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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Urban Life & Travel Talk
Thread started 03 Apr 2006 (Monday) 12:01
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STICKY: Shooting 'the streets/candids' - all the tips!

 
condyk
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Apr 03, 2006 12:01 |  #1

Ok, here is the aspiration:

To get more people out shooting 'the streets/candids', doing it better than they have before and also enjoying shooting more than before.

Here's the process:

If you're a 'streets/candids' type shooter, all the time or just now and again, then drop in a tip or a load of tips here. I don't want pointless discussion about 'what is PJ, what is street, what is urban, what is candid, etc' - do that somewhere else. Lets just focus on delivering tips and let the punters, including all of us here, learn from them.

Remember the aspiration ;) KISS!! If you don't agree then start your own thread :p

Who's first - and examples are optional?


http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​203740

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quickben
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Apr 03, 2006 13:39 |  #2

First one has got to be the easiest.

--- USE A TELEPHOTO LENS ---

Medium telephoto should do, around 200mm is probably ideal. You need this length to be able to take a decent head shot without disturbing or interupting your subject.

Gary.


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Ruffneck
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Apr 03, 2006 13:52 |  #3

For the second tip I would suggest, Never disturb the subject! It should be as candid as possible and the subject should not have known a photo was being taken.


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futura
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Apr 03, 2006 14:27 |  #4

Don't let the weather deter you! An overcast day may stop you from shooting landscapes but you can shoot street work regardless. If it starts raining, take cover but keep your eyes peeled for shots, some of my best ones have come from interesting reflections in puddles.


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condyk
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Apr 03, 2006 14:39 |  #5

Good start kids ...

Here's a couple from me. Use a handstrap as the camera is almost invisible hanging by your side. Lift it to shoot. Carry two plastic shopping bags in your pocket, one inside the other, and put the camera in there if you're not shooting or you're taking a break. No need to carry a camera bag. A spare battery, card and lens can easily just slip in your pocket.


http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​203740

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Sean-Mcr
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Apr 04, 2006 15:54 |  #6

Ask yourself why you are taking the shot in the first place. If its candids, what is it about them that makes them interesting photographically. Taking photos of people with out them noticing is not in itself interesting,be it with a 35mm lens or a 400mm lens. Shooing people simply because you can is no path to an interesting shot.

It's a study of people, i often spend a while around my subjects, i'm often doing what they are. Might be enjoying a drink at a cafe bar or event, can sometimes be some time before it's worth raising my camera. There's little challenge or point in taking a shot of somebody doing nothing. I wait for those little moments, that can come in a second and go just as quickly.

Safety

If you're going shooting in a run down area. I would suggest that when in Rome you do as the Romans do. I'm from a tough old inner city area, and if you dress like a student or a tourist with camera gear round some of those streets, you're going to stand out like a sore thumb and look like a soft target, dress down get some street gear ect, look like a native.

Be confidant, do not be afraid of being asked to explain why you're taking photos. It's a good thing what you're doing, and if you believe in that, then act accordingly. I normally shoot pretty close to my subjects, i have struck up some great conversations because of what i do. It's simply not true that natural candids have to be shots where the subject is unaware. Candid means open honest and frank, it doesn't mean "i didn't know". They forget about the camera, just like documentary subjects forget about the camera

Out and out street shots needs a different approach, I'm constantly scanning scenes. I have my camera by my side , i use my 35mm prime these days, i know where i need to be before i lift the camera to my eye, i'm used to the fov, so i i'll get the shot (hopefully) before the moment has gone forever. Not often i get noticed and i don't mind being noticed, i believe in what i'm doing and i'm ready to explain it to anybody that cares to listen.


I don't know what good composition is.... Sometimes for me composition has to do with a certain brightness or a certain coming to restness and other times it has to do with funny mistakes. There's a kind of rightness and wrongness and sometimes I like rightness and sometimes I like wrongness. Diane Arbus



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frs
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Apr 04, 2006 18:14 as a reply to Sean-Mcr's post |  #7

For quick street shots, i like using a hyperfocal setting.




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condyk
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Apr 05, 2006 11:20 |  #8

Excellent efforts so far ... one I use a lot is to decide if I want bokah or background before I shoot and just flip the aperture to suit. People I'll tend to go the bokah route but it always depends. As Sean says, you see the shot before your take it so it's about getting the composition right. Av mode is useful in all this as less to think about. I tend to use manual for building shots tho' as they don't tend to move ;-)a


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Keiffer
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Apr 05, 2006 14:04 |  #9

Good thread Condyk and good responses so far. Keep em coming, I'm looking forward to see what all the street photogs say.



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INNflight
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Apr 05, 2006 15:21 as a reply to Keiffer's post |  #10

Might be an advice some of you couldn't agree on, but it really helped me to save excellent moments in the past.

-- Shoot in P mode --

Why? As said before, the "one" moment you'd like to have captured can come and go within a second. Backgrounds may change, and sun vs. shadow can change within a second.

In such a second you wouldn't want to worry whether your aperture is too small, or your shutter speed is below 1/10th. You just want that shot.

There can be quite a lot done in post-processing later on, but you'll never be able to recover a scene you missed because of still tweaking in the right settings.

A quote I like a lot is: "You'll miss every photo you don't take." :)



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Sean-Mcr
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Apr 05, 2006 18:43 |  #11

I shoot in manual , i set the the shutter and aperture according to the conditions i'm working in before i start shooting and check the exposure regularly, works for me, its second nature to me now, i leave nothing for the camera to decide. You really want a decent shutter for street work with people. I'm not interested in Bokeh personally for this type of photography, bokeh is just a bi-product of me using a wide aperture when the light gets tough. But i do use fast lenses as light & environment changes.

if anybody is a little apprehensive about taking street shots of people, i'd like them not to be. But I understand that we don't all have the same make-up but you really are doing a good thing, never forget that. Print some cards with your email address on ect, if you enter in to a conversation with those you've shot give them your card & let them know you'll mail them the shot. It's going to be rare as hens teeth that you get bad vibes.

Be confident, be open; You've nothing to hide so don't look like you're hiding, it's having a stranger acting suspect across the street that is going to get you in to trouble, not taking someone's photograph

It's generally better in crowds, the more people the better the chances of getting a shot naturally, and the less any subject will feel like they've just been picked out. If you're in a crowd and shoot somebody and they notice, shoot somebody else close by to them, basically says, i'm not just interested in you, don't worry i'm not stalking you. This is what i use for my bar shots, i might shoot things that i have no interest in, I'm just saying to those around me, that if you notice me shooting you-they rarley do, but if they do. They know where i'm coming from. I've had many people ask me to take their photo in bars when they've noticd me taking my candids of others, none of which are the people in my gallery, but i'm going to make a gallery of those shots. Just snaps, but reminds me that what im doing is a good thing, not that i need it

Have faith in yourself and what you are doing


I don't know what good composition is.... Sometimes for me composition has to do with a certain brightness or a certain coming to restness and other times it has to do with funny mistakes. There's a kind of rightness and wrongness and sometimes I like rightness and sometimes I like wrongness. Diane Arbus



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condyk
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Apr 06, 2006 12:36 |  #12

Nice Seany ... here's another:

Go out with two lenses at different lengths. I like to walk one route with one lens and then take the same way back home with the second. A prime really does make you reassess what you see/shoot and how you compose a shot, even of the same subject.


http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​203740

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Skippy29
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Apr 06, 2006 15:18 as a reply to condyk's post |  #13

Great thread. Lately I've been wanting to do more people/urban shots but find that I feel self conscious when people notice I'm shooting them. I guess it's just the world we live in now, I'm afraid people are thinking "what's this guy up to?". So I seem to just do mostly landscapes and abstracts and I really want to change that.
Funny thing is, I find that I am most comfortable making up a story as to why I'm shooting a particular scene or person, like "Oh I'm a photography student" or "I do some side work for the local beach scene newspaper". Stupid huh? But it makes me feel more legitimate in their eyes....or worry less about what they might be thinking.
I really need to work on that.


"I'm like a Slinky - not much good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see me tumble down the stairs" -iKirst

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Digitalwave
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Apr 06, 2006 15:22 as a reply to Skippy29's post |  #14

I always tell people its for my photography class and I got to school at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I did take photo class and I do go to PBAU, but I'm not in the class anymore. I won't be able to pull that one anymore in a year when I graduate though.




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elTwitcho
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Apr 06, 2006 16:19 |  #15

I've been kinda on the fence about putting something in here since I don't shoot people and rather something akin to urban landscape, but what the heck, some of it might be applicable.

I think in the urban environment more than anything you have to be absolutely aware of the two Cs that can sink your photo. Clutter in the foreground, crap in the background. In either case, if it isn't directly related to your subject, having it in the frame will take away from the impact of your photo. There is SO much stuff flying around all over the place in the city that it's easy for something to encroach into your frame that will destract from your subject, and diminish the effectiveness of your photo. Careful framing, working the angles, getting closer or farther are all ways you can manage what's in the frame, and it's something that has to more or less become second nature to succeed in shooting in the city.


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