Street Photography Basics

Street Photography Basics

Being a blog owner I get all sorts of email.   Can I do a guest post?   Can you do a review of [insert product name here]?   Is ShootTokyo for sale?    Can you write a guide book on photowalks in Tokyo so I can sell it along with my others?   Can you translate this for me?   Can you buy product xyz and mail it to me?   Can you buy a camera in Tokyo for me and send it to me? More than any other question I get the following two questions:

  • What camera should I buy?
  • What settings did you use?

The first one is a very personal choice.  You need to consider how you want to use it, what you can afford, and what types of images you want to take.  I wrote up why I chose Leica and why it works for me in the review I wrote on my Leica M9-P.   Aside from that I don't have a lot of advice on other cameras unless it happens to be one of the others ones I use.  There a plenty of camera review sites out there with very detailed reviews covering every technical aspect and every function possible.  I am not that technical so those are always a better choice.

The second question is one I get a lot as well.  I have been asked so many times to put my camera settings below each photo.  I don't do it for a couple of reasons.  It would be a huge administrative burden when writing blog posts, this is not an overly technical geeky site and I don't want to start debating camera settings endlessly and it is better for you to learn what setting to use and why depending on the image you want to produce.

I made a short video for my YouTube Channel where I talked through how I think about camera settings when I am shooting street photography: Street Photography Settings (for beginners).  I remember when I first started out it was really hard to find very simply and easy to understand information about camera settings.   It was difficult to find a write up on Street Photography Basics that I could use to help me get started.   Everything seemed to be very complicated and not as specific as I was looking for.    I would see images I love but couldn't figure out how to set my camera to make the images myself.    Images just like these...

Slowing Down
Slowing Down
Tokyo Street Photography
Tokyo Street Photography
Controlled by Arrows
Controlled by Arrows
Tokyo Street Photography
Tokyo Street Photography
Setting the stage
Setting the stage

The issue a lot of people have when starting out is after learning about the settings in your camera how do you combine aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to get a properly exposed image that also as the look you what.   Perhaps you want everything frozen in your image or some things a little blurry to imply movement and motion.   And how do you do this while trying to compose the image.  It can be really overwhelming.   I wrote about a technique I call 'setting the stage' which I wrote about in a blog post at the begging of this year.

Yesterday I went back to the scene of the image above and shot a video to show you how I set up my shots, thinking about the exposure settings I talked about in my video Street Photography Settings.

The next video will cover how I process my Leica Monocrhom images.  I hope you find these useful.  If there are other topics you want me to cover leave a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by today...

Another day in Tokyo

Another day in Tokyo

It's been a while

It's been a while

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