This is a part of my “Learn Street Photography Series“.
Make sure to also read my 99 street photography tips.
Alright, cameras settings! We have Manual mode, P-mode, aperture priority mode: When to use what setting in street photography?
My preferred settings for street photography is P-mode – I use that 70% of the time simply because I can’t bother thinking too much about my camera settings when the ‘decisive moment’ is in front of me.
See how I do street photography (filmed with a GoPro)
This photo is impossible to take in P-mode
When I took this photo, the camera setting I used was shutter priority mode. The shutter speed is set to 1 second and everything else is in auto mode.
When I shoot with the Fujifilm x100f – my preferred camera for street photography, I use three different settings for street photography.
The Fujifilm x100F comes with three customizable modes. And when you pick your street camera, it’s crucial it has the option to set a minimum shutter speed.
- Setting 1) The mode I use the most for day-time: 1/250 shutter speed and ISO max of 1600. This setting will tell the camera to never go above 1600 ISO and never go below 1/250 of a second. This helps me avoiding blurry motion by freezing moving targets and keeping the ISO at a decent level.
Street Photography at night
When I’m doing street photography at night, I always go to a max ISO of 12800.
P Mode vs. Aperture mode for street photography
In the past, I would usually just shoot in P-mode – always. Lately, I’ve been experiment a lot more with aperture priority mode to control and master the depth of field (DoF) better.
Focusing: Autofocus, prefocus, AE-L & AF-L
How to focus: This is a tricky thing in street photography because everything moves so fast and your scene is very unpredictable, which is why you should rely a lot on your settings and experience.
AE lock stands for Auto Exposure-Lock. The reason to use AE-L is to lock the exposure where you want and point that camera elsewhere after.
AF lock stands for Auto Focus Lock. The point of using AF-lock, which is something I often use, is to pre-focus at a certain spot, so your next shot will be a lot faster.