Street Photography Quick Tip (18)

Monochrome street photograph of two lady throwing a dirty look

Street Photography Quick Tip 18 – Layered Faces

In time for the weekend here is the eighteenth edition of my Street Photography Quick Tips. Some short, easy to read and easy to use tips that I think could help you while shooting in the streets. Today’s post is about adding interest to your street photography by shooting layered faces…

Street Portrait of an Asian girl

A great way to add interest to your street photographs is shooting layered compositions. Herby you combine things happening inside your viewfinder in the foreground, middle ground and background.

Street Portrait of an Asian lady

As you can see from the two photographs above and below, it is irrelevant in which of the layers you place your principle subject.

Monochrome street photograph of pretty girl

Layers can be used to frame your main subject, or add a story to your composition. Layers can include all different sorts of subjects or objects, gesture or scenes. I love playing with combining layers of faces or heads into my street shots. The added interest captures the viewers attention, trying to read a story into the image, or trying to determine the relationship of the subjects included in the frame.

1/320 sec – f/5 – ISO 200 – 100 mm

For shooting street photographs with layers of faces or heads, you best use a zoom lens or a prime with a long focal length. Not so much for the reason that you can keep your distance from the subjects (although some street shooters prefer just that). But the longer focal lengths tend to compress the perspective of the image, thus pulling the focal panes of the layers closer together.

Monochrome street photograph of a lady playing cards

These photographs were all taken with my mZuiko 12-100mm F74 (24-200mm full frame equivalent), all at the longer end of the focal range. So if you want to go out and shoot some properly socially distanced street photography, grab your cam and a zoom, head to your streets and photograph some layered faces or heads.

If you are looking for more tips and inspirations around street photography, head to my free Learning Center.

Take your cam and practice. And have fun!

Wish you a great weekend!


Related Posts:

Street Photography Quick Tip 11 – Using Color Accents

Street Photography Quick Tip 12 – Shoot from a Gallery

Instant Inspiration (11) – Change of Perspective

Instant Inspiration (12) – Playfulness

30 thoughts on “Street Photography Quick Tip (18)

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  1. Thanks for the tips, you really create some great street photos.

    As a photographer, I’m not good at street photography. I always get nervous when I take a picture of random people on the street.

  2. Your street photos are really great! Thanks for the tips.

    As a photographer, I’m not good at street photography. Every time I take a photo of random people on the street I’m nervous.

  3. I have used this technique and it does produce some stunning pictures because having blurred person in foreground or background always helps create a strong subject.

  4. I always enjoyed your street portraits, they are spontaneous, very compelling and they always tell interesting stories. We are so different and unique and you captured it so wonderfully.
    Stay safe and healthy, Marcus!

  5. Great tip on how to add to the story by shooting the visible layers of supporting actors. Loved the poker-faces of the card players. 🙂

  6. These are wonderful photos, Marcus! Well done, nice to see you back. I hope your family is well too. 😎👍🏻

  7. Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge. In one post you given me clarity regarding layers as well as to how to create images that offer stories. I now wonder if portraiture generally is limited in layers which invites the viewer to focus upon the person while the inclusion of layers open up imagined life stories. Please be safe and well….

  8. You are right. Sometimes, we concentrate so much in getting the perfect in focus shot, we miss adding in the depth that makes for an interesting photo. Stay well Marcus. Allan

  9. Excellent tip! This can be applied to photos taken at political gatherings contrasting the main speaker to the sleeping electorate, or vice versa.

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