Street Photography

Street Photography Settings


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  • I dislike 'graininess,' so I try to shoot at the lowest possible ISO.  For me, that's ISO 200.  I also prefer to shoot indoors, so I usually have to shoot 'wide open,' at f1.4 or f0.95.  By necessity I try to shoot at at least 1/125 of a second, seldom slower than that.  Shooting 'wide open' requires very – even extremely – accurate focusing.  It sounds like you and I, technically, operate at different ends of the street photography spectrum.  Still, our equipment is pretty much the same, and I enjoyed your video.

  • Dave, here is my experience watching this video (not that anybody is waiting for that but nevertheless)
    First seconds I see you in front of this cabinet with that Hasselblad on it so it might be promising.
    The your shot pass by and my thought are, what kind of camera is this ??
    But then you reveal it, it's a Leica M, which is amazing.

    But then you explain your settings like it is rule for Street Photography ??
    You can shoot Street Photography at 1.8 with a beautiful shallow DoF to focus on a subject or set your camera around F8 which would be the best performing aperture for your lens and under expose for the dramatic look even if your histogram points towards the left (dark side)

    Why the rules ??
    Rules are the assassins of creativity .

  • Anyone experienced in shooting with screw mount Leica? Plesae visit my Chaneel and watch an overview of my photos taken in 2015 with Leica iIIc. For your suggestions, critics or any tips many thanks in advance.

  • Today I went for my first street photography shooting with my new camera and my pictures looked like crap.
    It was a big disappointment since I switched from my old Nikon d3000 to a Canon 6d.
    I've shoot at aperture priority with auto iso, and that gave me a lot of blurry shots. The shutter speed was down to 1/60 or 1/80 cause the camera tries to keep the iso as low as possible. Next time I'll take your tips and go for manual with auto iso, and fix the shutter speed at 1/500 – unless I want to make blurry shoots on porpouse.
    Thank you for this video, it was very useful ;-)

  • Great photos and tips. Your suggestions sound great especially on post processing. Techniques for shooting street would be much appreciated Looking forward to future videos. Cheers

  • Funny how techniques differ, i use a Fuji XT1 with a 23mm lens, this gives me a 35mm FF pov. I rarely go above 5.6 aperture. Actually my best picture today was shot at 1.4. Maybe there is not something as "best settings" for street photography…

  • I think what makes street photography so interesting is the variety of styles out there. All equally valid. As a street portrait photographer  I tend to shoot wider aperture slower shutter speed. But then again I'm not capturing totally random action either. Great vid, thanks.

  • Great video.  I would like some advice about B&W photos.  Is it best to set your digital camera on monochrome/black & white, and then set the quality of your photos to jpeg for best results?  Everyone says shoot RAW, but I understand that if you want color photos.  But if want to just shoot just B&W why not set your setting on jpeg?

  • Hi Dave,
    I like doing street photography using just the opposite settings you mention. In my opinion a photo taken with a small DoF can give an extra dimension, extra attention to your subject.
    I use a Canon 6D with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The advantages, when shooting with like an f2, low iso and fast shutter speeds, even in lower light situatuons. The major downside is that I do have to focus before taking the shot, what may result in loosing the shot.
    Did you ever try this approach and if you did/do, what is your opinion on that?
    Cheers and thank you for sharing your information 🙂

  • Hi Dave,
    I love this video. It's great to get others technique, isn't auto ISO a blast I use a panasonic GX7. Loved your commentary on your pics it is very encouraging.

  • Dave, thanks for these wonderful images and informative videos!  As a "heads up," I want to let you know that there is a typographical error in the first slide in this video, in the word "photography."  Your images are very good and the "access" to the great city of Tokyo is a real treat for me.  Thank you!

  • Hey Dave I have a question, I've seen numerous posts about the laws in Japan that you can be arrested for making someone feel uncomfortable and that there was a guy who got arrested for a normal photo of a girl on the subway. This made me a bit weary to do too much street photography when i visited in October. What do you do for your shots?

  • Good video.  I would like to hear you discuss more of your shots.  It would be interesting to how you set up a shot, what you look for, why you took it, etc.  

  • Really good video, I would love to see the post processing part of your work flow since all your images have this really natural feel. I remember back a year ago I found your site now is in my favorites and I'm always going to it.

    I have to say you are a good inspiration for me!


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