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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 12 May 2010 (Wednesday) 13:24
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How to get people to not look like goobers

 
DDCSD
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May 12, 2010 13:24 |  #1

I've been getting more and more into shooting public speakers & politicians and have been having a little bit of trouble. It seems that I always come out with about 10 shots where the person looks like a goober for every 1 shot that they don't. It is especially tough to get a decent shot of people that aren't "professionals", as their faces tend to make some odd expressions when they're speaking and they tend not to pause and hold facial expressions.

Anyways, I've gotten a little better at it but I was wondering if there were any tricks that anyone could share. I've learned to follow the speeches better and anticipate pauses, but I'd like to get a higher number of "keepers" where the subjects don't have their eyes closed or mouth half open.

Any pointers?


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mbellot
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May 12, 2010 13:30 |  #2

DDCSD wrote in post #10168329 (external link)
Any pointers?

Don't shoot goobers?

:p




  
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birdfromboat
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May 12, 2010 13:32 |  #3

nope, except maybe shoot higher office politicians. I was frankly amazed when i looked at my Bill Clinton shots at how few times his lips looked like they were even forming words! it was like a boxer that never crosses his feet, my god the man seemed to be smiling in almost every single frame, and almost never blinked. It kind of creeped me out, how well practised he was at keeping a non emotional, attentive, semi smiling look on his face while speaking. he also seemed to be looking directly at random cameras during his pauses, I got a few of them myself.


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20droger
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May 12, 2010 13:34 |  #4

DDCSD wrote in post #10168329 (external link)
I've been getting more and more into shooting public speakers & politicians and have been having a little bit of trouble. It seems that I always come out with about 10 shots where the person looks like a goober for every 1 shot that they don't. It is especially tough to get a decent shot of people that aren't "professionals", as their faces tend to make some odd expressions when they're speaking and they tend not to pause and hold facial expressions.

Anyways, I've gotten a little better at it but I was wondering if there were any tricks that anyone could share. I've learned to follow the speeches better and anticipate pauses, but I'd like to get a higher number of "keepers" where the subjects don't have their eyes closed or mouth half open.

Any pointers?

Just come to the realization that most public speakers ARE goobers! This is doubly true for politicians and movie stars, and triply true for Paris-Hilton-type "celebrities."

This means that you are capturing ten accurate depictions for every false one.




  
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shayneyasinski
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May 12, 2010 13:48 |  #5

I always hope for a spot that they will have to listen to a question so I can get a shot of them with no face movements.


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PhotoJourno
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May 12, 2010 13:56 |  #6

Derek, I went the same route you did, with interesting results. Being able to listen to the speaker, with a studying mind, trying to anticipate 'punchlines' or pauses, changes of focus, etc.
Most of my good photos were always taken during the very beginning or at the very end, usually prior to greetings with public, or during introduction. Whenever they are concentrating on how they look, I try to do the same.

If there were specific pointers (shoot when they blink, etc, who knows) I have never heard them. It did bring up my level of keepers though.

I've been out of the game for about a year now, but I remember McCain was really interesting to photograph, it seemed impossible to capture right. (Yeah, back then).

For what its worth, I hope this helps. :)


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DDCSD
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May 12, 2010 13:59 |  #7

mbellot wrote in post #10168371 (external link)
Don't shoot goobers?

:p

See 20Droger's comment for my answer! :lol:

birdfromboat wrote in post #10168388 (external link)
nope, except maybe shoot higher office politicians. I was frankly amazed when i looked at my Bill Clinton shots at how few times his lips looked like they were even forming words! it was like a boxer that never crosses his feet, my god the man seemed to be smiling in almost every single frame, and almost never blinked. It kind of creeped me out, how well practised he was at keeping a non emotional, attentive, semi smiling look on his face while speaking. he also seemed to be looking directly at random cameras during his pauses, I got a few of them myself.

Ha! The higher level ones don't seem overly interested in coming around Po-Dunk, SD. Hillary Clinton did swing through town in 2008 though!

It is pretty incredible how good some people are. Reagan, Clinton and Obama are all great modern examples of people that manage to look incredible when they are speaking. It is pretty amazing how effortless they make (made) it look. Kind of like a great singer and how they manage to belt things out without even appearing to be trying.

20droger wrote in post #10168400 (external link)
Just come to the realization that most public speakers ARE goobers! This is doubly true for politicians and movie stars, and triply true for Paris-Hilton-type "celebrities."

This means that you are capturing ten accurate depictions for every false one.

:lol: Yeah, but no one want to look at 10 shots of someone looking like they just had a lobotomy (even if they generally act as if they have!)!

shayneyasinski wrote in post #10168476 (external link)
I always hope for a spot that they will have to listen to a question so I can get a shot of them with no face movements.


I'll have to concentrate more on that. I did try more last night, but it seemed like I was always in the wrong spot when the question was asked and they were looking in another direction.

Thanks!


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DDCSD
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May 12, 2010 14:09 |  #8

PhotoJourno wrote in post #10168524 (external link)
Derek, I went the same route you did, with interesting results. Being able to listen to the speaker, with a studying mind, trying to anticipate 'punchlines' or pauses, changes of focus, etc.
Most of my good photos were always taken during the very beginning or at the very end, usually prior to greetings with public, or during introduction. Whenever they are concentrating on how they look, I try to do the same.

If there were specific pointers (shoot when they blink, etc, who knows) I have never heard them. It did bring up my level of keepers though.

I've been out of the game for about a year now, but I remember McCain was really interesting to photograph, it seemed impossible to capture right. (Yeah, back then).

For what its worth, I hope this helps. :)

Thanks!

Looking through the photos, I did find the pre-speech moments to be the best. When they work the crowd, they tend to not talk very much and exaggerate their expressions (bigger smiles/laughs and concerned looks).

I might have to concentrate more on those moments. I'm just always trying to be careful not to make people uncomfortable with my peaking over everyone's shoulders. While the politicians are plenty comfortable around the cameras, the political events around here barely get any notice from the media. If there is any media, its usually a reporter that shows up with their rebel and a pop-up flash, takes a couple of photos, gets a couple of quotes and leaves.

The front-runner for SD Governor was at the candidate forum last night and the local daily paper didn't even bother to show up. :rolleyes:


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picard
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May 12, 2010 14:11 as a reply to  @ DDCSD's post |  #9

what do you mean by goobers?


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DDCSD
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May 12, 2010 15:04 |  #10

picard wrote in post #10168621 (external link)
what do you mean by goobers?


Sorry. I just mean the awkward facial expressions and mouth half-open moments that don't come across well on film. Kind of like when you randomly hit pause on your TV.


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May 12, 2010 15:09 |  #11

My wife has gotten into the habit of watching Jim Cramer's Mad Money (external link) on TV using the DVR. As we watch, we often pause it. Invariably, he looks like a dork in the paused frame. He looks fine in motion, but there is something about the way he speaks, when frozen, he looks goofy.

I guess you just need to be very careful to pick your shots, maybe during pauses or while gesturing when making a point.


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May 12, 2010 15:10 |  #12

It's really all about your technique and timing. If they look like a "goober" that's because you caught them at the perfect moment that makes them appear that way.

The fact is that EVERYBODY looks like a "goober" at SOME point in just about any conversation. You do, I do when we talk to our friends..... we just don't notice it because it's all one continuous movie stream.... until we freeze that one, embarrassing frame. Pay close attention to their speaking rhythm. Study their facial movements, ticks and mannerisms and patterns. Eventually you will be able to time the "good" shots and get better at your craft.


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May 12, 2010 15:13 |  #13

Goobers are also peanuts, and a particular service station attendant in Mayberry.

I've heard they can be seen in noses.


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May 12, 2010 15:21 |  #14

Maybe a macro lens would be needed then.....:rolleyes:

DAMphyne wrote in post #10169006 (external link)
.....I've heard they can be seen in noses.


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20droger
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May 12, 2010 16:40 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #15

Goobers® = trade name for a brand of chocolate-covered peanuts.




  
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