Anyone Using a Camera That Doesn't Look Like a Camera For Candids?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by momus, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    This is maybe the wrong place but I don't know where else to ask the question. I ride the bus and always have my camera w/ me. Day after day I see great shots, but I don't want to have any confrontations. People deserve their privacy in a closed environment too. But, I would if I could. I keep thinking of those incredible candid shots that Walker Evans took, so I'm thinking I need some sort of film camera that doesn't look like a camera to try something similar. Does anyone have any recommendations, or is this a DIY thing? I'd need to hold it up to my eye to compose w/ maybe a scale focus lens. Not sure on the exposures because the light is all over the place on the buses. The bus makes noise, so it wouldn't have to be that quiet. Even a Minox would be too conspicuous because it looks like a camera. I've done this w/ TLR's and SLR's by scale focusing, but I'd like to have something that could frame the shot better on the sly. You can fiddle around and play it off w/ those, but I think people usually know what's up. I'm looking for real stealth.
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,351
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Problem is, if you go real stealthy-looking, even something like Google Glass that doesn't look like a camera, if anyone *does* realise you're taking pictures of them, they'll be even more annoyed (and might think that you're a private detective following them).
    If you poke a TLR/SLR/RF in their face, at least they know what's going on and if they don't like it they can turn their head and you just don't take the shot.
    (although you're still going to get some who confront you with ill-informed BS about privacy laws. And especially when shooting film you'll still get the inevitable "can you delete that" question that you can't comply with...)
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,351
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does a Minox EC look like a camera?
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,702
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    come to think of it, I was watching this item on fleabay a while ago...
     
  7. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey .
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  8. peter k.

    peter k. Subscriber

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Sedona Az.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Klein.. what an article ... thanks.
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,255
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't think that attempting to disguise the camera is likely to be successful and if found out then this just makes things worse.

    You describe yourself as a MF shooter but I'd be tempted to get a smallish 35mm with at least a 24mm or even 21mm lens and appear to be taking pics of the scene outside the bus. Do that for a few minutes and others will soon ignore you. You can then either get the inside as well as the outside scenes with such a wide angle or even take some almost wholly inside.

    If you appear to be snapping all around then people soon see you as some-one who has become part of the "furniture" as they say. Clearly do not be tempted to "pick anyone in particular out". Be patient as well and miss a shot if it risks causing trouble

    pentaxuser
     
  10. analoguey

    analoguey Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Bangalore, I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Use your phone or look away from where you are shooting. Its okay if your pointing at People as long as you seen least interested and use cable release.

    I haven't done this with cable release but the looking away works when I try shooting candids at an event.

    sent from tap-a-talk
     
  11. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have an attachment that lets me take a photo at 90 degrees to the way the camera is pointing. It uses a mirror. However, I usually don't have it with me and just shoot by estimating the focus and shoot from the hip so its not noticeable that I am taking photos. Easy with a camera like an M2, and if using a SLR, resort to mirror lockup to quite the shutter noise.
     
  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,737
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Zone focus ahead of time, pre-set your exposure settings, and frame fast... then hope. But never forget what you said, "People deserve their privacy..."
     
  13. desertrat

    desertrat Member

    Messages:
    217
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got a few candid shots several years ago by using a camera with a waist level finder and pretending to be checking and adjusting the controls. If the camera is hanging by its strap at your waist, it looks a lot less like you're getting ready to take a picture. People nowadays associate picture taking with bringing the camera to eye level or holding it in front of the face.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,548
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Put a TLR in a giant Teletubby plush toy, then hang it around your neck. You'll look weird as all get-out but nobody will bother you as they'll think you're certifiably nuts. That, or scale focus and frame loose so you have plenty of room to crop if the in-camera composition is wonky.
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,702
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Phones take photographs?? How do you put film in and where do you get it processed?? :confused:
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,351
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    At the telephone office...
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,702
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanx AgX
     
  19. jimjm

    jimjm Subscriber

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Using any of my Nikon F/F2/F3 bodies, I just remove the finder (or use a WLF) and hold the camera at waist level. Pre-focus the lens and frame the shot looking down at the focusing screen. You can even face away from your subject with the lens pointed in their direction. I just try to act like I'm fiddling with the camera.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,687
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My advice on this subject is the same as I always give to this sort of question, use as small a 35mm camera as possible with the smoothest edge profile, something like an Olympus XA, so it won't be too painful when one of your subjects who takes offence at being photographed eventually stick it where the sun don't shine :D
     
  21. analoguey

    analoguey Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Bangalore, I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hahaha. Indeed.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,223
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i use box cameras and modified box cameras all the time
    people have no idea what i am using.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,351
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Modified for pinholes?
     
  24. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually, that reminds me, I'm in the process of setting up a few old suitcases for pinhole use with paper negs. Not sure if it'll be appropriate for snapshots of people with long exposures, but it sure is discrete...
    (as discrete as you can get pointing a suitcase at someone and opening a flap over the pinhole. At least I decided against a real shutter with a cable-release, somehow walking around carrying a suitcase with a cable sticking out of it might arouse suspicion of precisely the wrong kind...)
     
  25. totalamateur

    totalamateur Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I find that if I sit somewhere with my camera pointed, it doesn't take long for people to just accept the fact that I'm taking photos in their general direction. Then they forget about me. Generally takes less than five minutes.

    Easier to do with the TLR than the polaroid, Takes longer still with the Eastman No. 1 8x10. But sooner or later, you just blend with the scenery.
     
  26. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Rolleiflex, even when noticed by people, does not seem to be perceived as a threat, and I NEVER got noticed when shooting in transports, most of the time less than 1.5 meter from my subject.

    I was amazed to see that the Leica isn't really more noticed, the difference is more in getting noticed by people around than by the subject him/herself