Street: Portrait (Shooting With A Long Lens)

Yes, I shoot street with a longer lens, and I advocate others do so as well. I have short lenses (a 28mm/f2.8, a 50mm/f2.2, and my 18-55mm kit lens) that I use for street shooting, but I’m as likely to take my 55-250mm (or my 75-300mm if I’m shooting with the 5D) as any of them – the following image was shot with the 55-250mm.

street portrait: BW

Personally I like the black and white version better, but in this case the bokeh worked well in colour

street portrait: colour

There is, in my opinion, a great misconception out there regarding the necessity of using a short lens and getting in close to your subject in street photography – I blame this on what I consider to be a general misunderstanding of Robert Capa’s famous “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” statement.

He did not say “….. you’re not in close enough”, he told us to get close enough, and it’s very difficult to get “close enough” for a candid street portrait (or in some cases a candid street scene) with a short lens.


About Marcel
Biker, amateur photographer, non-authoritarian, and sometimes commentor on things political, who likes playing in social media

4 Responses to Street: Portrait (Shooting With A Long Lens)

  1. Good point. Jay Maisel shoots with a 70-300mm in his street photography.

  2. jeritilley says:

    must not forget that some of the ‘bridge’ cameras have great zooms, with the newer ones offering a massive 60X zoom, great for candid photography.

    Must agree with you that the BW version of the photo works better, although both are good.

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