Instead of writing a detailed article on each of these topics I want to share some easy tips for Street Photography that instantly can improve your photographs and helped me out in a lot of situations.
The first tip can help you get started into Street Photography if you are still uncomfortable of shooting in public. Whether it is a music festival some sports events or even political demonstrations, people are usually accustomed to cameras at these events and won’t mind having their picture taken. There are also a lot of other photographers out there where you can blend in with your camera.
Respect the background
What is in front of your camera is important and to most, the subjects that are closer become increasingly meaningful. That leads to the problem, that we put a lot of effort into the foreground and the center of the photo while neglecting the background. One positive aspect of modern equipment is, that even low price lenses allow for a very shallow depth of field. But the “Bokeh War” can not be the solution for Street Photographers. Instead of blurring everything, not of interest out, try to put some effort into finding the right background, middle ground, and foreground. If any of those three dimensions doesn’t work, try to find a better perspective, or go on to the next photo.
I put a lot emphasize on talking about learning how to improve your eye for good photography. While talent and hard work can improve your skills as a photographer, there is another key factor between mediocre pictures and outstanding images. Not only the hours that you invest in your photography, in general, are important, but also the time that you invest in every single image and scene. Street Photography is often described as a snapshot genre, meaning that the process of taking pictures happens in a few seconds. This is true for some, but also contrary to a lot of other images. For example when you have a great scene, maybe a background that you saw and want to work with. Try to imagine that you had full control over the scene, which props would you need and how would you arrange everything. Now try to recreate your image and don’t stop until you have it. Don’t accept the next best thing, if you don’t get your desired picture, go on to the next scene and hope that luck will be on your side this time. Sometimes waiting for an image, that you know will be absolutely outstanding, for an hour is justified. Better yet, if you have the opportunity to visit the place another time, invest the hours on another day. If you think the light isn’t perfectly waiting until it is and then harvest all the hours that you put into that picture on that day when everything is the way you want it to be.
Search for new angles
Most pictures are taken at the eye-level. If your motive allows it, it might be fine, but most of the time we take the easy pictures just out of laziness. We are too lazy to go down on the ground just for that one picture that we are unsure if it might turn out as we expect it. But if you want to create excellent pictures you have to put in work in every single image. That also means to search for the best perspective for every photo that we take. Most of the time an extraordinary point of view can enhance your picture. Either low on the ground or high above from an elevated position. Both perspectives are out of the ordinary and can elevate your picture to the next level.
Do it differently
In addition to the new perspectives, you can also live by the guideline to photograph differently. How you want to interpret this statement is up to you. You can search for unique subjects, perspectives, light moods or create your own post-processing. Innovation is rare in Photography because almost everything has already been photographed and it is difficult to create your own style. But if you are able to find your own niche, you stand out from the masses of average Street Photos and can create your own “brand”. First and foremost you should like what you photograph and through dedication, you will create your own personal legacy.