Street photography is a way of documenting everyday life as it happens. This type of photography has been on a rise in popularity as more and more people have gained easier access to cameras. Both professional photographers and hobbyist gained an affinity for street photography because of the excitement and unpredictability it entails.
The picture-perfect moments are illusive and the potential powerful shots are fleeting. Most of the time you have to capture that picture just at the right moment if you want to essentially capture life as it happens. You have to be quick enough to capture that shot since it only gives you a very brief window of opportunity.
To do street photography you can use any type of camera you want, from point and shoot cameras, smart phone cameras, or to the popular Polaroid cameras. There is neither a strict rule nor limit on what kind of camera you want to use for street photography.
But if you truly want to explore and expand your skills doing street photography you need to go out and try using fixed-focal length lenses or prime lenses. This type of lens does not allow you to zoom out or in. This means that you have to move closer to your subject if you want to focus more on a specific focal point or you have to move back if you want to put your subject more into context.
Some Reasons Why Primes Lenses are made for Street Photography
Although zoom lenses can do the tricks any of the fix focal lenses can do, the latter gives you a reason to be really there in the middle of the street and be truly present on where all that life happens.
It is also significantly lighter since it does not have the extra hardware a zoom lens requires. And because more light goes through the lens because it has minimal layers, you will get a sharper and fuller image.
Types of Prime Lenses
There are a couple of popular fixed focal length lenses to choose from when doing street photography. And which among them is the best depends more on the photographer’s preference.
The 50mm lens
This is arguably the most popular lens to use when doing a street photography theme. The lens offers just the right amount of zoom and the right amount of proportion as to that of the human vision. This is one of the best lenses to shoot specific portraits from.
The 35mm lens
This has more or less the same takes as that of a 55mm but you’ll have to move closer to the subject to capture the moment’s essence. This also means you will almost always invade personal space. This will easily get you in to trouble if you are not careful with your approach.
The 28mm lens
This will give you a bit wider angle view, which makes it harder to make a person the focal point of your shoot if you do no move in very close. If getting too close was a problem for you with the 35mm lens, then you will have to even muster more courage to point your camera closer to someone’s face when using a 28.