photographing people - help! - The TrekEarth Forums

Forums


Go Back   The TrekEarth Forums >

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-03-2005, 01:25 AM
goblyne goblyne is offline
TE Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 98
Default photographing people - help!

okay, here's my question... when you're out in public, how do you photograph people (especially close-ups) without being too sketchy or scaring them off? i noticed that when i'm outside, as soon as people see the camera, they turn their heads or start walking faster or just move away. do i have to be more sneaky about this?!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-03-2005, 02:46 AM
philip_coggan philip_coggan is offline
TE Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 247
Default Re: photographing people - help!

Broadly speaking, there are two categories of outdoor people shots: those where the subject is aware of being photographed (street portraits), and those where he/she isn't (traditional street candids, a la Cartier-Breson). It sounds as if you're rtying to do the second category and falling into the first:-).

Personally I never do candid photos. Partly this is a result of my personal style, which is highly controlled and conscious. And partly it's the result of a personal dislike for 'sneaking up' on people. There's a right to privacy issue involved here, and these days there are laws to back it up.

If you do want to do candid street photography, be prepared for a lot of wasted shots: only one in a hundred frames is likely to be a keeper.

Look for events and situations where photographing strangers wouldn't be out of place - carnivals, street festivals, street markets.

Use the right camera and lens: not an SLR, not a long lens. Traditionally, street photogs work with small, inconspicuous cameras and with short to normal length lenses.

It's possible to blend the two approaches, the formal and the informal. You can do this by concenrtating on a group of people - Hells Angels if you're adventurous, the local bridge club if you're not. Explain to people that yuo're a photogrpaher and want to document their club - after a while they'll get so used to you that the formal element disappears. This approach takes time and patience, but leads to a degree of intimacy that's not available to the candid snapper.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-09-2005, 01:11 AM
MEMAN MEMAN is offline
TE Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Default Re: photographing people - help!

you either use a very big telephoto so you can take pictures from a distance or just ask them nicely and tell them why you want to photograph them.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-09-2005, 03:21 AM
RandomCameraGuy RandomCameraGuy is offline
TE Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 532
Default Re: photographing people - help!

In my opinion you should NOT "use a big telephoto sp upi cam take pictures from a distance." There's something sleazy and stalker-like about that.

Find a place you like. Hang out there with your camera. Take pics. Make like you belong there and don't sneak around. If anyone asks tell them the truth: "I'm working on a photography project."

An easy way to start is to find a background you like, compose for the shot, set your focus distance, shutter and f-stop, and just wait for the right human elements to walk by. This can take time (and it being winter, it's not as comfortable out there), but it works.

Also Philip gave you some good advice in going to public attractions. People will often suppose that you're with the press there (look confident, don't hesitate).

Good luck to ya!

af
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-12-2005, 01:52 AM
goblyne goblyne is offline
TE Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 98
Default Re: photographing people - help!

haha thanks alex! yeah i was definitely trying to avoid the stalker approach!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-12-2005, 05:59 AM
tongapup tongapup is offline
TE Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 357
Default Re: photographing people - help!

Hi!

I had the same issues -- although in my case it was more of a chickening-out on my part than theirs. But -- to address sthg Philip said -- today I made great strides by going into a Turkish cafe (somewhere you would normally see strictly Turkish men) and telling them I wanted to practice my photography skills. Some were shy, others didn't care... and they were all very interested in seeing where they would be posted, so I had to give them the TE website! It was great. A good way to get to know people and a great way to get to photograph them.

Personally I have had zero luck on the Cartier-Bresson approach. Many mediocre pics. I don't know how he did it.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-12-2005, 08:27 AM
goblyne goblyne is offline
TE Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 98
Default Re: photographing people - help!

sounds good, i'm very interested to see how this turned out.

i was at a concert this weekend and one of the guys standing by the stage was backlit by one of the spotlights. it looked really cool, so i took a few shots... he didn't seem to notice that i was photographing him, cos i was photographing all the bands as well. my friends called me a stalker hehe. i'll post it up soon!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-12-2005, 11:00 PM
MEMAN MEMAN is offline
TE Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Default Re: photographing people - help!

Zoom lens doesn’t make you a stalker, especially if you’re just sitting down and not fallowing some one. The best thing about street photography is the act of capturing a emotive or character and or defining moment, this cannot be done if the shots are posed my best street photos were taken from a distance of people who were playing chess and having a great time, the emotions on their faces and the drama they went through as they played could not be reproduced as easily if it had been posed.

I don’t understand why you would feel sleazy about it, to each his/her own, if your heart is and mind are of clear and pure intention I don’t think theirs much space for sleaze.

I setting up shots and things aren’t of interest to me, as they only help to show the scale of the building its more fun to try and get scales of emotions.

I am happy with the photos I have of my Lubitel each one has a story and that’s how they are supposed to be.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-02-2007, 07:28 PM
Sanchia Sanchia is offline
TE Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 10
Default Re: photographing people - help!

Philip, thanks for those tips. I have been wanting to try photographing people for a while now, but am both shy and worried about trespassing on their privacy. Your suggestion to specify that I want to practice my photography is really good. I am awful at striking up random conversations, except sometimes, so that approach doesn't work for me!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-02-2007, 07:51 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
TE Expert
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,537
Default Re: photographing people - help!

Yes, as long as the idea is to create some kind of image, portrait, not just snap a shot, it's hard to say that a certain type of lens or zoom defines the photographer or has some inherent negativity to it, relating to the craft.

the advices given are very good. Usually, think about yourself and how you relate to people or strangers without a camera. I think it gives us an hint that it is not always about how you approach people with a camera. I like people but I do not like to be too intimate, or be engaged too much in a conversation right out. Having a camera is perfect for me in that regard. But I am shy definitely, so the way to really fight that is to have a sense of purpose at what you are doing. Make it important. The good experiences will outnumber the bad ones a hundred fold.

It seems that given some threads on TE over the years, Canadians have a lot of problems with street photography, though.

About HCB, he stopped pretty much to shoot in the late 50s or mid-60s, I think. So maybe by then, he also would have run into the kind of problems we evoke about privacy, stalking, sneaking, ie. he shot in other times. Maybe he saw that coming after all.

But some are at it still, and coming up with the goods. Maciej posted this a while ago, you will enjoy:

http://2point8.whileseated.org/?p=237
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:36 AM.



Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.
explore TREKEARTH