What Is Street Photography?
Often called candid photography, street photography is all about capturing the essence of life. Like its name implies, street photography allows photographers to show everyday life in public places. There are no models, no poses, and no staging. Because of this, it captures life in an authentic way, which makes it especially popular in photojournalism.
Because of its candid nature, subjects are often not aware that they are photographed. This makes street photography ideal for capturing a variety of emotions. It can show sadness, fear, hope, happiness, and even wonder. The photographer can capture humour, juxtaposition, action, or tell a specific story. It’s this, and the emotion it conveys, that makes street photography so popular.
Equipment and technique
There are no specific equipment requirements for being successful street photographer. Most portable cameras, like range finders, SLR’s and point-and-shoot camera can be used.
Most street photographers, however, prefer 35mm full-frame cameras with lens focal lengths of 28mm – 50mm. These lenses allow a wide angle of view and increased depth of field. The wide angle lens allows the photographer to capture subjects without them knowing they’re in the frame and the increase depth can emphasize subjects in the frame. This is the essence of capturing candid situations in daily life.
Remember, in street photography, there’s no right or wrong way. Every photographer has his own vision which will show in his work.
Because of its candid nature, photos of strangers are usually taken in public places. Generally, this is legal, but is controversial because of privacy concerns. For this reason, some countries have implemented laws which limit how photos of people may be used.
Thus, in some countries, like the United States of America, it is legal. In other countries, like Canada, it’s not allowed. In others, the photographer needs the consent of the subject.
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