How to make the most out of your next On The Streets Photo Walk
Every month or so I'll put on a photo walk as part of my ongoing street photography group called, 'On The Streets'. I'll lead a small group of people around a city or town location with a view to capturing some beautiful street images, not to mention providing a few hints and tips along the way. So far, we've visited -
The Lake District
More walks will be coming, and if you're interested in being a local guide for us then please contact me and we can come to a town or city near you. But back to the topic at hand, and that is getting the most out of attending a photo walk...
1) Be Comfortable.
Yes, we will be walking, and mostly in the outdoors, so dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes that you know you can spend a few hours walking in. This may sound obvious but the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable, be that wet because of rain, too hot or too cold, not to mention getting blisters because of your new Jimmy Choos.
That is why my favourite piece of equipment is my comfortable footwear.
2) Come Prepared.
Camera - Sounds obvious but make sure you've what you need for a day out with the camera, but remember we're doing street photography hear so time to ditch all the heavy equipment. Select a camera and one lens that you know and know well.
Lens - I'd suggest a lens that gives you somewhere between 24mm to 50mm. I use a 24-70mm equivalent on the Olympus OM-d EM-5 Mk II and that one lens suits my needs.
Camera bag - If you can't put your camera in your pocket then you may want to take a camera bag. Make it small and one that blends in. Ditch the backpack.
Battery - Then there are batteries. Make sure you're fully charged and have spares, especially for the smaller cameras which tend to go through power like there is no tomorrow. Oh! And make sure you bring them with you.
Memory Cards - You'll need at least one but remember to format or clear them the night before and load one up in the camera so you're ready to go the following day.
Lens cloth - this is always handy, especially if it is raining. Bring one along, and a microfiber cloth too, just to wipe your camera down from time to time if it should rain.
3) Get to know the group
When you first get to the starting point and people gather, introduce yourself and get to know the people there. Some will be new, some you will have met before, but say hello to them all and catch up. If you've been before and notice new people, make them feel welcome and at home.
Ask for help if you're stuck, there will be lots of people there who can assist, especially the walk leader.
4) Camera Set-up.
Whilst you are saying hello, don't forget to get your camera set-up for the day. I like to work around f8 and at least 1/500sec shutter speed so I adjust the ISO.
Think about your focusing method too, be it manual, zone or automatic.
Big tip, switch off the little beeps when you focus etc. It really isn't necessary and it is more likely to draw attention than the shutter going off.
5) Observe and Anticipate.
When you start out on the walk make sure you have your wits about you. Watch what is going on and learn to anticipate what will happen next. This will allow you to position yourself for the shot and give you more time to consider composition and story.
Also, if it captures your eye then you should attempt to take a photo of whatever it is. The subject is singing to you so listen to your instincts - they're normally right. Make sure you see the world from your perspectives and capture that - be different but remember to be true to yourself.
6) Be Mindful
You'll be on the walk with a few other people. Please be mindful of what they're doing. Let them take their shots or engage with people before you step in to borrow their sight.
Also, be mindful of your subjects. Be polite and considerate. After all we don't want to ruin our day or other peoples because we've overstepped the mark.
No matter what - do it with a smile.
I hope these little tips go a long way to helping you enjoy your time on a photo walk and more so an 'On The Streets' photo walk. Hope to see you at one soon.
Do you have any tips? Why not share below and add them as a comment...