Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Exclusive 25% off Affinity Photo: Professional photo editing with no subscription!

Sharp street portraits. Best settings

hobbo Plus
7 1.2k 2 England
16 Oct 2011 10:55AM
I have recently begun to enjoy the challenge of ......Street Portrature .......I usually have my camera set on .....Aperture Priority.....at 5.6 and get reasonable results.

Occassionaly I get a none sharp result.........I require advice on camera settings please.......for the average English day......sunny with some cloud......to get good results most times.

I use a SONY A55 with a SIGMA 70-24 lens fitted..........For most shots I request permission before I shoot......camera hand held........and I need to be quick because my subject may be in a hurry.

I enjoy taking very quick chance shots of happenings around me.......see my recent posts for examples.


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 11:02AM
I do quite a bit of street photography/ portraits. I always use aperture priority and an Iso of either 400 or 800 asa. I tend to use between F8 & F11, mostly F8.


ps, I do get the odd image that could be sharper but not very often.
nickthompson 11 158 England
16 Oct 2011 11:27AM
I use aperature priority, auto iso and f/1.8 or f/2.8. That way you really isolate the subject. My white balance is set to cloudy. This warms the image up and enhances the colours.
MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
16 Oct 2011 11:29AM
I use a Ricoh GRD2 set at f/2.8 and a Max [variable] ISO of 400 is set.

Snap focus is used [2.5 metres] so all is sharp from approx 1.5m to infinity.

It's rare that an image is not sharp in that range
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
16 Oct 2011 11:31AM
Hobbo - the last two replies illustrate exactly how you have to make choices about the effect that you want.

Sharpness comes from holding the camera steady and focussing correctly on the desired feature. Which aperture/shutter speed/ISO you use depends upon the effect you are seeking.

(Edit - OK, by the time I posted, it was the last three replies!)

MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
16 Oct 2011 1:57PM
I should add that, looking at my EXIF data, most exposures were:

ISO: 80/100

Aperture: f/2.8

Shutter Speed: 1/125 - 1/1600. Very few outside this range.

The GRD2 is a 28mm lens so I usually have to be close to my subject - but the minimum point in focus is 1.13 metres [1.5m to be safe] when in 'Snap Focus' mode @ 2.5 metres. I am also starting to use a 40mm lens [equiv].

...... and no, I don't ask their permission : My Street Gallery Smile
spaceman 14 5.3k 3 Wales
16 Oct 2011 7:14PM
I generally set the shutter to 1/250 (in shutter priority mode) and let the camera take care of the aperture.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
16 Oct 2011 8:24PM

Quote:Sharp street portraits. Best settings

There`s no such thing.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
16 Oct 2011 9:55PM
there are many techniques, if you're "shooting from the hip", you'll not be looking through the lens so probably need a smallish aperture to get sufficient DOF IF YOU ARE PRE-focussing

however, if you've got a lightening fast focussing system, you can risk going on Auto Focus and using a wide aperture - I've shot at F1.4 from the hip but your hit rate is lower than at, say F11

if its a dull day, your aperture needs to be wider or your shutter speeds get too slow...


it's all basic exposure knowledge really...

then again, you may do the "prefocus on a point" technique, and wait for people to hit the spot - then hit the shutter.... with that you don't move, the camera doesn't move, but the person moves into the scene... here your options are a lot broader re. exposure

so much stuff you can do in the street, best way is to try and learn and discover what works best for you

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.