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5 Tips For Effective Street Photography From Sebastian Jacobitz

Here, 'Street Photography Hub' blogger Sebastian Jacobitz shares 5 top tips for effective street photography.

| Portraits and People

Words and images by Sebastian Jacobitz

5 Tips For Effective Street Photography From Sebastian Jacobitz: Dog Days

'Dog Days' by Sebastian Jacobitz

Street Photography can be a very challenging task. Whether you are lucky from the start and reel in a big keeper or just netted some pictures that you want to delete immediately depends on a lot of factors. Here are 5 tips that will help you to regain the joy of photography and yield better results in a shorter amount of time.

Be a tourist

Everything is interesting if you are experiencing it for the first time. If you are a Street Photographer and already familiar with your local area things can get boring. Invite a friend and show him your town and you will suddenly realize how many beautiful corners still wait to be discovered by you. Changing up your routine will also help you to escape your typical everyday mindset that leaves you unimpressed most of the time.

If these little tips don't help then a weekend trip to a different city might refresh your mind and make you see things afresh.



One image can change us.

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Although the manual mode is often seen as the only 'true' mode to photograph in, you shouldn't be ashamed to use an automatic mode for the settings. Digital cameras are so well-developed that they make very smart choices about the exposure or focus. Nonetheless, I like to set some borders on the settings. For example the shutter speed should seldom be below 1/200ths of a second for me which is my lower limit in the settings. This can be achieved in P-Mode.

Furthermore, I often set the exposure compensation to -1 because it is easier to recover the shadows in Lightroom afterwards, than it is to rescue blown out highlights. For the focus you can go with whatever fits you the most. You can, for example use a single focus point and then move your camera to the final frame or you can rely on multiple focus points of the camera. Whatever feels the most comfortable for you should be your decision.

5 Tips For Effective Street Photography From Sebastian Jacobitz: Sebastian Jacobitz

'Ku'Damm - Berlin XXXVI' by Sebastian Jacobitz

Have a plan

Street Photography is unpredictable and ideally, we try to capture unique moments. Once they arrive we have to act quickly and take the picture. This can be very frustrating when we miss great shots and are not able to secure a good photograph for the day. What feels like a wasted day can still be recovered with a proper backup plan.

Whenever I feel uninspired or the town doesn't offer any exciting moments, I have still backup plans that I am able to use. Those can be things in the backgorund like mirrors, shopping windows, or natural frames that you can photograph through which can help make images more exciting and enticing for the viewer.

Set yourself some challenges and use the environment as a training ground - street photography isn't just about people.

5 Tips For Effective Street Photography From Sebastian Jacobitz: lady in front of sale sign

Ku'Damm - Berlin LXXVII' by Sebastian Jacobitz

Be patient

In addition to the lack of inspiration you might get restless if no opportunities for images crop up. Let's say you have an interesting background that makes for a great juxtaposition and are waiting for the right moment. A lot of photographers lack the patience and might only wait for a couple of minutes before leaving without a satisfying result.

Don't be like them - take your time until you get your desired shot. Work the scene until you succeed and don't stop early.

5 Tips For Effective Street Photography From Sebastian Jacobitz: Bikers in berlin

'Ku'Damm - Berlin LXI' by Sebastian Jacobitz

Photograph festivals

City and town centres can have rough areas that you may not feel safe hanging around in with your gear. The area you live in will determine how comfortable you feel partaking in Street Photography. Especially in small towns people often don't take kindly to photographers and it becomes increasingly hard to take candid pictures.

One place where people don't mind you taking pictures are festivals. Photographers are often seen at these events and it becomes easier for you to blend in and take pictures. As an additional tip you should become a part of the party crowd. In addition to the pictures you can snap you can enjoy the atmosphere of the event.

In any case the best tip is to not be too harsh with yourself and overly critical with your images. Go out and shoot, have fun and the results will follow.

Sebastian Jacobitz is a blogger over at The Street Photography Hub, where you'll find lots of street - related inspiration.

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