What exactly is street photography?
Street photography, in its essence, means the candid photography of humanity. A street photograph is a real moment, a shot that captures and transforms life into a photograph. Street photographers filter the world to share what they are interested in and what they feel about.
However, the term itself is unclear and awkward, it's not just about people walking down the street. This type of photography can offer us much more than that. Although its definition is very ambiguous, one thing is clear and that is that when you see street photography you detect it in a second.
Street photographers are observers by nature. It's a way of connecting with the world and bringing the moments that stand out. It can be compared to a visual form of poetry, behind every image there are feelings, ideas, stories or questions.
What equipment do you need?
The possibilities are endless, you can use your cell phone, a film camera, a digital one.... Of course, some cameras are more suitable than others, but as long as you have a camera, you can do street photography and practice as you please.
Of course, artistic photography requires practice even if it doesn't look like it. There are different factors that we have to take into account if we want to get the most out of it.
-First of all, remember that in many moments you are photographing people, try not to disturb them or go beyond their personal zone. Approach carefully to maintain the naturalness of the scene.
-Another key element is the zoom, turning the zoom ring is easy, but moving is better. Zoom is not the most strategic tool. Most photos are taken with a short fixed focal length. This type of lens requires the photographer to adjust the framing while moving. Moving closer to the subject has its advantages as this will allow you to show much more detail and focus on the main subject. People looking at your photo will focus on the subject and not get lost with the background.
-On the other hand, you don't want to forget about that background either, since you're doing street photography, you want to document a human presence in a public place. The best way to isolate the subject, while incorporating the environment they live in, is to get close to them.
-35mm or 50mm
The 35mm is a very versatile focal length and was widely used by photojournalists, the most celebrated street photographers use this focal length. The angle of view is wide enough to compose your photo with the background in the frame. Perspective distortion is less noticeable than with a wide-angle lens. Therefore, it is suitable for portrait photography, keeping people looking good. It is the focal length that will immerse you in the heart of urban life, which will force you to fully involve yourself in your approach. Close to your subjects, you will be an actor in the scene and be able to tell the story unfolding before your eyes.
The 50mm, for many people, is a perfect focal length for street photography. You won't feel any perspective distortion; this lens is the closest to the human eye. Other advantages are its versatility, smaller size and overall brightness. The 50mm allows you to zoom in enough on the main subject while still leaving enough room for the background, which is perfect for telling a story.
-Shooting on the street is not easy; the hardest thing is the fear of being rejected by the people you are trying to photograph. Of course, you can ask the person's permission or take the photo discreetly. However, when you ask permission, the person will act differently and not spontaneously because they will know they are being photographed.
So don't wait any longer and go out and take a picture!