Shooting Wide Open

There is information everywhere on the internet… Information about food, information about life, information about travel, information about sex, information about animals, information about everything, information about Street Photography!

I believe that one of the best places to learn and get inspiration about street photography is the internet. It’s free, and it’s in abundance. But all this knowledge comes from various individual sources, from their own individual experiences. Hence, before you pick up something from the internet, it is very important to figure out your personal choice and relevance to that information. Not necessarily every information on the internet has to true, or atleast, it doesn’t have to been universally true.

There are basic rules to almost everything on this planet. But after that, nothing has to be fixed to those rules. You should always move forward to bend or break those rules without any fear. At times you will succeed, and at times you may fail. But that is how you can leave a mark of your own.

Today, the rule I’m talking about is not exactly a rule, but more of a preference of most professional street photographers. Over the years of reading virtually indefinite number of street photography blogs and interacting with several different street photographers, one thing that I have come to notice is that most of them like to shoot with a very tight aperture. This value ranges from f/8 to f/16 or even f/22 for some. The reason for which they say is to get a clearer depth of field, and since street moments happen within a fraction of a second, and the photographer hardly gets any time to set his/her camera, the possibility of getting your subject in focus increases, even if your camera doesn’t focus on the right spot. And yes, they are absolutely right. You tend to miss out fewer shots by practicing this.

But I don’t find this preference applicable to my kind of shooting. I like to isolate my subjects from their surrounding. No matter how many subjects are there in my photograph, I want the viewer’s eyes to be immediately grabbed by the main subject in it. That is my style. I won’t say that I never missed a shot by doing this, but with more and more practice, I’m getting better and better at this. Previously, when I just had my 18-55mm lens, I shot at f/3.5, which was the maximum aperture for that lens. But now with the 50mm prime, I shoot at f/2.8. Although the lens can go down to f/1.8 but at that level the image starts to lose it’s sharpness. Though I definitely wouldn’t mind going even lower if my lens was of better quality. Besides, another advantage of shooting wide open is that I can get a much faster shutter-speed even in low light situations.

I don’t say that my method is the best, but this is my style, the way I like shooting. And I have found that out after several months of being out on the streets with my camera. All I want to say is that do not pick up knowledge from the internet in a blind manner. Judge according to what you want your pictures to look like, and go out to experiment. Find your own style. And remember, ‘failure’ is only one of the pillars to ‘success’.

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Hope this post is helpful to you people in some way. Feel free to leave your comment and feedback. Do you have a style of your own? Tell us more about it. And don’t forget to share the post in your circle.

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