Street Photography

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Donald Miller, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have been thinking of adding street photography to the large format work that I do. I have both a prism and waist level finder for my Bronica. I have never done any street photography. Am I correct in thinking that the waist level finder is less intrusive and intimidating then the having a camera at eye level?

    The other thing that I have thought is that the waist level finder will pretty much limit me to a horizontal format on the 645. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks for any insights and experience that you can share.
     
  2. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Don, years ago when I lived in Atlanta I would go out at lunch and do street photography. I found it less intrusive to use my TLR with the waist level finder. I could also face one way and turn the camera 90-degrees to shoot to be further less intrusive.
    juan
     
  3. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    yep the waist finder is less intrusive. A friend has the Hassy SWC. He and I have always felt that it would make the ultimate street camera. needing little more than zone focusing and maybe a bubble level -- meaning no need for a finder of any kind.

    you could do something similar with a wide or super wide and make the finder optional.
     
  4. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are times when you don't want people to know that you are shooting them so that they will not pose (any more than they do on average). For some photographers this is more often the case than not.

    Of course there is the poseur street photographer, but that would be a different thread.
     
  6. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    TLR's are the way to go. Both very quite and unintrusive. Unless of course you want to wear a beanie and pretend your HCB. Then grab a Leica.

    I have just recently done some street stuff with an auto focus Nikon N90s and a wideangle. Did it Les McLean style, camera in the crook of my arm as if my arms are folded and just let'er rip as you go by. Or they go by, which ever works.

    You should have some fun with this. Look forward to seeing the results.
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Thanks everyone
     
  8. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    You might find it hard to aim though. when people are moving (fast) I am always struggeling with the viewfinder because of it's mirror effect.

    And although I am a big fan of manual focus, peace and calm when taking pictures. Autofocus is a great tool for street photography, it makes your hit ratio a lot bigger. But heehee the challange and reward with a waist viewfinder.. yeah.

    Just some thoughts, cheers and best of luck!
    Quinten
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I also find, if the light is good enough, that I can set to f/16 for a maximum DOF and then focus becomes far less critical negating the need to raise the camera to eye level.
     
  10. micek

    micek Member

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    A 21mm lens for street photography

    I use a 21mm lens set at 2 metres: practically everything is then in focus and, since the coverage is so large, you don't even have to raise the camera to your face. The only thing you have to do, and with practice it is not so difficult, is to keep the camera level to avoid distorting perspectives too much. In fact, I use a spirit level rather than a viewfinder on my Leica for that purpose.
     
  11. claytume

    claytume Member

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    I shoot in big crowds, the bigger the better. I use a rotating panoramic camera up a 3 metre pole and fire it with a remote. No viewfinder of course.

    Once you've done a few of these and figure what the camera does and doesn't see the results can be spectacular. The camera is highly visible but I never let that worry me, it's the results that count.

    I developed the whole system by imagining what a finished print would look like then building the bits I thought I'd need. It took some time to get it right. Don't be afraid to experiment.

    Clayton
     
  12. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Like I have written many times in the past, I find street photography a pleasure to do with a Hasselblad. The WLF is really wonderful to use, in terms of approaching people, composing but also because of the lower angle which I love. Any other finder would be wasted with me.
    I usually use TriX 320, mostly because of the look, but FP4+ is easy to use in the warm months here in Crete. I have even shot with PanF+ handheld.
    Only trouble with the Hassy is the mirror sound when you want to be more unnoticed. Not trouble on the street where there is usually lots of noise and distructions but it would be difficult inside a quiet place. That's where the TLR wins.
    A RF is even more practical inside a place where you take photos sitted as the WLF is not very practical there.
     
  13. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Is a rotating film back available for your 645?

    Is a right angle finder attachment available for your eye level finder?
     
  14. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I know of some photographers who would attach a long dummy lens to the side of their TLR. They would then face one way and turn the camera 90-degrees to make it look like they were shooting through the dummy lens while they were actually shooting through the real lens which was turned 90 degrees.
     
  15. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    When I played around with street photography a long time ago I would try to have the camera already focused for distance and then walk slowly down the street. When something interested me I would then stop and point the camera in another direction and then quickly turn and catch the subject and then rotate back to what I pretended to be looking at.

    Since I used a motordrive, the subject may hear it and look up but by then I had rotated back in another direction and they weren't aware that they had been photographed.

    I also practiced shooting with both eyes open so I was never confined to the viewfinder. That way when looking through the viewfinder in the fake direction, I could still see my real subject and quickly pivot back to capture them.


    Michael
     
  16. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    You could also dress up in a horse costume and hide the camera in the nose :smile: Happy Halloween (Hey! If the drug stores can sell costumes and even start bringing out the Christmas candy, I too can get a jump on things)