Comfort with Street Shooting

Woman laughing

Woman laughing


Actually, I am pretty comfortable with street shooting. In fact, I absolutely love it. I took a couple of workshops from Lou Smith of London Photos Workshops who takes small groups out to the South Bank and teaches street shooting. A few of her rules were:

1.  Be a spy. Make yourself as insignificant as possible. Keep your lenses minimal, lurk around, bury yourself in a crowd, stand quietly off to onside of events until you become invisible.

2.  Set your speed at 250 so you shoot with a fast exposure.

3. Get close. Lou uses a 50 mm prime lens for street shooting. I have never been able to go lower than 18-105 in a lens; however, I bought that lens especially for street shooting.

4.  Get low – sit down and you are less likely to be noticed.

5.  Hang around street performances. No one will be looking at you.

6.  Always be respectful.

I follow those rules every time I go out on the street and I haven’t gotten in trouble so far. Wednesday was no exception. We drove up to Exeter for a day out and I took time to visit the Christmas Market on the Cathedral green. It was great shooting – lots of people who were busy looking at merchandise, street performers and lots of people inside stalls working at their crafts and tasks. The weather was pretty good – a little cloudy and cold, but no rain.

I took 55 shots in the 90 minutes I was in the market. Babies are always wonderful, but I make sure to ask for permission. One mother was delighted, but the other declined. As for everyone else, only one person spotted me so I take that to be a successful shoot.   I shot at 400 ISO after taking a few trial shots at 200. 400 let me get the exposures I needed. I also shot at speed priority, 1/250s which gave me a fast shutter.

As I said above, I love street shooting and look forward to doing a lot of it in this unit. Practice gives better shots.


About idaswears

I left the U.S. for Cornwall 4 years ago. Since then I have spent my time writing, walking and studying the English. It's not always easy being a Yank in Cornwall, but it's always fun and rewarding.
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