Somewhat inspired by Joe Wigfall and others: Spotlight Interview … Photographer Joe Wigfall « James Robinson Photography Blog Flickr: joewig's Photostream I made my first attempts at candid street photography today ... OK, so I have nothing worth showing from it. But it was still a very interesting learning experience. Anyone else here do many street candids with experience to share? I tried doing the majority of my shots shooting with the camera, on its strap, held at my chest - without looking through the viewfinder. This takes PRACTICE! In the first thirty or so shots, I only managed to get more than a small section of my subject in the frame a couple of times... for some reason I had a tendency to shoot to their right - I also made the mistake of angling up toward their faces whereas I really needed to keep the camera level. So, "target practice" is going to be a big part of this if I try it again - keeping the subject well within the frame of the photo without seeing what the camera sees is hard. Holding the camera at my chest gave a good viewing angle though. Finding suitable subjects was also disappointing. I went to the main city around here, but not at the busiest time - and at any rate it's "only" a city of 200,000. The main shopping street/pedestrian thoroughfare was actually quite quiet most of the time. I started just trying to get clean shots of anyone at all, but shifted my focus quickly to mostly going for twos or threes who were communicating - showing emotion and expression. People on mobile phones occasionally got expressive enough to be interesting, and there were a few people around who were just plain interesting. Still, to get a good "hit rate" with interesting subjects, I need to do this at a busier time/venue - market day would be a good target. Camera settings took a little getting used to, but this one part I think I've already got sorted. Shooting from the chest makes accurate focusing and light-metering impossible of course! To take the guess-work out of focusing, I focused on one subject at a roughly suitable distance then left the lens in manual focus so it wouldn't waste time hunting... I wanted the shots to be instant. I then set the aperture to /22 (the highest value on my 50mm) to maximise the depth of field. This worked great - earlier attempts at /13, /16 and /19 were a little hit or miss but at /22 most results were decently in focus. I also wanted to freeze the action, and I was walking while I shot the photos and most of my subjects moving, this required a fast shutter speed. Early results at 1/60s and 1/90s were disappointing, but once I went up to 1/125s or 1/180s blur pretty much disappeared. It was also important to support my camera well with both hands while I was shooting. To balance f/22 and the fast exposure time most of the time I was working at ISO 800, sometimes at 400. This still underexposed most of the shots by a stop or so - but that's no problem when working with RAW and eliminate the risk of blown highlights. Even walking down the same street or crossing the road would change the light levels by a stop or two and I didn't have time to keep adjusting the camera settings. Shooting as I did (again, virtually never raising the camera to my eye) I think in an hour only one or two people actually suspected I was taking photos - pretty much everyone carried on as normal, which was what I wanted. Hopefully I can try this again, and get some better results that I can share!