Street photography is a great way to get and stay creative about your photography. You can’t create a scene; you have to work with what is in front of you. You need to keep your eyes wide open and to look for the picture.
In order for a street photograph to work, multiples key ingredients must come together:
- Black and White
While there is great street photography being done in colors, there is usually too many distractions in color renditions to make the picture work. Early on ask yourself, do the colors in this picture bring value? If not, get rid of them.
- In the Background
Does the background support or distract from the subject. Having a background that support the subject or help understand what the subject is doing create more value.
Good composition is still a prerequisite. However, consider breaking these rules in favor of something more dynamic, different that attract the viewer.
If your subject is aware of being the subject of the picture, this is not Street Photography anymore. Stay unnoticed or tell your subject that it is important not to take care about you taking pictures.
- The subject
The subject is the key. Without a subject, there is nothing to report on. You need a strong subject.
- The context
If the context favors it, keep the foreground and/or background in focus. Street photography is all about the street right? Make sure the context support the subject.
After converting this picture to black and white, the white cross on red background on the back wheel of the tricycle taxi was less distracting. I used a square vignette to keep the viewer on the tricycle taxi driver.
In this picture a café in the background is serving many guests. This is certainly a touristic place. The subject is waiting to offer a ride with his tricycle taxi for two passengers. He is reading, comfortably sitting on the passenger bench, while waiting. This lets us believe that customers are not legion.
Street photography needs to tell a story!
This Street Photography picture is telling us a story. This is what street photography is all about. Telling a story or making us invent a story.
Please read a Street Photographer Manifesto and 20 tips about street photography to learn more about this art.