as the 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 A071.

Learn to stand still and blend in with an environment

In addition to using a small camera, standing, or sitting still can help you capture more unique angles and more interesting perspectives.

Even if you have a small camera, you’ll be alerting people to your presence if you’re constantly on the move running around looking for a shot. Instead, find an area to stay in for a few hours, be vigilant in your observations, understand the flow of foot traffic, and take note of the types of people who frequent the area. You may want to scout for good places the day before your shoot, so you know exactly where to be and when.

© Klaus Wohlmann
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Avoid confrontation by looking beyond your subject

It’s inevitable that people will be curious about what you’re taking photos of. If you want to maintain a low profile, there is a way to reduce the number of passersby who question what you’re doing. Don’t make eye contact with subjects after you’ve taken their photo, instead look beyond them and turn your focus to what’s happening behind them. You’ll look more like a tourist on vacation, and subjects will be less likely to confront you.

© Woody Lau
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If you are confronted, just calmly explain what you’re doing and consider showing them the photos that you took of them.

Spend more time taking photos and less time examining them

“Chimping” is a photography term that describes the act of reviewing every photo right after you take it. If you’re examining every photo you just took on your digital camera’s LCD screen, you may miss a great photo opportunity right in front of you! Consider turning the feature off and, instead, focusing more on reviewing your photographs after your shoot, rather than during.

Shop The Lenses You Need for Spectacular Street Photography

As a leading camera lens manufacturer, Tamron has the gear you need to photograph any subject. If you’re ready to buy new Tamron lenses like the A032, A063 or A071, just check out our list of authorized Tamron dealers near you.

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