Do your street photography habits rob you of photos or enable creativity? In the August 2020 issue of SPM, Bob Patterson considered that question in an article he wrote entitled, “Improve Your Street Photography with Simple Routines.” After a few bad habits robbed him of some potentially great shots, Bob sat down to examine his mistakes and come up with some positive habits and routines that would minimize missed shots and maximize decisive moments captured.
Have you ever been so excited at something happening around you that you just grabbed your camera and shot, without even thinking about your settings, only to discover later that the shot was lost to poor exposure? Rookie mistake, we know, but it’s happened to all of us at some time or another. Well, Bob has a practical solution to that problem:
Zero Your Camera After Each Shoot
This is the first step in Bob’s four-step system. It means setting your camera to the same settings each time you come home after shooting. Bob says,
“The purpose is that your camera will be set exactly the same way every time you shoot so that you don’t have to think about it. Your Zero (or base) settings can be anything, based upon how and where are you shoot and the camera you use.
“This doesn’t mean that I shoot at these settings all the time. It just means that I know this is a base level that I have to make adjustments to, based upon the conditions at the scene. It also means that I’m paying attention to this from the beginning and that I won’t have an unpleasant surprise when I later look at my work.”
To get the rest of Bob’s four-step system, give his article a read. His routine is super simple and makes adjusting camera settings second nature, so you can avoid losing shots to unnecessary fiddling. With a tried-and-true process to fall back on, you can stay in the moment and capture quality shots of memorable moments on the street as they happen.