I was out exploring in Seoul with some street photography. I was having a good time. I’m working with a full-frame Canon camera and a 50mm prime lens. Generally, with this setup, I’m standing 2-3 meters away and I’ll capture quite a lot with a large portion of the person, subject, in the frame, and a decent amount of the background in the frame.
As a very quick, easy example I snapped a couple of quick photos of my son to show you the difference. The first photo is taken about 1 meter away while the second is taken about 3 meters away.
You can clearly see a huge difference. I generally stay around the 2-3 meter distance and capture more of the scene. In my opinion, that’s generally much better in terms of framing in order to tell a story. Now when it comes to street photography, you definitely have lots of options. You can use a zoom lens and adjust it in order to take closer-up photographs from a farther distance. You can switch up your lens with a longer focal length. You can take the photograph from a farther distance and crop it later on, which I personally detest! Or if you’re like me, you like to stick to 1 single focal length which means you need to get up closer to photograph!
The challenge that rests with getting so close is to do so without disturbing people and still capture a candid frame!
On this evening, I did take some photographs as I normally would standing a little bit back. From this distance, people can still recognize you photographing, but you’re rarely disturbing anyone.
As the title of this post suggests, at this point I decided to muster up some courage and go in closer. The photographs are not super amazing or anything like that, but simply represent the effort of getting in close. Some of them, somewhat creatively.
Final Photos from a Comfortable Distance
After doing that for a while, I finished my evening with just a few other photographs at my regular distance before heading home for the night.
How do you get close to subjects while doing candid street photography?