Street Photography is Fast

You have to be quick out there when doing street photography. This cannot be understated. The time between you seeing a moment unfold in front of you, and capturing that moment, must be as brief as possible. It does not matter if you see something interesting while driving in your car with your Powershot in your lap, or if you have been camping out on a street corner with your Hasselblad for an hour. When the moment arrives you must be swift. You cannot fumble about or mess with dials and focus rings. You have to shoot fast and shoot true.

Drive-by shooting with a 5d Mark III and a 50mm 1.2

When I started shooting with my first digital camera my main focus was to be as smooth and swift as possible. This was because I knew I wanted to do street photography, and I know people get weirded-out if they see a person focusing a lens at them. My goal was to be magically swift. I wanted to be so fast at composing, focusing and snapping photographs that a person would never realize what I was doing until my camera was already lowered to my waist and I was bopping along as if nothing had happened. I guess one could say I wanted to be sneaky, though I prefer the term stealthy.

Washington DC 2016.

Methods you can use to be swift I will cover in another post. Speed is big to me and it’s an ongoing goal of mine to be faster. Notice I’m talking about me being faster, not my camera. Burst rates and the speed with which a camera focuses are not things that matter in street photography, though a camera body which excels at these features is most certainly an asset. More than anything you’ve got to get out there and press that goddamn shutter. Just press it! As always: STAY LOW AND KEEP SHOOTING!

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