5 Tips for Street Photography Composition

Street photography is one of the most revered genres of the craft, with a rich history and some of the most famous images ever taken. But, it's not an easy genre to master, so here are five tips for composing the frame.

I love street photography. I have done very little, really, but it's my favorite genre to look at and coffee table books and exhibitions of it are always top of my list. It seems to me that a great street photographer is far more noticeable than a great landscape photographer when contrasted with a better-than-average one. Perhaps many will disagree, but to my eye, great street photography stands alone.

For example, Fan Ho's work is a collection of some of the most memorable images I've ever seen and I would gladly decorate every inch of my house with his prints if it wouldn't upset the family members whose images I removed. In all honesty, I hadn't heard of Phil Penman before this video, but as soon as I saw the first image of his in this video, I knew he was incredibly talented. So, if you're looking at getting into street photography, carve out five minutes to learn about composition.

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Good tips, thanks. I'd also be interested to hear Tip #6 How to Not Get Your Expensive Camera Gear Stolen While Doing Street Photography in NYC.

Not really a big city street photographer but yes I do drive or walk around a lot of places that are along beaches here in Florida after/before sunrise/set and yes you also get tight areas with more people or none at all. I am so glad to hear that the wide angle is not the only lens. I carry a teardrop bag with two side compartments that each will hold a camera and lens and supplies, just a little bag you find in tourist shops for over the shoulder for nic nag's. The main side camera with the FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS (36- 360mm in APS-C mode) and the other side camera and FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS and for that ultra wide APS-C E 10-18mm (15-27mm) f/4 OSS that does great at full frame 12-17mm (17mm if you remove the light shield), this one is so small it fits in a small pocket in side the bag. This is my every day, anywhere bag for anything. On a Sony A7RV and the other A7RM2 and keeping both at f/8 and having IBIS + OSS super steady. The E 10-18 was reviewed by Trey Ratcliff in '15 two years before a real 12mm came out and he did landscapes wider than anyone. The nice thing is great for those lit night city streets at f/4 or I used first was Milky Way's. Nicest thing is Sooo small with many tricks and in your pocket handy for that closeup of something with a wide story behind. Why I keep the A7RM2 is the on camera apps the main one is the "Digital Filter" that covers three areas of the image each area you can use "ANY" camera setting from ISO to WB etc. A image is processed in camera and you can review and adjust before going to SD card. The key for sunrise/sets is to have the settings set before and when you open the app it is ready to go, it is like Lr before editing in Lr. The apps are no longer available to by but if you have bought before you can still download to "A" camera. This part I have no idea why you can still buy the A7M2 NEW and foremost not even Sony reps know about the apps. I went in to a Best Buy (the only camera store anymore) a couple of years ago and while comparing images I mentioned a image using the "Digital Filter" app and after looking at the site he bought a A7RM2 and later downloaded the apps to his A7SM2.
Everyone chases the newest cameras but the early models will be around for many years and at great used prices to the chagrin of Canon and Nikon not going Mirrorless 10 years earlier. But there will always be a heavy used market and Sony needs to keep the apps site going and some reviewers need to do videos showing them off to let them be known. Yes the Filter Makers probably had Sony pull them mainly the Digital Filter for it could reduce sales.
Also the mod 1's and 2's have a panorama selection on top and again no need for pano rigs if you got the touch.
4. On camera pano A7RM2 and FE 24-240mm at 24mm, took a few tries but look at the sharpness even to the far side of the canyon (still good even today) and colors and no pano program to fuss with. that smoke is from a controlled burn on the north side. The old will live on!!!!

Awesome tips. Thank you.