November 4, 2019

Street Portrait Photography in Oxford

I planned to do a little street portrait photography in Oxford with my Fuji X100S and its 23mm f2.0 Fujinon lens (full-frame equivalent to 35mm). One fine Sunday morning, took a walk around the city of Oxford, even though the weather app forecasted a rainy day, it was sunshine all day. As a photographer, it is always nice to play as a tourist. With a camera on my shoulder, I took random snapshot photos as what ordinary travelling photographer would do.

Weekend in Oxford means a lot of people on the street, tourists, locals, cyclists, and photographers. They called the city as the city of dreaming spires, with its stunning architecture of buildings and it beckons an ultra-wide lens to capture most of the buildings in its entirety.

So I walked and walked the city, and within minutes I think I can cover the whole city centre. I went to the Ashmolean Museum. It’s free and allows photography without flash. There is also a treasure hunt activity for kids where they have to find several items in the museum. In a nutshell, Oxford city is small, but it has plenty of opportunities for photographers to be artistic with their creative canvas. The purpose of the walk is actually to get to know the roads and back alleys, and I managed to find a few photographic spots. I visualise the scenes, and then I will be back when the streets are empty, or when the light is right. I have plenty of time to enjoy the city in years to come.

Happy shooting!

I don’t recall the exact setting, but my street portrait photography setting below would be to manually focus at 1.5m, aperture at f5.6-f8, and a low ISO. Lastly, I employ the shoot from the hip/tummy technique to execute the shots. That fleeting moment, is always the best moment to click the shutter.

Street portrait photography is a way for me to sharpen my eyes on composition and anticipating moments. For a real portrait session, it will be conceptualised and planned beforehand. Have a look at this conceptual portrait shoot I did recently at Port Meadow Oxford.