Photo by Peter Bargh
Summer days can be ideal for heading out into your local town or city to take some candid street shots. The sheer volume of people out and about enjoying the sunshine should give you ample subjects to work from, plus the weather encourages people to stay outside, at parks or cafes longer, giving you more chance to think about your shots before taking the plunge.
Candid photography can be quite a controversial subject. There is a delicate balance between taking a quick photo of someone and invading their personal space, so be aware and move on if your subject becomes uncomfortable or agitated.
The idea behind candid photography is to capture your subject unposed and getting on with their daily life. This technique is often good for adding feelings and atmosphere to a shot.
When you're shooting candids, you'll want to try and blend in as once people realise you're photographing them, they'll often act unnaturally. One way to stop this happening is by not using a long lens, as this will make you stand out even more. Instead, switch to a wider lens which can still capture your subject in-frame without having to focus your lens on them.
Olympus' micro four thirds range is ideal for street photography as cameras such as the OM-D are small, yet still pack amazing image quality and the ability to zoom. Members of the public will often feel more at ease with a small camera rather than a huge DSLR, enabling you to slip under the radar more easily.
Try sitting or standing in one place and shooting from the hip/lap. This is made increasingly possible these days with the large LED screens on Olympus Micro Four Thirds Cameras, allowing you to tilt the screen and still see clearly what the shot looks like from a variety of angles that won't shout 'I'm photographing you' as much as holding the camera up to your face.
Street photography can take a lot of patience, but when a shot arises, it can have a lot of impact. Friends chatting at a coffee shop, couples walking along, market stall holders, entertainers, all these sights and more will likely present themselves at some point during your outing. Think about your composition and background to make the shot appeal to the viewer as well as portray your subject as the main focal point.
Put the camera on continuous shooting mode to make your chances of getting good shots as people pass by higher. Remember, practise makes perfect, so the more you go out and shoot the better you'll get at spotting photo opportunities.