That being said I usually prefer to shoot with a longer lens, a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 in my case, although I find lately my Minolta 50mm f1.4 is finding its way onto my camera more often.
Camera settings; I usually walk with the camera in aperture priority mode and set an ISO (400-800) and f-stop (f4) that will give me a decent shutter speed for a sharp picture if I need to take a shot very quickly. The rear dial on my Sony is set for exposure compensation so I can make a quick adjustment if warranted. If I am in fairly consistent light I use manual mode with the spot metering and adjust to bring the shadows about 3 stops underexposed.
In my opinion interesting street photography needs an interesting background. And to me I separate that from street portraiture where the person becomes the focus and the photo brings out the depth and complexity of the subject. Two photographers that I follow on G+ epitomize this talent, Alan Shapiro and Mike Shaw, check out their work, it is amazing and inspirational . I am constantly working on reaching that level both in my skill and my relationship with my fellow men, but for now my work is more from a distance.
Some of my favourite street photography shots I have taken among many:
On other thing I always try to do is keep my camera with me whenever I can. Great street photography scenes can happen any time, just like this moment I caught walking down to my local bank. Even though you can't see the faces the grasp on the shirt says so much and leads into a story. The great thing about photography is the capture of the moment, and a simple gesture can say so much, even if it is out of context and for me that is the art and essence of street photography. This scene really made me smile.
I hope you enjoy my photography and my blog. My If you want to see more of my street photography and urban landscape work please check out www.torontophotographs.com or www.robertgreatrixphotography.ca. My photography and my writing is constantly evolving so please stop by periodically to see what is new.