Street Photography Tips – Follow the Light!

My focus in photography has always been available light. I’m not saying that I haven’t or won’t ever use artificial light. Only that available light is my preference. Recently I had a photo tour with a Norwegian woman who mentioned that there is a period of time in the year in Norway when it’s dark all day. It is difficult for me to imagine living without sunlight both physically and photographically.

In street photography available light is what you work with whether it’s overcast or a cloudless sunny day and everything between. It has become obvious to me that there are a number of street photographers who only shoot on sunny afternoons when the light is perfect! While I’ve been known to take advantage of the perfect afternoon light on occasions, I shoot all year long and in all conditions without the exception of extreme weather.

New York City Street Photography
Modernism Has Failed, New York City, 19 June 2018

I think that it’s important to become versatile. Perhaps I say that because I know that I’d be bored if I have to wait for perfect light. I would become restless. When I’m out shooting I will follow the light. I allow it to lead me down streets. Even overcast light has the ability to lend to very nice light. I do occasionally use an on camera flash as fill. Not often though. I don’t think I like the results as much.

The right light can certainly make or break a photo. But composition with correct exposure works very well too. And then there’s processing. Some things can be altered or fixed. No, it’s not cheating to process your work. It doesn’t make you less of a photographer. So many master photographers who saw so little of the light of day in their darkrooms dodging and burning and cropping.

At any rate, I think that if you are able to shoot in all kinds of light and weather conditions that it makes you a more experienced photographer! What do you think?

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