Many pro photographers still find this a good method to capture shots, as it’s a different perspective from eye level shots and can provide interesting results.
Use Aperture Priority Mode
For street photography, set your camera to Aperture Priority mode. This will give you the best creative control over the depth of field. Depth of field is how much of the image is in focus. A shallow depth of field means very little of the image is in focus, from front to back.
A large depth of field means most of the image is in focus. To achieve a shallow depth of field choose an aperture with a low f/number – e.g. f/4 rather than f/16. When you take control of what is in focus you also take control of what isn’t in focus. A really out-of-focus or blurred background can really help your subject stand out. This is perfect for street photography where distracting backgrounds are common.
Remember that sometimes you may want to include the background in sharp focus to help create context or help tell a story. In these situations choose a smaller aperture (larger f/number – e.g. f/8 rather than f/2.8). As you make the aperture smaller the camera will compensate by making the shutter speed slower – to allow sufficient light to be captured for a good exposure. The downside of this is that faster moving elements within the scene may appear blurred. This could be a problem if the subject also appears blurred.
When the shutter speed is too slow, compensate for this by choosing a higher ISO value, e.g. 400 rather than 100. ISO is the camera’s adjustable sensitivity to light. An increased ISO value allows the camera to use a faster shutter speed, which reduces the chances of blur from motion or unsteady hands.