6 TIPS ON HOW TO BE A STREET PHOTOGRAPHY NINJA
WITH CALLUM MCINERNEY-RILEY
Much of the best street photography is taken when people are completely unaware and acting naturally in an interesting environment. Staying covert and not alerting people to your presence, is an important part of capturing fleeting moments of people acting naturally. Here are our six top tips to keep yourself hidden away and achieve the best street photography shots you can.
Shot by Flickr user aridleyphotography with an Olympus OM-D E-M10 + M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14‑42mm 1:3.5‑5.6 II R
1. Act natural
Let’s say you’re at a market stall trying to capture shots of people buying produce. Crouching down with your eye to the viewfinder at the front of the stall is going to get you noticed, and people around you will close up and act as if they’re expecting to be in a photo. However, if you’re casually looking at something in the market, just browsing, and then you see a shot, take the opportunity to take a picture and you’ll undoubtedly get more natural shots.
Shot by Adde Adesokan with an Olympus E-5 + ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50‑200mm 1:2.8‑3.5 SWD
2. Hide the camera
In many touristy places, having a camera around your neck wouldn’t look out of place, but if the location is a little more remote having your camera on show will almost certainly draw attention to yourself. Many street photographers choose to hide cameras under something. The classic method is to the camera conceal under a coat, but anything will do. Putting it inside something like a messenger bag, behind a newspaper or under a garment is perfect.
Shot by David Hufford with an Olympus PEN E-P3 + LUMIX G 20/F1.7
3. Shoot from the hip
Many street photographers choose not to put the viewfinder to their eye to take a picture, because this increases the likelihood of people noticing and the opportunity for a natural shot will have passed. Instead, try capturing a picture by shooting from waist level – you can either shoot it blind by guessing, or if you have an articulated screen, simply flip it out and shoot away.
Shot by Faisal Aljunied with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 + M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:1.8
4. Dress like you belong
It sounds simple, but dressing like everybody else around you is the perfect way to blend in. For example, don’t wear your workday suit to a street festival! Anything that blends in with those in the given location will do perfectly.
Shot by Magdalena Roeseler
5. Silent but deadly!
Perfect for street photography, many of the Olympus cameras –like the Olympus OM-D series – make it possible to turn all the sounds off and use a silent shutter mode. This will mean even in ultra quiet environments, nobody will hear that you’re taking a picture. Combine this with shooting from the hip and keeping your camera hidden, and you have a very effective way to capture great street photography.
Shot by Magdalena Roeseler
6. Sit down and wait
If you find a good spot, simply sit and wait. Act like you’re waiting for a friend or just having a rest. As an added bonus, this will also give you an opportunity to wait for the best light and the best characters to come into the frame.