In order to get what you usually want to capture in your final scene, chances are that you’re going to have to get close up and personal to your subject. Oftentimes, this means within a few feet. The longest focal length equivalent you should be using is 50mm; and in general 28mm or 35mm can be ideal. These lenses can put your viewer mostly in the experience and more or less mimic what the human eye sees. So all you’ll need to do is put the camera to your eye and shoot–then what you see is what you get.
Excellent advice. I love street photography and I’m trying to get better at it, but I often find it hard to get close enough to the subject to capture the image I want. For some reason, it feels like I’m invading their privacy, and that strikes me as disrespectful. This reluctancy to get close makes me tempted to go for longer focal lengths, so that I can capture my subjects without intruding.
However, if I give in to that shyness, my composition will suffer, and my images will ultimately be less compelling.
The only way out of this situation is to overcome my shyness and prove to myself that it really is ok to take a picture of someone in the street, and that I should not feel ashamed by it. This is something I need to persevere at if I want to become a better photographer, and it all starts by going out on the streets and taking the next picture. And the one after that.
With a wide-angle lens, of course.