Street photography is a genre of photography where natural occurrences are shot candidly in public settings. At its core, it is about the portrayal of everyday life presented aesthetically. The images that result from this genre are often appealing as raw human elements can be captured in a way that effectively speaks to the heart.
Image Credit: @nigelm.o
While there may not be a perfect set of equipment to shoot with, there are certainly gears that work better than others for this genre of photography. As Canon PhotoMarathon XVI Singapore 2018 (CPMSG2018) draws near, it is time for you to consider the gears that you will be bringing to the event as you will most likely be out shooting on the streets as well.
We have put together some recommendations in this article that will hopefully help to provide some guidance!
Blend in with unobtrusive lenses
Image Credit: @k3ith.loh
In order to capture the most natural images, street photographers have to be discrete when shooting. The use of inconspicuous lenses can help to prevent unwanted attention. We recommend using prime lenses such as the Canon EF28mm f/2.8 IS USM or Canon EF35mm f/1.4L II USM.
These are two classic focal lengths that have been used by many street photographers and this is no surprise considering how small and lightweight they are! Prime lenses also offer a wider aperture which can be particularly useful when shooting in dimly lit conditions.
Image Credit: @yk
At times, street photographers may get shunned when attempting to get a shot. The use of small lenses will help to prevent such occurrences since they look less intimidating and may even go unnoticed. This allows the photographer to blend into the crowd and to capture authentic images!
Take in the full scene with wider lenses
Image Credit: @iamhenzydavid
The shooting style of each photographer may differ as some may choose to focus on urban geometry while some others prefer to focus on people. Whichever the case, it is best to use wider lenses such as the Canon EF24mm f/2.8 IS USM as this will help to bring the entire scene into view. It also provides greater flexibility for you to create interesting compositions!
Image Credit: @vnsw9
In many cases, a great image is not just about having an interesting subject. It is also about the relationship between the subject and its surroundings. You will be pushed to move closer to your subject when using a wider lens and this may lead to unexpected yet fascinating images!
Image Credit: @jushenlee
Shoot comfortably with lightweight camera bodies
As there will most likely be a fair bit of travelling involved in street photography, it is best to work with lightweight camera bodies. In this aspect, we recommend using mirrorless cameras such as the Canon EOS M50 or Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III. These are both compact and lightweight cameras that are capable of producing high-quality images.
Image Credit: @dyantjhia
Another great feature that these cameras have is a vari-angle LCD screen. This can be extremely useful when shooting in non-traditional positions, such as from the waist level. All you have to do is to look down, compose your shot, and press the shutter!
Achieve great overall performance with a DSLR
With that said, the size of your chosen gear is ultimately dependent on your approach to street photography. The use of smaller, less conspicuous cameras will be better suited for those who prefer keeping a low profile. However, the visibility of your equipment will be less of an issue if you prefer to engage with your subjects.
Image Credit: @7.hyb
A full-frame DSLR, despite its bulkiness, provides overall great performance and impeccable image quality. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, for instance, is equipped with an advanced autofocus system which makes it a great choice for shooting subjects in motion. With a reliable autofocus system, meaningful moments are more likely to be captured successfully. The high ISO range of the camera also allows you to shoot stunning images in low-light!
Image Credit: @shawnyeo.90
There are tons of untold stories and colourful characters waiting to be captured on our everyday streets and it is the photographer that has the honour of shining the spotlight on them. This is what makes the genre fun and thrilling! Gears are ultimately tools of expression and it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. Even so, we hope that this had been a useful guide. If you are gearing yourself for growth, why not take that first step at CPMSG2018? Click here to sign up now!
Managed to capture some memorable street photos recently? Do remember to share them with us at #CanonSG for a chance to be featured.