iPhone Street Photography Techniques

Street photography is an art that requires a photographer to anticipate and capture spontaneity. Many street photographers use DSLRs and film cameras, but smartphones have taken the place of some artists’ bulkier gear.

Watch how Gavin Harrison uses his iPhone to quickly take, edit, and share his street photography:

Visualize Your Shots

Using an iPhone doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your creative vision. Have an idea about the message you want your image to send. In Harrison’s example, he saw a musician playing his guitar in the South Kensington tunnel. As he observed for a few moments, he noticed how people were rushing by the performer in a hurry to get wherever they were going. He wanted his photo to illustrate this concept, so he waited for a passerby to walk through the frame. This created the blur of a woman rushing past the guitar player.


Make Use of Editing Tools

Apps like Instagram make it easy to apply a basic filter with a single tap of a finger. But you can take much more control of your images with other editing apps. Harrison uses Snapseed and Big Lens for the photo featured in the video. Look for apps that let you make multiple adjustments.


Know the Strengths of Your Apps

Don’t worry about cluttering up your smartphone with photo apps. Each app has its own strengths. You can even edit the same photo using several different programs. For example, Harrison first opened his image of the musician in Snapseed, where he cropped and straightened the photo, adjusted ambiance and saturation, added a filter, sharpened, and did some selective adjustments. He then saved the image and opened it back up in an app called Big Lens, which allowed him to apply an HDR setting as well as use a selection brush to blur part of his image with precision.


The fleeting nature of street photography’s subject matter makes smartphones the tools of choice for many photographers. An iPhone can be pulled out of a pocket and used stealthily to capture quick interactions without the burden or barrier that a larger camera sometimes brings with it. And, with efficient use of apps, the images can be artistically edited and shared within seconds.

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