Experimenting with Manual Exposure and Timing in Street Photography

Experimenting with manual settings on your camera and snapping at just the right time can help capture effective street photos. Photojournalist and street photographer Antonio Olmos in this video, shares some tips on how he captures pictures while out and about on the streets of London:

Explaining how he only had a split second to photograph his chosen subject – a middle aged lady sitting in a moving bus with fancy shopping bag – and with limited light in his frame, he had to quickly adjust his exposure and snap the picture. “I got the picture I wanted, which was very nice,” he said with a smile.

Olmos goes on to say that he experiments with manual settings on location until he gets his desired exposure in his photos. He then starts taking photos, making notes as he goes along without worrying whether the pictures are perfect or not. Using manual settings up to 90% of the time, Olmos has a penchant for dark pictures and prefers to control every aspect of the photography process as much as he can.

Timing is also key in getting the shot you want. Olmos noted that street photographers need to think five seconds ahead and “see the picture coming” because of the fleeting nature of moments.

manual exposure, street photography, melancholy

Having been photographing people for 20 years, Olmos dispenses wisdom about how to approach strangers to photograph. “If you tell them why you’re doing it, they will be quite happy …” he quipped. According to him, these strategies have helped him avoid any confrontations in his line of work. Also important, don’t be sneaky and don’t hide when shooting around corners. Instead, be obvious and be quick – sound advice for aspiring street photographers.

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