Using light in street photography

Whenever I go out on the streets, I search for light. I like contrast, highlights, shadows and timing. The sun, lanterns and shop windows all become spotlights for the awesome people on the street.

How I get these photos is either manually setting my shutter speed with an EVF (electronic viewfinder), or, if I am using an optical viewfinder, spot metering.

I search for the brightest spot in the composition, and I make sure that that spot is properly exposed. This way, there is a lot of detail in the photo and beautiful contrast.

This way, evening photography also becomes a far less daunting task. Find a place with a light, expose for the brightest part of the photo and take the shot. The contrast really carries the nightly feel, or the sunny mood, and photos can be shot hand held.

But metering is of course one part of the photo.

There is a lot of timing involved. If there is a perfect bright spot in the photo, someone has to walk through it.

This is the main key of street photography generally, to me. The randomness of the streets, taking a shot that no one else can ever take. One addition to the awesome people outside is the light, light never falls in exactly the same way, I found.

The natural spotlight makes every one a model.

This was inspired by a video about protecting your highlights by Sean Tucker.

Thanks for reading.

– Robin

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