▷ Photography Dictionary2020-05-24T08:45:54+01:00


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We have covered a lot in our 📸 Free Street Photography Course.

Still some concepts are not clear? Find them all here in a summarized list.

Are you ready for the challenge?

What is Street Photography?2020-05-22T10:30:56+01:00

What is Street Photography?

Street Photography is a genre that has its base in spontaneousness and improvisation. It’s usually practiced in urban areas and most of the time it is about people, their actions and daily activities.

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Best Focal Length for Street Photography?2020-05-22T14:54:18+01:00

Best Focal Length for Street Photography?

Of course there is no “best focal length”, but you can have these values as a reference:

  • Landscape: 12 to 24mm
  • Street Photography: 35 to 85mm (50mm is my preferred)
  • Portrait: 50 to 100mm

If you are about to start practicing and you have a lens between 24mm and 100mm you are good to go.

The most common lengths used in Street Photography are 35mm and 50mm.

Be careful if you have a DSLR, as the length that you lens says is not the real one; I will explain this in a separate post.

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What are the basic photography concepts?2020-05-22T14:54:41+01:00

What are the basic Photography concepts?

In photography we always speak about three basic parameters:

  • Shutter Speed: How much time our sensor is exposed to the light

  • Aperture: How is the opening through which the light passes.

  • ISO: How sensitive our sensor is to the light.

It is mandatory you understand how these are related in order to master photography.

Luckily it is not that difficult, look:

Iso aperture explanation. How to expose a photograph.

Still not clear? Check our Street Photography Course and clarify all your doubts.

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What is exposure in photography?2020-05-22T14:54:57+01:00

What is exposure in photography?

The exposure depends on the three basic parameters: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.

If you steel don’t know them, check this post: Basic Photography Concepts

Basically, the exposure is the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor.

If there is too much light, we will say the photograph is over-exposed. If there is no enough light, it will be under-exposed.

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Aperture, Shutter and ISO Relation2020-05-22T13:35:16+01:00

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO relation?

These three basic photography concepts are tightly related and are they key elements in order to properly expose our photographs.

If you steel don’t know them, check this post: Basic Photography Concepts

There is no better way to explain something than with and example, so I have prepared this table to understand what happens when one of the parameters is changed.

Speed Aperture ISO Exposure

Each arrow means we are increasing or decreasing the value of that parameters. For example:

  • ↑ Speed means faster shutter speed: 1/250, 1/500… (actually, smaller exposure times)
  • ↑ Aperture means bigger F: F16, F22… (so less light)
  • ↑ ISO means bigger ISO: 400, 600, 800…

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Shooting Modes in Photography2020-05-26T23:34:53+01:00

What are the Shooting Modes in photography?

The shooting modes in photography are different ways of setting up the camera, so some parameters are defined by you and the others are automatically calculated by your camera.

This allows the photographer to have a complete control over the camera settings while agility and speed are not compromised.

There are four main shooting modes:

  • Automatic (Auto): The camera is in charge of calculating all the parameters.
  • Speed (S): You set the Shutter Speed and the camera calculates the F and ISO.
  • Aperture (A): You set the Aperture and the camera calculates the S and ISO.
  • Manual (M): You set manually S, A and ISO.

Each of them have advantages in specific shooting scenarios. If you want to know more about the shooting modes in photography, I invite you to our Free Street Photography Course.

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Metering Modes in Photography2020-05-26T23:10:08+01:00

Metering Modes in photography

The metering modes of a camera determine how the light is measured in the sensor.

Depending on the mode that is being used, the whole sensor or a part of it will be used to calculate the light.

This measure is later needed to determine the shooting parameters: Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed.

There are three main metering modes in photography, and each of them is recommended for specific shooting scenarios:

  • Spot Metering: The camera reads the light in a small spot of the sensor (usually in the center of it).
  • Center-weighted: Only the central part of the sensor is used to calculate the exposure.
  • Matrix Metering: The full sensor is read in order to analyse the incoming light and calculate the correct exposure.

If you want to know more about the metering modes in photography, I invite you to our Free Street Photography Course.

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What is Bokeh?2020-07-01T11:51:40+01:00

Bokeh in photography

In photography, bokeh is the effect of light spots being blurred in the background of the photograph.

Usually, there will be a main subject, in focus, and a background with these kind of blurred light spots. This is what we call a bokeh photograph.

This effect can be achieved using specific camera setup.

How to create bokeh effect?

In order to create the bokeh effect, you will need the following:

  • A very fast lens: The smaller the F, the better
  • A main subject in the foreground
  • A background with light spots

The steps to take a bokeh photograph are the following:

  1. Camera Setup: To the brightest aperture – put the camera in Aperture (A) mode and change the F parameter to the lowest possible.
  2. Scenario: The main subject on the foreground and a background with light spots like candles, Christmas lights or similar.
  3. Shot: Focus your main subject and see how the background is blurred and the light spots become bokeh.

Tip: Play with the distances to get the desired result, this is, change the distance between the subject, the lights and your position to get different size of bokehs.

Equipment to create bokeh

Even you can achieve this effect with pretty much any camera, it is true that the better is your lens, the better will be the result.

Let’s analyse what are the main factors that affect bokeh:


The main factor in order to get a good bokeh is the aperture of the lens. The brighter the lens, more accentuated will be the bokeh effect.

This means that the lower the F your lens can handle the better. Usually the lenses with the lower F values are the most expensive ones also.

Focal length

The bigger the focal length the easier will be to get you background blurred and therefore get the bokeh effect.

In this case, zoom lenses will work better; from 85mm should be more than enough to get a very good bokeh portrait.

Best lens for bokeh

I’ve done a quick research about the best lenses to shoot bokeh photographs.

These lenses would be ideal for portrait and/or street photography and not only for bokeh but also for night photography because of their brightness.

check price


  • Mount: Canon EF
  • Max. Aperture: 1.2
  • Focal length: 85mm


This is one of the classic Canon lenses and one of the best ones for bokeh. The F1.2 aperture makes it a ultra-bright lens, compact and very sharp. Delivers a very creamy bokeh and it is compact, so ideal for street and portrait photography.


Around 1750€.

check price


  • Mount: Sony E
  • Max. Aperture: 1.8
  • Focal length: 135 mm


The Sony GM are ultra high quality lenses, very compact for the specifications and that delivery professional quality. This super-bright 135mm lens with F1.8 will create beautiful bokes, ideal for portrait photography.


Around 1900€.

check price


  • Mount: Nikon AF-S
  • Max. Aperture: 1.4
  • Focal length: 105 mm


Awesome telephoto for Nikon, super-bright and ideal for blurry background portraits. The fast aperture makes it specially good for low light situations and having 9 blades the bokeh is smooth and circular.


Around 2000€.

If you are using Sony, Canon or Nikon, with any of these super-bright lenses your portrait and bokeh photographs will look incredible.

In case some of the terminology we use is not clear for you, i invite you to our Street Photography course, where you will learn all these and much more in a very practical and simple way.

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What is ETTR in photography2020-06-25T10:31:18+01:00

ETTR in photography

ETTR means Exposure To The Right, and it’s a technique in order to get properly exposed photographs.

It can be used in any photography style: Street, landscape, portraits…

The key is not only to rely on the camera’s light meter, but to check the histogram to make sure that the exposure will use all the sensor’s dynamic range.

How to apply ETTR?

Whenever you are shooting, check the histogram of your photograph to make sure that the highlights are captured but none of the pixels are burnt.

The theory is based on the idea that we can recover dark parts of a photograph, but it is impossible to get information from burnt pixels; therefore the trick is to expose the image as bright as possible without burning any pixel.

So, how do we know when we are exposing it to the brightest? Of course, checking the histogram:

How to read the histogram?

The histogram shows the dark pixels on the left and the brightest ones on the right. In this example, we can see that the photograph could have been brighter, as there are no “very bright” pixels (because of the gap in the right side).

If you are shooting and your live view shows the histogram, you will be able to adjust the exposure in order to fill this gap. You can use the exposure control or change the speed or the aperture in order to achieve this.

Otherwise, if your camera cannot show the histogram in the live view, you can most of the time check it after you have taken the picture, so you can adjust the exposure for the next one.

This is very useful specially for landscape photography, where we have time enough to check and adjust the parameters until we get the perfect shot.

If you are practicing street, it is good the check the last few pictures to see how your pictures are being exposed. You may realize that your camera is underexposing and adjust accordingly.

Is it everything clear? Don’t forget, always Expose To The Right!

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What is a prime lens?2020-07-28T12:57:26+01:00

What is a prime lens?

A prime lens is a photographic lens that has a fixed focal length.

This means that you will not be able to zoom in and out with this lens, being this the most important limitation of this type of lenses.

However, there are many other advantages.

Why is it better to shoot with a prime lens?

The first thing that comes into your mind when thinking about shooting with a prime lens is that you will be limited.

You will not have the zoom to frame, you will not be able to get closer to the subject without moving, and you may feel that all your pictures will look the same because of the lower flexibility.

However, this “limitation” will boost your creativity, and you will have to start thinking about new ways of framing, moving and positioning yourself to shoot new types of pictures.

If you have a zoom you may sit down on a chair and wait, with a primer lens you will have to dive into the streets in order to get that original picture, that perspective or that frame.

Also, as we will see below, the brighter apertures and the smaller size and weight will allow you to make street photography more dynamic and fun.

Advantages of primer lenses


Usually prime lenses are brighter that zoom lenses, this means the maximum aperture is bigger (smaller F values). This is one of the key advantages when choosing a prime lens.

These are much better options to shoot in low light, portrait and astrology. Having very bright apertures allows the photographer to shoot in extreme conditions or to get blurred backgrounds exceptionally well.

Build and image quality

They are much simpler from a mechanical point of view because there are no moving parts, so usually they are lighter and better built than zoom lenses.

This also results in a better and sharper image quality because the same reason. The glasses are in a fixed position and therefore perfectly placed in order to deliver the highest image quality.

Size and weight

Not having moving parts, requiring less glass and having simpler structures results in lighter and smaller lenses, ideal for street photography.

My preferred prime lens for Street Photography

You may not know it, but all the pictures that are in my portfolio (www.attitude4.com) were shoot using prime lenses.

My preferred one is the Sony FE 55mm 1.8, a small, sharp and very fast focusing 55mm prime lens.

Later I acquired the Sony FE 24mm 1.4 as I wanted to have a wider alternative to the 55mm also to be able to shoot some astro or landscape photography.

From my experience, I can only recommend prime lenses for street photography. I am a big fun of these and all my portfolio is a big prove that street photography can be performed using prime lenses.

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Where to find inspiration?2020-07-30T12:52:12+01:00

Where to find inspiration for Street Photography?

Many times when you are in the streets looking for a picture you don’t know where to put your attention in.

Lots of things moving and happening around you and sometimes it is not easy to focus on what really interests you. In order to improve on this aspect I have gathered in this article some subjects, objects or ideas that we can use as focus-points to find inspiration for our photography.

The idea behind this is to make our photography journey more efficient, funny and enjoyable.

Inspiration ideas for photography

Here I bring a list of items that we can use as reference to find inspiration in photography. If you have more ideas, please send them to me by email and I will add them to the article; let’s make it collaborative: hello@attitude4.com.

  • People
  • Contrasts
  • Moments
  • Actions
  • Reflections
  • Animals
  • Buildings
  • Textures
  • Specific objects (bikes, cars…)

These are ideas that I gathered from my experience as a street photographer, but they can be actually used in any photographic style.

If you do portrait or landscape photography (specially urban landscape) most of the ideas mentioned above can be used as inspiration or as things you can incorporate in your photographic project to achieve a more unique and original artwork.

Define your photographic style

Having a lot of ideas about what to shoot sounds good, but there’s the risk of loosing focus and again finding ourselves lost in the bustle of the cities.

Because of this, my suggestion is to choose from 2 to 5 ideas or subjects and to work on them in every photography session.

You can select different topics every time you go out with your camera, but try to have in mind specific things to focus in. This will help you find your subjects easier, faster and hopefully you will get a more meaningful result.

Let’s analyse each of the ideas to see what can we get from each of them:

Find the inspiration in photography

People: My mum used to say: “There’s so many people, and every one is different”. For sure including people in your frame makes your pictures unique, not only because of the person, but because of the moments that happen are unique and cannot be replicated. People is the base of street photography and it will always be.

Contrasts: Playing with the light is another of the grounds of photography, and if you use it on a creative way it can make the difference. Dark and light areas can change how the spectator understands the photography and can be used to generate sensations, emotions or effects.

Moments & actions: Landscape photography is easily replicable; you just need to wait for similar conditions to happen and you can get that dreamy picture. However, situations where someone or something is performing an activity generate unique moments that could never happen again – or at least, not equally as they happened. If you get that shot, it will be unique forever and therefore original, don’t you agree?

Reflections: Putting your attention in reflections can be a way of capturing the reality but from an exceptional point of view. Usually, reflections somehow distort the image and the resultant images can be quite original, singular and challenging for the viewer. Don’t loose sight of glasses, puddles or any reflecting surface.

Animals: Even they are easier to photograph than humans, animals have a special charisma that can be perfectly used in street photography. Allan Schaller is one of the street photographers of the moment, and he has developed a couple of sub-projects within his portfolio that involves animals (dogs and pigeons). I recommend you to check his Instagram to understand what I mean: www.instagram.com/alan_schaller/

Buildings: Even I am not very fan of urban street photography based on buildings and sculptures, these can play a important part of our frames, as most of the time will have to be included in our pictures. Pay attention to the shapes, textures, height and forms that these huge structures can have. Include them wisely to add context and forms to your photographs.

Specific object (bikes, cars…): Similarly as with animals, specific objects that we can find in the streets can be included as part of a sub-project under our portfolio. Taking pictures of bikes, cars, rubbish bins or any other thing can sound dull at the beginning, but if you have some kind of passion and are able to get original and meaningful pictures, your dull project could evolve into a unique and valuable set.

Textures: In my opinion this one should be combined with other ideas mentioned above, but it is always good to keep an eye in the different surfaces, materials and textures that surround us. They can add to the photograph a specific sensation (freshness, antiquity, coldness…) and are specially more visual when developing the pictures in black and white.

Where do you look for when you are shooting?

I hope you found this article interesting and I will be happy also to learn from you. Feel free to contribute to the article through the contact form below!


    Also, don’t miss our Free Street Photography Course! You can access for free through the link below:

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    Who am I?

    My name is Enaitz and even I started practicing photography from childhood, I engaged this art in an enthusiastic way in summer of 2018. While in New York, I found out that there were photographs on the streets that “I could see”, and it was when I decided that was the time to come back.

    Since then, I have visited lots of cities and practiced street photography all over the world.

    Discover my images

    I invite you to find out more in my photographic project’s web: www.attitude4.com

    Discover my images

    I invite you to find out more in my photographic project’s web: www.attitude4.com

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