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Cigarette break.

By AlanWillis    
Sony A7R MK2 Carl Zeiss Batis F1.8
1/100, F2.2, ISO 100.
I'm learning street photography and put up a China town photo a while ago for Critique.
The Help from the team was invaluable, I would like to hope I am progressing, and would most welcome comments.

Tags: Black and white Portraits people

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dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1777 England
5 Nov 2015 5:39PM
Your EXIF settings are good for maximum quality, but may not be optimal for street work.

You obviously take good equipment very seriously indeed - you can't get better than your body and lens for quality. So what follows may appall you. It's what I'd do, though, whether with my A7r Mk I and 85mm Planar (so I have fewer pixels, a noisy shutter, and no IS), and it's what I'd do with your kit, too.

Set the ISO up around the 800 mark (for these conditions). Stop down to f/5.6, and set aperture priority. And shoot.

If you want particular effects using shallow depth of field, by all means experiment, lower the ISO, and open up the diaphragm (still using aperture priority).

And what a lot of street shooters would suggest is going a little further still - 24mm lens (or wider), set focus to around five feet, and learn to shoot from the hip. With a completely silent shutter (which you have), chances are that no-one will notice at all...

If you want to keep the more 'forensic' look of an 85mm, which I understand very well, as it's my natural tendency, just give yourself headroom for focus errors by using the A-f/5.6-800 ISO approach, and alter things when you need to. Don't be afraid of using stratospheric ISO settings in poor light. Classic reportage on Tri-X film is grainy, and none the worse for it!
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.5k 2345 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2015 5:53PM
I'm glad you are sticking with this, and keeping your nerve!

Technically - as John says - that wouldn't be my choice of lens for street photography, I prefer to go a lot wider; plus I would like to see a faster shutter speed for safety...

There's nice interaction between the two figures here, but there's also an awful lot of space between them. The reflections in the glass are good but don't really give the answer. You have shot from immediately in front of them. Space is limited in a narrowish road, maybe you couldn't step back to get the rest of the guy's arm in the frame. You know what I'd like to do here? - move to one side or the other to bring the figures closer together in the frame and concentrate on one looking at the other.

I do want to tweak verticals here. When you have strong lines like this you need to think about them carefully, formal verticals give a satisfying frame for the randomness of human life. A slight anti-clockwise rotation plus skew bottom right out a bit...

Meanwhile a silly thought occurs to me. Crop the man off, just have the girl conversing with the reflections... OK, I'm off to give it a try...
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4201 Canada
5 Nov 2015 7:14PM
The mod works very well Alan, and its a well shot shot.

Fully support the high ISO option.

I have a Ricoh GR I use for street shooting, and its a highly regarded camera for street. Not suggesting you use one, but what is good about it is: Its 28mm; you can set a minimum shutter speed that is good for that focal length along with an aperture of f/5.6, and set ISO to Auto. Its sometimes in the stratosphere, but the results are great.

So use this info, min shutter to suit the lens, (dont rely on OS as your subjects are likely in motion) reasonable aperture and Auto ISO, so that you only have to focus and press the shutter release. Its a very fast way to do street. And the results are great!

paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2015 8:44PM
Your quality isverygood and, if youcan handle it, stick with a low ISO. I must admit to using 400 usually to give a bit more protection from shake, although my preferred lens for street photogrphy is a tele zoom.

Wide angle in cramped areas like Sunday markets as you are close to people regardless, but in the street you can stand at the other side of the road and shoot close ups. The subject may see you but assume they are part of a much ore general scene.

I use 50/230 with the Fuji X series and an 18/250 with EOS.Thus the need for high shutter speeds. Tripods and even monopods are not a good idea for street shots.They are a dead giveaway and may attract unwanted attention.

I prefer V1 for the interest giving them each other to look at, but they should have been closer together. Two subjects at the extremeframe edges is not ideal.


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