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.