Slow shutter street photography is the most creative genre of photography. You play with maximum subjects in this genre and create fabulous frames. I’m going to discuss here very shortly with my few photographs. How to capture great photos without shaking on the street using this genre.
Few basic needs you have to follow to take photos. It creates a contrast between the movable and still elements on the street. This type of photograph depends on the shutter speed of your camera and the measurement of the shutter speed and the movement of your subject.
As you know photograph is a term consisting of two words, ‘photo’ and ‘graph’. ‘Photo’ means light and ‘graph’ means writing and this is happening in this segment. Exactly you can write or draw on your frame with the lights where it seems quite like painting as you virtually paint. But one thing, your primary subject should be actually in focus like photographs and secondary subjects, or the rest of the frame may be in blur effect according to your subject.
As it is a slow shutter, open your aperture for a long time the movement will be blurred. I discussed in my previous blog that you need at least 1/125s shutter speed for street photography but here I let me tell you exactly the opposite set of cameras for this genre. But don’t mix up this genre with other genres of street photography or don’t be confused with the other part of photography. It has its own established point to create a different frame from others as all the genres.
Panning is the most technical issue on this. This genre of photography is a little bit more technical than other parts of street photography. Here you need a camera setting, your body gesture, body movement, and your observation. Always I speak about the setting of your camera before going on the street because you get no time to set your camera over there according to each subject. But here you have set your camera according to every subject as you are going to freeze only your subject. So, you have to always measure the movement of your desired subject.
Let’s discuss pointwise the technical issues of this genre. This genre is a little bit difficult because simultaneously you have to observe your subject and set your camera over there so that you need little concentration and practice. Practice with any subject in any light condition set your camera according to the different lighting conditions.
Slow Shutter Camera Setting:
I would like to give the main emphasis on the camera setting in Slow Shutter Street Photography. We need very low shutter speeds like 1/10sec – 1/60sec. But the main problem is during the daylight. Because during daylight where you can increase your shutter speed more than 1/1000sec, you have to hold your shutter speed as mentioned above. So, there is a high chance to get overexposed or burnt out the highlighted area and it will definitely happen during the starting of your practice. But here we use the second option, the aperture of our camera. Camera settings like aperture, shutter speed, and exposure will be the same. Control the light. As you are using very low shutter speed you should control the aperture according to the light condition.
Use a very close aperture in the daytime, more than f-11 according to light. By using this setting, you will get a good depth of field all over the frame and your desired subject. You can control all of this in manual settings but I would recommend you set your camera in shutter speed priority mode. You should be able to adjust your shutter speed according to your subject and the camera will adjust the aperture simultaneously. Another thing is to always shoot in raw mode. If your frame gets overexposed you could correct the exposure in raw editing to some extent but not exactly.
Panning and Body Gesture:
The most crucial point is panning your camera with the subject. It likes to tighten your camera with your subject with an invisible rope. Follow your subject’s movement, set your shutter speed, and pan your camera with that. You will get a frozen subject but a blurred background and you can create the contrast in between. But your camera should be very steady as your camera only can move in one direction means sideways or up-down wise not in a cross direction.
Your hands and body must be very steady but also you can use a tripod or monopod for the support of your camera. I would like to advise you to keep your camera on your eye, put your elbow on your ribs. You will get great support and use only waist movement for sideways and neck movement for up and downward movement. If your hand is not stable enough then go with the wide lens. You can avoid it to some extent.
Using of Light Street Photography:
Using the light on the frame is a little concern because the source of light will be on the frame. There is a high chance to get overexposed or burnt out the other elements on the frame. This can happen during day time and is also applicable for night photography. So, avoid the source of light and try to keep the source behind you and use the light on your subject. During night time you can use open aperture as the light density is less than daytime. But shutter speed will remain the same according to your subject.
As I mentioned, the EXIF data, the combination of aperture and shutter speed for each image, I think you already got a clear vision on how to step forward on the Slow Shutter Street Photography genre. You need more practice on this for getting perfection but never stop for learning, am also not perfect still learning, and if you have any advice I would like to hear you from your side in the comment box.