7 Common Street Photography Errors (And How to Fix Them)

7 Common Street Picture taking Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

common mistakes in street photography

Are you aware that beginner – and even innovative! – road photographers tend to make a few consistent mistakes?

It’s true. During the last few years, I’ve worked with lots of street shooters, and I’ve seen them mess up within the same exact ways, repeatedly.

Most of the mistakes are very simple to repair. But in order to fix all of them, you must know how to recognize all of them, which is where this article is available in handy.

So to discover the seven most common street photography mistakes (and methods to fix them), read on!

1 .   Considering too much

When you’re getting started with street picture taking, it’s easy to spend too much time thinking and not enough time reacting and shooting .

We get it: Street photography is usually tough. There’s a lot to consider, and a lot that switches into each image. You might begin to worry about the results – can my photos turn out? May they be good enough?

But when you’re away with your camera, try not to overthink things. The more you overthink, the less prepared you’ll be to get great photos when an amazing opportunity comes along.

street photography mistakes silhouettes of people walking

So instead of worrying about excellence, get lost in the process. You can evaluate your results during the editing phase . When you’re taking road photos, have fun. Explore, spend some time, relax, and just watch everything go by.

In my experience, street photography must be enjoyed if you want to do it well. The more fun you have simply being out there, getting lost, and exploring, the better your pictures will become!

second . Traveling too heavy

If you look around online, you will find some great videos of the outdated masters shooting on the roads. Do you know the one common twine?

They used small, portable cameras and small best lenses .

Astor Place, street photography mistakes

Now, you can definitely shoot street with a DSLR or full-frame mirrorless digital camera, and you can do it very well. You will find top photographers who function that way, and they get amazing results – but before you commit to such an approach, think about: Do I really want to carry around a huge camera and lens on a regular basis? Such a setup can become unpleasant, and it’ll also be very conspicuous.

There are a whole lot of advantages to using a smaller camera for your street photos : You’ll likely enjoy yourself more, you’ll pass unnoticed, and you’ll need to worry less about safety plus theft. A small Fuji or even Ricoh camera will do miracles, and you can get an older utilized version for much cheaper than the usual new model.

Similarly, you probably don’t require a big bag of lenses and filters. If you haven’t tried shooting with just a single good street photography lens , do it immediately; heading out with a small camera body plus a small prime lens is certainly incredibly freeing. Yes, you will miss out on that 200mm zoomed shot of distant buildings, but you’ll come back with so many great photos, and you will have so much more fun, too!

3.   Looking to get somewhere too  quickly

We’re all in a hurry these days, running from place to place, therefore it’s understandable that you want to move when you’re away.

But hurrying is one of the worst ways to do street photography.

You see, to catch great street photos, you need to slow down and take your time. Take a deep breath, and let go of the urge in order to rush. Look around, wait along with your camera, and let the subjects come to you.

The particular slower you go, the more conscious you’ll be of your environment, and the more prepared you’ll be to capture those extraordinary fleeting moments.

Sometimes, you might need to remain in a location for 5, 10, 20, or even 60 minutes before you get the chance you’re after. But your feeling of satisfaction will be amazing, and it’ll make the entire wait worth it!

4. Not standing  in the center of the action

Broadway, SoHo, street photography mistakes

Many people  start by photographing the streets from the distance, and they never really press themselves to get right within the thick of things. Sadly, such an approach rarely is effective; if you shoot from very far, your images will be unengaging.

Instead, get in the center of the street. Get smack-dab in the center of the sidewalk. Carry your own camera proudly, put a smile on your face, and obtain involved in the action.

You might worry that people may respond badly to your existence. It’s a common fear among street professional photographers , but it’s one that you need to push past. In fact , if you’re shooting from far away, people may be more more likely to think you’re up to no good. Whereas if you’re in the middle of the particular action, people will walk right by and think that you’re doing nothing incorrect. Make sense?

After all, how could you possibly be performing something wrong if you are immediately in the middle of the crowd? Nobody that obvious would be doing anything bad, right?

So take the plunge. Prevent and wait right in the middle of the action, and just let everything happen around you. Engulf yourself in the experience. (And, of course , take some great photos! )

5. Keeping the camera away from your eye

Street photographers love the “shoot from the hip” technique , where you contain the camera against your body, then fire off shots with no looking through the viewfinder.

But could technique can work – and am use it, especially when things are happening very fast – it can quickly become a crutch.

You see, if you spend all your time hip-shooting, you’ll soon become uncomfortable looking through the viewfinder.

Yet there are plenty of situations where viewfinder shooting is actually the better move. For example, if you’re dealing with complex compositional elements, you must look through the viewfinder if you want perfect framing. And if you need to get the timing exactly right, functioning through the viewfinder can be a big help.

So force yourself to get comfortable shooting through the viewfinder. Just remain in a busy place with all the camera to your eye. Eventually, when it feels right, start taking photos. Take pride in watching the particular scene coming together, and enjoy the excitement of recording that perfect, split-second moment whenever everything works out!

Fire Hydrant, SoHo, NYC street photography mistakes

Pro tip: Should you be struggling to feel good about viewfinder shooting, try maintaining the camera against your eye for a few seconds after taking a shot. It’s natural to remove the camera out of your eye after capturing a picture, but resist this impulse; instead, press the shutter button, then hold the camera against your face until the subject has moved away. In case your subject does notice a person, they’ll think you’re looking to photograph something off in the distance. (This trick works incredibly well in populated areas! )

6. Shooting in bursts

Beginners frequently think that if they take ten photos of the same scene, they’ll be guaranteed to about the one. So they turn on their particular camera’s rush mode , they hold down the shutter button, and they take dozens of shots.

This is a mistake.

I actually discover that holding down the shutter button and taking a stream of shots is an easy way to screw up all the images. To get great photos, you have to be able to visualize what you are usually photographing. You need to see the second as it happens, then catch the elements as they all fall into place. If you take dozens of pictures, you won’t be able to imagine anything . But if you take just one shot, you’ll be able to view the split-second moment when the whole scene works.

Of course , you don’t have to confine yourself to a single picture; as a scene develops, you can create more photos. Just make sure that you’re genuinely visualizing the outcome!

And there is another problem with rapid-fire capturing: You’ll end up taking 10 times the number of photos, and you’ll have a huge backlog of shots to sort through. How is your day going to find the perfect frame in all of that? If you take less images and you shoot intentionally, you’ll have a much more enjoyable modifying session.

7.   Under and over-editing

East Village street photography mistakes

Lots of new street photographers will both under- and over-edit their photos.

What do I mean by this?

First, shooters tend to under-edit by showing too many photos .

And second, shooters tend to over-edit by adding all sorts of changes and effects with Photoshop.

Don’t make these mistakes. Instead, callously narrow your photos down to the best ones. You want individuals to actually give your work attention, and if you show too many photographs at once, they will start to lose interest. If you show a lot of photos, you’ll be counting on the viewer to do the additional editing in their heads – which isn’t fair to them!

So invest extra time on image company. Use a star system to provide your photographs ratings, plus make sure you don’t hand out a lot of five stars. Spend the time after each shoot identifying the cream of the crop. If you don’t do this consistently, your archive can be an unorganized mess.

As for over-editing: Whenever you work on your photos in a post-processing program, keep it subtle. You should fix the exposure , handle vignettes , adjust the color temperature, get contrast, and all that various other good stuff.

But don’t go beyond the boundary. Part of the extraordinary nature of street photography is that the pictures are unposed, unstaged, and actually captured  in the real world. In case your photos are too edited, these people won’t feel real – which will kill the thing that makes them special.

Street photography mistakes: final terms

Well, presently there you have it:

The seven most common road photography mistakes.

Read the list carefully. Recognize the mistakes that you make. Then adjust your work flow!

Your images will certainly instantly improve.

Now over to you:

Are you guilty of these mistakes? Which ones would you struggle with most? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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