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Thoughts On Shooting (photos) in the Streets

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Trond Lindhom (profile) posted a question on G+ the other day: “what do other street shooter out there … use when shooting on the streets?” Plenty of responses, but not a lot that were all that useful.

My own comment, citing 35mm was just an off-the-cuff response. Thinking about it now, I realize I’m wrong. You know what I use when I’m doing “street” photography?

Whatever I have in my hands.

Really, that’s it. If I have my G11, then I shoot with that – and make medium-wide to medium telephoto shots. If it’s my LX3, then I know I’m doing wide (20mm) to standard (50mm) shots. My cellphone: wide, and probably through a filter of some sort. The SLR? Whichever lens is attached (usually the 18-200).

There are no rules, just limitations based on the gear.

However, my own initial response interests me a little bit. I was really thinking about the simplicity and ease-of-use that comes with using a rangefinder.  In the old days, street photogs would set their f/stop to where they needed it, find an appropriate shutter speed, and pre-focus for optimal resolution – essentially anything that would get their hyperfocal distance set & give optimal sharpness.

When I’m going out deliberately to shoot on the streets, this is my favorite technique.  Not the most optimal, not the one with the best results or best creativity.  It’s just the most fun. Shoot, I still do it with film on fully-manual cameras! In fact, I’m still using the Graflex 35 and the Nikonos 2 – how’s that for old school?

So as a slightly different twist on Trond’s question: what is your favorite approach, or perhaps technique in the sense written here?

City Hall

City Hall