Street and documentary photography is a genre of photography where the sense of timing, more than anything else, usually differentiates a good photo from a not so good one.
Photographers have continually stressed on getting the timing right and discussions continue to focus on anticipation, preparation and techniques.
The all important sense of anticipation
A term is often used…..”working the scene”. That’s when you make sense of a scene by moving around, observing a scene from different angles, looking for interesting subjects popping into the scene and building up a scenario in the mind. This creates a sense of anticipation and this sense of anticipation leads a photographer to a state of readiness with the camera settings and framing.
What you finally see is what you anticipate. Interesting juxtapositions, overlaps, portraits with meaningful backgrounds and freezing stunning action are some of the constituents of canning a moment that has a certain amount of x factor in it…..something that sets it apart from a regular moment.
Using the multi shot function is almost always a winner. Multi shot mode allows you to shoot a sequence of photos of moving objects in rapid succession depending on the frame rate of your camera. Frequently one among this sequence will appear to be just the right shot in terms of positioning.
Higher ISO and faster shutter speeds
Immensely important to capture stunning actions. Even in daylight iso speeds in the range of 800 to 1000 allows for significantly faster shutter speeds thus helping to freeze fast action.
Be as unobtrusive as possible. All elements of a scene, when they become conscious of the photographer and the camera, tend to behave unnaturally. But there’s nothing better than a candid shot which captures the natural essence of a scene. Spending some time in the shooting zone and familiarizing oneself with the situation at hand tends to relax people around the photographer. After a while they just go about their business without being too conscious of the camera.
Experimenting with angles and povs ( point of view ) usually create different looking shots. Eye level shooting has mostly been the norm in documentary and journalistic work. But even simple street scenes can often appear dramatic with creative angles.
To conclude, the sense of anticipation reigns supreme along with the readiness to shoot away the moment something interesting begins to happen.