There’s probably a better term for it, but by shooting street I mean getting primed to take photos more quickly while walking around.
Doing this was an unexpected huge mental shift in how I thought about taking photos. It’s difficult to overstate.
Here are the changes I made:
|Camera position||Waist||Held in hand|
|Camera strap||Across shoulders||Wrapped around wrist|
|Min shutter speed||1/125s||1/250s|
|EV||???||Variable, often -1**|
- display sleep / camera off (separate?)
- shutter (mech vs electronic)
- image stabilization
- image preview
In other words, walking around with the camera always on, held in your hand, primed to go.
The first few times I tried this, it was a rush. It gave me energy. It made me walk faster, made me almost walk around hungrily to take photos. I took more risks, snapped photos of insides of shops and people on the street, things I would never normally do.
Being primed like this also means I take more photos overall. I now think of taking photos as an active process. Not just walking around, not just searching for shots, but trying things out. Lowering the barrier to taking a photo meant I experimented more.
And, given how bad my photos have started out, more practice is a good thing.
Shooting only walks
I’ve noticed the difference in my focus between going on a walk with the purpose of shooting photos, versus carrying my camera—even in street-shooting mode—while walking to do something else.
It’s less about which shots I miss. I’m sure this is still a factor—I won’t realize how many I don’t spot and take.
Instead, what I’ve noticed is how much I’m aware of my settings. When I’m just shooting, I’m adjusting enough that I’m more cognizant of what my settings are, and I think I’m less likely to take photos with my aperture, autofocus, or exposure set to something it shouldn’t be.
This sounds silly, but when I’m trying to get somewhere or do something, I don’t want to bother others by focusing on my camera and not them. So even if I’m just grabbing quick snaps, I have a higher error rate than if I’m out alone with the intent of shooting.
There’s a video of a guy running around like mad in Rome shooting a monochrome Leica. I can’t find it, and I don’t know if he was even a street photographer, but he definitely had the energy.