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3 Subjects to Shoot For Street Photography

After an exciting street photography shoot, it's easy to pack up your gear and head home. But if you stay out on the street a little longer, with some patience and an eye for shots, you can easily find classic urban images to compliment your street shots and add some flair to your photo album.


Subject 1: Classic car



Vintage cars make a great subject for street shooters. You can use your existing gear - a 35 or 50mm lens is perfect for the job - and their shiny chrome looks great in black and white. Popular amongst city dwellers, you can likely find a classic car within a quarter mile of your favorite street photography spots, and when you do, it's a simple matter of finding a composition and shooting away. Don't be afraid to get up close - you want to make the viewer feel like they're part of a different world. As such, avoid modern-looking license plates, bumper stickers, and dents, and instead focus on reflections, wheels, and gleaming details. Make your image feel polished and bright. This becomes even easier if you have a flash - just set your aperture to f/22 (if that makes your shutter speed too slow, raise your ISO or try f/16) and aim your setup at a wheel. The background will quickly 'fall off' and become a moody black. Alternatively, pull out a longer lens and isolate abstract details - you could even shoot street photos in wing mirrors. The key to success is exploring the car and what makes it beautiful.


Subject 2: Shadows


Very often, a street image is defined by its contrast. But what if you go beyond that and make the shadow your subject? Cities and towns are strewn with metal, with patterns, and with light. It's a simple matter of finding a location that you like and shooting it. I came across this bicycle. Ignoring all settings, I overexposed massively. It doesn't matter! Let go of ISO, of metering, and of shutter speed. You can fix that after the fact (I used Luminar's Matte tool to add a vintage look). Simply explore your creative vision and the results will work.


Subject 3: Leading Lines



A popular tool amongst landscape photographers is the leading line - any straight, powerful channel that draws the eye into the frame. And there's nowhere with more edges than the city. I used a subway handrail in this shot, but you could get down low to photograph a curb, a line in a sidewalk... anything you want. If you have a miniature (or full-sized) tripod with you, you could try focus stacking - merging multiple images for sharpness throughout - or you could try to capture light trails as your leading lines. Try different approaches, and one will work. Indeed, the same could be said of all these challenges. Experimentation is the key to success in photography, especially in an urban setting, where you have unmoving, solid subjects through your viewfinder.



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