Keep scrolling to see the gear and settings used for this shot.

As if you needed another reason to get a telephoto lens.

I am a Street Photography noob. I absolutely love street photography, though. I love to try to shoot it, I love to see other's work, and I love how easily accessible it is. Being that I typically work with clients, I ALWAYS have a subject and, of course, I love to work that way. However, there's something about walking on the sidewalk and finding aesthetic looks and then waiting for the perfect subject to waltz into the frame. It's just a very different approach to photography and I think that helps keep you fresh and motivated. I have gone out a few times to a few places, with other photographers and by myself. I always carried with me my 24-105 kit lens and I got great wide shots, as we all picture wide shots for street photography, but none of the images ever popped out at me and grabbed my attention. Obviously I have never shared them. So I bought my Tamron 70-210 f/4 to give me that much needed reach at events like weddings and such, but it wasn't until recent that I saw some telephoto street shots and wanted to try it for myself. Now, I am blessed to be a father and "husband" and I also work a full time job. So as much as I would like to shoot I don't always get to. Especially when it comes to the more creative, non-paid shoots. I did however decide to get up early and head to work earlier than usual to get some shots of the near-by downtown district of San Bernardino. This is what I mean by street photography being easily accessible. I didn't have to coordinate with a client or model. I didn't have to worry about carving out time to get it done. I simply woke up early and left my house 20 minutes earlier than I normally do. It's safe to say I'll definitely be doing this more often. It was great and refreshing and if you work a 9-5 like I do it's the perfect way to scratch that photography itch you get during the work week. Anyway, the main point of today's post isn't just to convince you to go shoot street photography regardless of your style. The point is to take a telephoto with you to shoot street photography. I'll give you a few reasons why.

What you'll need:


How to use it:

I am often jealous of photographers that can shoot wider street shots and have everything balance out in perfect composition. That is a skill that I strive to one day master! However, while I work on that I find that a telephoto not only gives you reach, but allows you to narrow down on a frame, thus having less things in frame to compose for. When I was taking the shot above there were a ton of street lights and signs that created a very distracting and, therefore, un-interesting photo. But with the telephoto I simply zoomed in past all of the distracting elements and framed my shot with the trees and wall leading the eye to the crosswalk. My original intention was to wait until a person crossed so that I can have my subject walking through the frame from left to right. While I was waiting this cyclist whizzed by me and provided me with something a little more interesting than my original idea. The compression that the telephoto lens gives you at 210mm is so awesome.

As you can see in the first image below, I zoomed in quite a bit on the buildings windows. I was able to create a shot with a lot of interesting lines without the distraction of the building itself. That's the second major benefit here; having that reach. It is so cool to look around you and just zoom in on one thing that interests you.

Those are my tips for you for shooting street photography with a telephoto lens. Zoom in on your point of interest to isolate it so that you may compose your shot without worrying about composing for any distractions. I have my eye on a 100-400mm telephoto. I will make another post once I've gotten it and taken it to shoot street photography.


Camera settings:

Camera: Canon EOS R

SS: 1/400

Aperture: f/4

ISO: 100

More Examples

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