Here’s How to Use Zone Focusing for Fast & Precise Street Photography (VIDEO)

Street shooters work differently than landscape and portrait photographers, who typically have plenty of time to set up their shot and make thoughtful decisions about exposure, focus, and composition. Street photography, on the other hand, is all about timing and working fast, to capture fleeting moments as they occur.

In this five-minute tutorial, San Francisco-based photo instructor David Coleman explains zone-focusing techniques that will enable you to work fast, by selecting an aperture setting in advance, pre-focusing your camera, and then shooting on the fly.

By manually setting your camera for a specific point of focus with a given aperture, you can lock in a predictable zone of focus with a known near and far limit of acceptable sharpness. Once you do that, all that’s necessary is to make certain that a subject falls somewhere within this zone.

Coleman demonstrates three methods for getting the job done, depending upon the gear you use. That way you can try all three approaches, and pick the one that works best for you.

You can find more shooting advice on Coleman’s YouTube channel. And be sure to look at a story we posted earlier, with five tips for dramatic street photography by a Dutch pro.