Best lens and settings for street photography.
Choose the right lens and camera settings for street photography and start capturing bustling urban scenes.
Choosing the correct lens is the cornerstone of street photography. Combined with appropriate camera settings, you’ll be able to snap fantastic urban shots.
If you’re new to street photography, this guide suggests which lenses and settings may work best for you.
Nifty Fifty — the standard 50mm lens.
The 50mm lens, also known as the Nifty Fifty, is the gold standard for street photography. This is the option to go for if you’re only planning to buy one lens. The trusty 50mm provides good focal length without distorting the photo.
Going shorter or longer.
A lens that is shorter or longer than 50mm opens new possibilities for street photography. They both have their uses, but also introduce some challenges.
A shorter lens requires you to get close to your subject, which makes for intimate photos but can get awkward — especially if you’re photographing strangers. Lenses shorter than 35mm will also distort the photo, creating the famous “fisheye” effect.
A longer lens allows you to keep your distance, but in narrow streets you may run out of space. If you can’t get close to your subject, though, a long lens is just what you need.
Camera settings for street photography.
Your choice of camera settings will depend on the time of day, the weather, and the scene, among other things. Here are some general guidelines:
- Use a quick shutter speed to create a freeze frame of the scene.
- Set your aperture size to medium to focus on your subject but leave the background recognizable.
- Start at a low ISO setting and push it higher if your photos come out shaky.
Organize and edit your street photos.
With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, you can manage your photo collection while you’re on the go. You can also share and organize photos on your mobile or desktop device. And if your lens or settings weren’t quite right for the shot, you can easily edit yoururban gallery.
Discover everything you can do with Lightroom to capture city life at its best.