How do you go about capturing really good street photographs? In this video, professional photographer Ian Plant suggests you go where people congregate.
He explains, “Cars, traffic, pedestrians, buildings. Any place where people are on the go makes great photo opportunities.” This all creates visual chaos, and chaos creates good street photography. He suggests attending special events, fairs, festivals, holiday celebrations, concerts, or places where there are gathering spots, busy corners, bus stops, or outdoor cafés.
You are looking for people who have a story to tell.
Ian shows you how to anticipate the moment when there is interaction, or something interesting is about to happen. To capture these spontaneous moments, it’s a good idea to handhold your camera, and always be ready to shoot and have your camera settings pre-applied. He suggests going autofocus, a shutter priority of 100 or more, and a higher ISO setting such as 200 or 400 to hold sharpness of a moving subject.
You will learn how to recognize the inner action of shadow and light, why it works to photograph people when they are unaware and engrossed in conversation, how to see ironic juxtapositions of street objects, how to look for window reflections, and when it makes sense to stop and wait for a photo op, or when it’s best to keep moving.
Ian recommends not thinking literally about what you’re shooting. It’s better to think of people, places, and things as artistic objects. He explains, “A person, a car, a sidewalk all become shapes, lines, or colors.” Your goal is to compose street elements in a pleasing way, which will create images that aren’t just snapshots.
Tag along with pro shooter Ian Plant as he takes to the streets and gives you tips on how to create meaningful images where people gather. Great street photographs can happen anywhere, any place, and anytime.
See all of the videos in our Street Photography Course:
Taking It to the Streets: An Introduction to Street Photography—Course Preview
Street Photography Equipment
Rights and Responsibilities When Photographing People in Public
Techniques for Handheld and Tripod Photography
How to Photograph People: Tips and Techniques
Techniques for Capturing Great Street Photographs
Using Shadow Photography to Enhance Your Shot
The Basics of Street Photography
Using Your Photos to Tell a Story
Capturing Artistic Composition in Street Photography
Artistic Street Photography: How to Capture the Best Shot
Photographing Sunsets Tips and Techniques
Using Night Photography to Capture a Skyline