The concept of ‘layers’ in visual arts is well documented and in my opinion works perfectly well for ‘Street’ photography. Layers can give depth to an image and can sometimes be used to lead ones eye to the main focus of the image. The above image has three distinct layers. Layer 1. The foreground layer of the Brass Statue, 2. The middle layer of the young women walking and 3. The background layer of the buildings and signage that helps contextualise the other layers. Layers can really help to give a sense of perspective to ones images.
Many street photographers tend to favour moderate wide angle lens for a few important reasons. By moderate wide angle lens I mean 28mm-35mm Full frame field of view. My ‘go to’ lens is a 23mm on a cropped sensor (35mm equivalent full frame). This focal length pushes me to get closer to my subjects and gives a feel of intimacy. It’s very similar to the focal equivalent of our natural eyesight. Perhaps just as importantly it often allows the subject to be placed in context with the environment. This background can often be packed with information and can say so much about the times and lives of the subject, even if it is at a subliminal level.