Christmas is a great time for photographing people - wonderful street scenes full of Yuletide joy.
Even if there’s no snow, the cold and frost can add a winter theme to your pictures as snugly wrapped people shelter from the cold winds.
Here are some street photography tips...
- Camouflage - blend in, shoot unobtrusively. Try to avoid using flash or you will lose the spontaneity when shooting candidly.
- If you want to get in close and personal, don’t be afraid to spend time with people so they get used to you and trust you. I bought these homeless people food in exchange for photos and got this shot of them saying Grace over it.
- Long lenses can help you get close to subjects without making them feel uncomfortable but always respect people’s right to privacy.
- If you’re uncomfortable about photographing strangers, shoot low and avoid their faces. An unusual point of view of an everyday scene can also have lots of impact.
- Go lightweight - this is one of the few occasions when you won’t need a tripod and all the gear.
- Street performers make great subjects but think also about daily life. There is often hidden beauty in overlooked everyday subjects.
- Counterpoint - think about contrast, photographing subjects in unusual locations.
- Favourite haunts - as with all photography, it can sometimes take a lot of planning to be spontaneous! If you see a great location, keep going back to it in case interesting subjects wander through.
- Freeze the action - 1/125th or more at ISO400 is good. Experiment with different aperture settings to get either sharp or blurred backgrounds.
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