Shergar

Street Photography

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Nice one. Certainly a lot of variety in the streets there. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not brave enough to get the right shots in street. If it was a protest, a rally or all out craziness, I'd be right in the middle of it without even thinking. Something takes over and it's not till after it that you think about it. However, just normal walking up to folk and snapping I can't do. I envy those who can. 

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Know what you mean, and nerves have got the better of me too, on many a street photo opportunity.

 

Maybe a different strategy is what you need, like shooting from the waist with one of those Flip display mirror-less camera's such as a small discreet Sony nex, Panasonic lumix or Fuji X-M1. This way you wont have to make direct eye contact or look like your obviously taking their picture. You might even go completely unnoticed, as your head is looking down at your waist and passers-by may think your involved with previewing images on you camera,  or better still they may think your a "care in the community case" :wacko: .

 

 Instead of continually wandering all over the place, trying to grab shots here & there with no prep time at all, pick a spot that feels right, ready your camera, frame the composition and play the waiting game, just like a crocodile at a waterhole, for that juicy morsel to come wading into your kill zone...Snap!  ,,,,When you feel you've been noticed, move on to another waterhole and repeat the process.

 

Parm

Edited by Bhandol

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This way you wont have to make direct eye contact or look like your obviously taking their picture. You might even go completely unnoticed, as your head is looking down at your waist and passers-by may think your involved with previewing images on you camera,  

 

I know many here advocate this approach, but isn't there the distinct risk that the great unwashed's negative attitude towards photographers shooting in public is going to be reinforced by what some will see as sneaking around trying to take photos of people in secret, without their knowledge?

 

For me, if someone is going to notice I'm taking photos of someone else, I'd rather be obvious than appear secretive, like I'm trying to hide what I'm doing. How do others feel?

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo

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For me, if someone is going to notice I'm taking photos of someone else, I'd rather be obvious than appear secretive, like I'm trying to hide what I'm doing. How do others feel?

 

dd

 

I've got this invisible button in me head that works a treat B)

 

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Hey, Phil . . . I can become invisible too!  Maybe we've been shooting side-by-side and did not see one another? 

 

The last time we had a thread discussing Street, I made the point of "double exposure."  That is the shooter should expose him/herself while making an exposure of the subject, the stranger. Actually, how I approach street shooting depends on the situation, my mood and most of all what my intuition is telling me to do. If you want to hide in a doorway with a long lens to get "street" images you are not a street shooter and maybe you'd be better off aiming your lens at something else. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Hey, Phil . . . I can become invisible too!  Maybe we've been shooting side-by-side and did not see one another? 

 

:D  :D  :D

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I've met about half the shooters featured in that film Everybody Street, and about half of those are totally disagreeable, obsessive, neurotic people. Who's the worst of the lot? Guess. I will keep my specific opinions to myself. No, I don't feel that it's necessary to be that aggressive to shoot Street. Sometimes charm is a better approach.   B)

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If you want to hide in a doorway with a long lens to get "street" images you are not a street shooter and maybe you'd be better off aiming your lens at something else. 

 

Ed, I for one totally agree. There is naught more likely to reinforce negative public reaction to photographers than seeing one deliberately hiding the fact he/she is taking photos of folk, imo. It's interesting that in the promotional video linked above, it appears almost all the pics were taken with the subject's knowledge . . . your oft alluded to "double exposure". Perhaps it's not a minority opinion :-)

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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Many of the people in this seem like aggressive arseholes. On the few occasions I've done street photography I absolutely make sure the subject knows what I'm doing and absolutely do my thing as non aggressively as possible. Having recently witnessed a tog shove his lens to within a centimetre of an unwilling, weeping woman's face I just.... I just wonder at those photographers with zero human empathy who use "art" as an excuse.

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"On the few occasions I've done street photography I absolutely make sure the subject knows what I'm doing and absolutely do my thing as non aggressively as possible." -- Pat

 

In my 'double exposure' statement I too might be thought to be making this point, but that's not the whole story. What I do is 'play it as it lays.' That is I make quick decisions based on intuition as to my approach. And things don't always go well.  (CR2B9Y)  When I worked on assignment, my primary goal was to get the pictures my client sent me out for.  Now, shooting for stock, I can be less aggressive. One learns to be charming, friendly, tricky, invisible, deceptive, and sometimes aggressive as needed. If being thought of as a nice guy/gal is more important than getting the images, being a PJ and doing Street (with people) may have to take a back seat.  After all, there are plenty of other things to capture as images.  

Edited by Ed Rooney

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"On the few occasions I've done street photography. . . ." -- Pat

 

It's funny you should say that, Pat. Because most of your images here on Alamy are of people in the street. Most of those are done at events, where people have a realistic expectation of being photographed. But it's just good advice to togs wanting to try shooting pics of strangers to go where there are groups, crowds; cornering one or two strangers on an otherwise deserted street is asking for trouble.

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The first rule for wildlife photographers is to not disturb the subject of your photo. Not just to stay safe but to let the wildlife live their wild lives, sleeping, eating, chasing -- whatever they need to do.

 

Paulette

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In the past I have asked people if I may take their photo. Not had a rejection yet. When I am not able to ask, eg street buskers in middle of perfomance the I make it obvious I am taking their photo and smile and thumbs up when I get a good one.

 

Once I asked a "Big Issue" street seller if I could take his picture and he agreed then thanked me for asking. He said he did not like those subversive shooters taking his picture from a distance. When I see him in the street now we always have a chat and no I do not buy the "Big Issue", not on a regular basis anyway.

 

So if in doubt ask and "BeSeen".

 

Allan

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I gave a hundred blank pages to our local one today.

She said thanks in a foreign language !

I said o.k. don't make a Big Issue out of it !

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It's funny you should say that, Pat. Because most of your images here on Alamy are of people in the street. Most of those are done at events, where people have a realistic expectation of being photographed.

 

Hi Ed, I don't define myself as doing much street photography because I guess for me photographing events is slightly different from street, which I interpret as documenting people going about their business who do not expect to be photographed (this is my own distinction, I know others may define it differently). I do occasionally photograph a person going about their day if I feel I can do it sensitively. I know there are many different ways of skinning a cat, but some of those ways just do make me shudder. Even when photographing events, protests etc I still prefer to do it with sensitivity. I will add that if what I was seeing was an extremely newsworthy or historical incident I would not hesitate to take that photo at all. I don't feel that my screening process limits me in what I can do - I hope I have many interesting images of people ahead of me before I get too hard bitten :lol: 

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I more or less agree with your definition, Pat . . . although the opposite may also be true.  :)

 

And, Alan, the only problem with your approach is that once you ask permission it changes the picture.  Candidness and spontaneity are replaced by posing and smiling. Unless of course the subject is involved in an activity. Oh yes, there are many different approaches to Street.  :wacko:

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I have a hard time watching videos on Vimeo.It's stop and go all the way. That short trailer took 19 minutes to play thru!

 

I wish they'd have it for rent on Amazon.That's my 'go to' place for video and everything else these days.

 

Street photography in Chicago is not that common in recent years.At least no one known out here is doing it. I wonder why?

 

I know we have a lot of thugs that if they saw someone older,small stature waving a Leica around,they might not have that camera very long.

 

I've taken only a small amount thru the years and some of it has sold.

 

L

Edited by Linda

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That long video is available to watch in parts on YouTube . . . but like all things on You Tube one must swim through a swamp before we get to clear water. 

 

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Thanks for that.I also found some good hour long+ videos on Avedon,Henri Cartier-Bresson and many others whose work I've admired thru the years.

If you look to the sidebar of the above video you can see others.

Look for the running time which will give you a clue if it's just a snippet or whole feature.

 

L

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On 12/19/2013 at 10:49, Ed Rooney said:

If you want to hide in a doorway with a long lens to get "street" images you are not a street shooter and maybe you'd be better off aiming your lens at something else. 

I suppose the enjoyable challenge of street photography is getting memorable (and more importantly, salable) images of total strangers without making them uncomfortable. Even better, without them knowing!

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I'm a foreigner and I ask people's permission to take photographs if I'm doing it with my regular cameras most of the time.  If people say no, I don't take the photos, especially in politically charged situations.   I never take pictures of homeless people.  Nicaragua has the same law about no expectation of privacy on public streets that the US has, but homeless people don't have a private place to retreat to, and I'm utterly cynical about the value of shooting the homeless to create sympathy and help for them.  If I want to help a homeless person, I hand them some money or bring out some food.   I've seen street photos where the subjects were actively hostile to being photographed.   That's just jerk behavior.

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