10 Tips To Shoot Street Photography by SoTeeOh
01. Have fun – This is usually the bonus rule that people throw in last to add one more thing to the list. For me its my first rule. Don’t stress out trying to take perfect pictures, just have fun. Take pictures of other people having fun. Everyone loves having fun, so taking pictures that are fun is a great way to start out.
02. Time to reflect – One of my favourite techniques is to look for interesting reflections. Puddles, store windows, metal hand rails and car mirrors can all make for some really cool shots. just get close to the reflective surface so you get a strong reflection and then look for a creative angle.
03. Colour your world – Interesting or vibrant colour combinations can really transform an image. In a city like Toronto its not hard to find locations with lots of great colours. Fruit markets, gardens and street festivals can provide plenty of colourful subjects. This shot was taken at the EX last year. The sky, the midway signs and even the people add lots of different colours to this photo.
04. Get to the point – All parallel lines converge in the distance. When you take a picture of parallel lines converging, it draws the viewers eyes into the middle of the photo bringing all the attention to a central point. This technique is called leading lines. Great places to practice this are alleys (like this one at Honest Ed’s), train tracks, and roads (just be safe!).
05. Add context – The little details in your surroundings can really set off a photo by adding a story to it or creating a context for your image. Paying attention to these small details can really add to your photos. Here I happened to catch a beautiful sunset at Jane and Eglinton but I already take so many sunset pictures so I was worried that it would get kind of boring. But by shooting the sunset through this bus shelter window the image is now stamped with an exact location that adds extra meaning to this sunset.
06. Golden hour – Golden hour is the hour after sunrise and before sunset. Its my favourite time to shoot. Because the sun is still low in the sky it casts long shadows and the soft warm light makes everything look cozy. Grab your camera and go for a walk in golden hour and you will instantly see how much difference the right kind of light can make in your photos.
07. Seize the moment – You know that feeling when you’re looking at something and then you think to yourself “Oh this would make a great picture”? Well chances are you’re right so take the picture! Any camera will do the trick. Whether is a pro DSLR, a point and shoot, or your phone, its just about capturing that moment and any camera is the right camera.
08. Fall in Toronto is amazing – Need I say more? From the first signs of changing leaves you have about 4 or 5 weeks to enjoy amazing colours and animated skies. It only comes once a year though so make sure you grab your camera and enjoy it.
09. Look up! – Another key to good photos is perspective. Try to look at things from unusual perspectives. This photo was taken at Bay St. and Front St. looking straight up from the base of the building. You will be surprised how much more interesting something can seem if you just look at it from a slightly different angle. Look straight up, climb up high and look down, kneel, crouch, squat. Do something different when you’re taking a photo and you will be rewarded with an interesting picture.
10. Patience is a virtue – Once you settle on a scene to take a picture of, you can often make that picture even better by waiting a little while until something else comes into the frame to make things just a little bit more interesting. Here I was getting ready to take a picture of the skyline when I noticed a plane flying towards city so I lined up my image and then waited until the plane was directly over the CN Tower before pressing the shutter. I probably only had to wait an extra 30 seconds but it made all the difference.
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