Street photography is a challenging yet rewarding branch of photography to get into. The great thing about street photography is that you can do it anywhere in the world. But some places just offer more opportunities than others. Unlike say landscape photography where you often have lots of time to compose your shot and even make tweaks where necessary and shoot again, with street photography you often have to nail your shot first time as you might not get another try. Because those fleeting moments will often disappear which makes capturing those great shots even more rewarding. So here are the top 10 places in the world for street photography.
1. New Delhi
There is no place in the world quite like India. The noise, the smell and the traffic (both people and cars) can often overload your senses. But once you can overcome this, it is a country that is a visual feast for photographers. From every city to every town, this country provides ample street photography opportunities. In fact, you could compile a list of the best street photography destination that just comprises of places in India. But if you wanted to just choose one, then look no further than New Delhi. The photographic opportunities here are endless and you can easily spend weeks just photographing the narrow streets of Old Delhi. Every street corner can be like a studio and you will rattle through memory card after memory card. That’s why New Delhi takes the number one spot on this list.
The “Pearl of the Caribbean” is another of the world’s great street photography destinations. Old Havana is almost like a giant outdoor studio and provides fantastic opportunities to combine street photography with great architecture. Like India, there are plenty of other great cities in Cuba which lend themselves to travel photography, but the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old area of Havana tops the list. Add to that the “world’s longest sofa”, the Malecon where you can photograph everything from kids diving off the pier to fishermen and it’s easy to see why Havana has been pulling in photographers for so many years.
This city in Northern Vietnam is a must for any photographer or traveller. The Old Quarter is a melting pot of street life and old colonial architecture which combine perfectly for street photography. Wander the avenues and you’ll find yourself snapping photos of market vendors and locals eating or going about their day. Nothing seems to stand still in these parts, and you could easily spend time just focusing on this area of Hanoi.
In Thailand’s capital, there seems to be a constant battle between the old and the new. For every new sky bar that appears, there are hundreds of street stands selling food and other produce. The great thing about Bangkok is that the traditional way of life is still very much alive. You will see monks wandering the streets, kids playing and tuk tuks galore. This provides great opportunities for street photography. Head to areas such as Chinatown and you will find a street food haven full of markets and stalls selling almost everything you can imagine. On the other hand, go to the Sukhumvit area and you will find the glitz and glamour of modern malls and shops. Or go to the famous Khao San Road to capture a different side of Bangkok and its travellers. With so many amazing markets and places to photograph it’s easy to see why Bangkok is on this list.
5. New York City
“The Big Apple” is one of the world’s top travel destinations. With so many amazing landmarks it’s no wonder the tourists flock to this city year after year. But New York is also a great place for street photography. There is just so much going on that you can easily spend years photographing NYC. Areas like Chinatown, Central Park, Chelsea, Little Italy, Brooklyn and even Harlem are great for street photography. But don’t forego Manhattan and places like Wall Street which also offer fantastic photography opportunities.
The French capital has had a turbulent few years and has suffered from terrorism to the fire which destroyed the iconic Notre Dame. But Paris is still a wonderful photography location and one that lends itself beautifully to street photography. There’s a reason why Paris has been pulling in artists and photographers for centuries.
You could describe London as a world within a city. The English capital is brimming with culture, diversity and history. Like New York City, London offers so many photography opportunities that even as a Londoner, I haven’t managed to photograph everything. Every area offers different street photography opportunities. Some of the best areas for street photography are Leak Street graffiti tunnel, Brick Lane, Notting Hill, Borough and Portobello Market and West End. There is also places like Canary Wharf and Leadenhall which are also great for street photography.
Head to Venice at any time of the year and you’ll find yourself in photography heaven. But visit during the famous Venice Carnival and you will find yourself going through your memory cards as quickly as you can empty them. It’s not just the masked costumes that are incredibly photogenic. The whole city seems to come alive during this time and photographic opportunities are everywhere. Walk around the narrow streets and you will find a perfect scene for a photo at every corner. During the carnival, you will also often find impromptu dances and other activities happening around the city so keep your eyes and ears open.
9. Buenos Aries
Tango and soccer dominate the Argentine capital. So don’t try to avoid it. Make sure you spend time photographing people performing tango in the streets and of course, soccer. Like a lot of countries, Argentina is soccer-mad and you will find plenty of opportunities in the streets to photograph kids playing soccer. You may also find a Diego Maradona lookalike or two (the countries most beloved ex-soccer player and national hero).
When you think of Amsterdam you are immediately imagining canals, windmills and tulips. Whilst you can find all of these in and around Amsterdam, this city offers so much more. Sure, the canals will often be the highlight in most people’s photographs of Amsterdam, but there is also plenty of opportunity for great street photos. For example, the Albert Kypt Market or the area of De Pijp. There is also Volendam park which offers a nice relief for locals from the busy city life. So don’t be fooled, Amsterdam is a great destination for street photography.
These are just some of the great places around the world for street photography. In reality, you can capture great street photos anywhere. You just need to make sure you keep your eyes open and are ready to act at a moment notice. But here are 10 places that are sure to give you great street photography opportunities.
Photo credits: Kav Dadfar – All rights reserved. No usage without permission. Dreamstime.