Streets

Its been awhile since I wrote about street shooting, but I was out with a friend over the weekend doing some street. She had a huge backpack with every lens she owned.

Generally, for street work I carry three lenses maximum. They are

Sigma 30mm 1.4
Nikon 50mm 1.8
Nikon 85mm 1.8

Those three lenses are all I need. The 85 is rarely on the camera unless I need that extra reach. I much prefer the 50 for street.  These are all kept in my Billingham Hadley, a bag I love for street work. I’d love to do this with a leica, but I don’t have one. 😦 so I use either a D90 or D7000. There is nothing wrong with a D90, and I love mine, and still use it despite having the D7000. My settings are normally

Aperture or P mode
Center focus point only (or others if more cross types)
Spot metering.
Auto focus single.

Don’t listen to those who sing that a DSLR should always be in manual mode, photographing on the street can be over in seconds, and you may not have the time to fart around. Better getting the shot than missing it. By all means, if your used to manual, and your quick, use it. Otherwise stick with aperture.

The other tip I give people is to learn the frame. See the frame before the camera is at your eye. Wait until your frame is there, camera up and expose, camera down. It takes some getting used to, but it is the best way.

We walked around the streets for a good few hours while she worked up the confidence. That’s something I struggled with, and still do in a way. But it comes with experience. When you realise everyone is wandering around in their own world paying no attention it gets easier.

One question that did come up, is what to photograph. That’s not a question anyone but the photographer can answer. I did however tell her next time to bring a smaller bag, and think what she really needs 🙂

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