5 tips on street photography.

Street photography is like baking a cake, mix all the right ingredients together, stir clockwise, let it rest and on the right moment you have created an amazing photograph.

Jerusalem street photographer Ouria Tadmor shares some of his tips that any photographer, regardless of technical skill or experience, can apply and capture more decisive moments in Jerusalem or anywhere else.

1. Pick your area and stay for a while.

Street photography may look like it’s all about luck, but actually being at the right place on the right time has a lot more to do with planning than with luck. Every city has it’s secret corners and streets where the action is happening, if you take the time to do a little research about those places you will save that time later on waiting for the frame to happen. You’ll know where to be and when.

Night Out Street Photography workshop Jerusalem

I knew that on Thursday night the market is a place where decisive moments happen.

2. Learn the light.

Photography is all about light, street photography is no different, a great decisive moment can be totally missed if shot at the wrong light, and that rule works both ways, taking advantage of light situation will turn a routine street scene into a dramatic photograph.

Waiting for the bus to come and create a dark background was the planning part, the fact that the girl was still seating there when it came was pure luck.

Waiting for the bus to come and create a dark background was the planning part, the fact that the girl was still seating there when it came was pure luck.

There is no one rule for using light, but the best way is to take a few test exposures, try shooting over exposure, under exposure, different contrast settings, try to look and expose out of the box!

3. Look far ahead.

Once position at your spot, and set up the camera for the exposure that make the most out of the situation, start looking far ahead so you have time to respond to decisive moments when they evolve. If you look far enough you will have time to anticipate the moment and adjust your angle or exposure.

Rain Dance, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

I saw the man walking between the puddles and have had time to get ready and just wait for him to get into my frame.

4. Add salt and pepper.

On our everyday life we see so many photographs that we have actually saw everything, it is very hard to come up with something different, new or exciting. That why we need to look for that little “bonus” in our composition, that secret bond between the child at the background and the photographer, is what makes that over photographed scene into an interesting photo.

Preparations for Passover in Jerusalem

It was well worth the waiting for the little girl to add some extra “flavor” to the photograph on the right.  Passover prep. in Jerusalem. (click to enlarge)

5. God of photography lives in the fine details.

One of the strong sides of freezing the moment and saving it onto a memory card is that it gives us a chance to better look at small details that on the fast moving street action are swallowed into the background and can be just unseen. Paying extra attention to what’s happening across the corners of your frame will give that extra punch to your street photography.

Jerusalem Light Train, Ouria Tadmor 2011.

The woman at the front of the frame is just there to attract the viewer’s eye to people “caged” in the train.



Click here to see our street photography workshops in Jerusalem.