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Colin Corneau
09-10-2010, 06:15 PM
I'm pretty far from Trawna, dude. And I photograph in a downtown area that has, to put it diplomatically, seen better days.

The people are tough, quite a lot of them are weird and I don't claim to be able to predict anyone's reaction...you just know how to handle yourself, I guess, and that can't be taught, only gained through experience.

I'm not out to do a freak show, disrespect anyone by crafting an image of them, or torque a point-of-view. I just photograph what's there.

I'm not sure what you consider so airy-fairy about that -- as jnanian says, it's all about respect for others. I happen to think that's important. It's a statement of principles that applies to human beings everywhere.

Ken Nadvornick
09-11-2010, 12:13 AM
maybe you should think about how YOU would feel if you were photographed
on the street without your permission ?

i know I don't like it ...

Funny you should bring that up. I have been.

Once I was setting up my 8x10 (a Calumet "Black Beast" - not a moniker lightly given) and I noticed a young lady of perhaps 17-18 years of age standing off at a respectful distance. She had a DSLR of some sort with a longish lens sporting one of those tulip hoods.

When she put it to her eye and pointed it at me, I suddenly realized I was getting a taste of my own medicine. I did my absolute best not to laugh at the delicious irony and thereby ruin her efforts. I figured her to be a high school student working on an assigned project, so I just continued on as if she wasn't there.

You know, John, honestly it didn't bother me one bit. More than anything else I took it to be a "My Name Is Earl" moment where karma was most definitely kicking my photographic ass. And given the number of times in the past I have been her, I figured the most appropriate thing to do was just to suck it up for the greater good and play the Crabman.

After getting a few of me setting up, and later under the darkcloth (good for her to know enough to realize that this particular visually defining moment was coming, and then wait for it), she disappeared. I made no attempt to acknowledge her, nor she I. In spite of my curiosity, I felt that to also be part of my appropriate response.

Hopefully we both walked away with some interesting photos. At least I thought mine were.

Ken

xxloverxx
09-11-2010, 04:53 AM
So my question is, how do you stick a camera in someones face without them picking a fight with you?

Know your equipment so well that you take less time to make the photo than it takes for them to get a complete sentence out of their mouth.
After that, just walk away. Or stay put. If they harass you, call for help. If you weren't meant to be making photos there but decided to anyway, walk out of that area (that is, if you start getting questioned about it.)

Don't think just do. From my experience, once you think, you've lost.

Have the police on speed dial or something, just in case someone does pick a fight with you.

Also, try not to have too many things hanging off of you, just in case someone really tries to chase you home.

Always be aware of your surroundings. An obvious one would be something like "don't stand in the corner and make photos if there's a chance your subject will harass you, because then you have no chance of escape."

I always feel like Im a prisoner on the run HCB

dehk
09-12-2010, 11:20 PM
I gathered everyone's advice and put it to use earlier today.

Bought a Petri 7S range finder with 2TMY- Preset Focus and F stop for the DOF so i know what distance of my subject will come in focus. Also Pre metered using a light meter so i can adjust according to the lights. That worked out very good, I was able to take shots of people without them knowing most of them time, as if i am just waving my camera up to my eye, shoot it and bring it back down. Even got the homeless peoples sitting around, I don't think they noticed me taking photos of him but when some of them spotted the camera I know they didn't like me around. But then I remember everyone told me, just keep walking, which I did. And to my surprised, a couple stopped me when i was walking around, they asked me what i was doing, once again someone on the thread told me to think about why I want to do street photography etc, which, I thought about it before so without stuttering i told them I just like to document the people on the street blah blah blah. We exchanged conversation and they actually wanted me to photograph them, that was a bonus. Then me and my friend kept on walking, he ran out of film so I gave him my last roll i had in my bag. After i ran out in the rangefinder I had to bust out my Yashica 230AF. And you guys were right, people do notice me a lot more carrying an SLR around. I still shot people on the street but then I will try to act like i am photographing something else and let the 'victims' walk right into the frame themselves, or, once again, just keep on walking, haha.

Developed both rolls just now, the ones from the rangefinder looks ok. Only thing i have to improve is, maybe i shouldn't do such a 'quick draw' too often, couple of them ended up blurry from camera shake. Overall I enjoyed walking around today. Half the time I was just joking with my friend how I can take photos without people noticing , and the speed. Turned out more like a game. But i guess it also helped first he was running around with a Kodak Duraflex, then a Minolta 7000. So he kinda got most of the attention, or distraction if you wanna think of it that way.

Anyways, Thank You for all those contributed to this thread, your comments are much appreciated and will continue to work on all your advice.

tokengirl
11-16-2010, 05:57 AM
Shoot from behind.

I followed this guy for quite a while waiting for his pants to fall down. :laugh:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4132/5172973313_a6022b6a49_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmambo/5172973313/)

M.A.Longmore
11-16-2010, 07:57 AM
Shoot from behind.

I followed this guy for quite a while waiting for his pants to fall down. :laugh:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4132/5172973313_a6022b6a49_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmambo/5172973313/)
.
I'm always amazed by street scenes from the 1960's.
Everyone always seemed to be dressed "properly", not to say that this
gentleman is dressed improperly. It always seemed that everyone was
dressed to go to church, or some special occasion. The last time I was in a
church I happened to sit behind a woman whose thong was peeping out.
Not that I'm offended by such sights. I don't like being criticized for my
opinion, so I always have to remember to allow others to express themselves.

I just woke up, maybe on the wrong side of the bed ...


Ron
.

jnanian
11-16-2010, 08:30 AM
@jnanian - I agree, but that just goes back to the issue of "intent". I don't ask permission to do street photography (not generally, anyway) but I also am not pulling a fast one, or intending to disrespect anyone. I think this intent colours my work, as it would anyone.

yes ...

it is all about intent ... and respect.
too many people with cameras these days
think it is a "real photography" to take cheap-shots.

its one thing to show what the humanity of place is like, in living color,
and another thing to throw a 10$ bill at a homeless person or street-drunk
to put on a flickr page ...

SuzanneR
11-16-2010, 08:40 AM
Here's someone's work of interest... NYC of the 60's and 70's. I studied with him back in the early 80's, when I was engaged in doing a lot of street pictures. Worth a look.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/timeless-stories-in-1970s-new-york/

Ken Nadvornick
11-16-2010, 01:16 PM
Shoot from behind.

I followed this guy for quite a while waiting for his pants to fall down. :laugh:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4132/5172973313_a6022b6a49_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmambo/5172973313/)

Shoot the behind?

This is just tooo good...

Ken

holmburgers
11-16-2010, 03:44 PM
Here's someone's work of interest... NYC of the 60's and 70's. I studied with him back in the early 80's, when I was engaged in doing a lot of street pictures. Worth a look.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/timeless-stories-in-1970s-new-york/

I saw those yesterday... they're great!

What would he have to add to this thread?

Sirius Glass
11-16-2010, 06:56 PM
Shoot from behind.

I followed this guy for quite a while waiting for his pants to fall down. :laugh:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4132/5172973313_a6022b6a49_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmambo/5172973313/)

Some place I have a photograph from years ago of a sign, "Tattooing in Rear"

Steve

hirokun
11-22-2010, 05:53 PM
A waste level finder on a medium format camera works wonders. Nobody ever thinks that you're taking a picture from "down there". Just focus with the camera to the eye, then let it hang down your neck, look into the viewfinder, arrange scene/composition/subject.. and shoot. That's what I do :)

Norman

benjiboy
11-23-2010, 03:01 AM
A waste level finder on a medium format camera works wonders. Nobody ever thinks that you're taking a picture from "down there". Just focus with the camera to the eye, then let it hang down your neck, look into the viewfinder, arrange scene/composition/subject.. and shoot. That's what I do :)

Norman
I agree but TLRs are the best IMO, , medium format SLR s make too much noise .

Wayne
11-23-2010, 07:04 AM
How can I violate the personal space and privacy of street photographers without being noticed?

Taslim Abdani
11-23-2010, 08:37 AM
First off, don't ask -- either silently or out loud -- that is not street photography, as you lost the moment of spontinaity that Street photography is supposed to have. Use a smallish camera if possible and either a 35 or 50 mm prime lens. I use either a Contax slr with a fast Zeiss 50 prime or the Konica Hexar AF with its 35mm f2 lens. The hexar is etremely fast and quiet. I've been shooting street for years and still get the "looks" from time to time and on occasion I get confronted. But for the most part people are cool and they normaly don't notice me. If they do notice me I look past them, shoot and keep going. You have to think that you as a photographer have the right to create art and no one has the right to prevent you from doing so. And by the way, you will piss some people off just by walking down the street even if you don't have a camera.

dpurdy
11-23-2010, 09:00 AM
My thoughts:
1. Doing secret snap shots of people makes me feel like a dirty little sneak.
2. I don't believe any single frozen image of a person tells the truth so in affect it is always telling a lie.
3. I personally am very tired of people being obsessed with photographing other people. People are not the most interesting thing in life.
4. It seems like every street photographer out there is trying to show the world is a surreal place. The world isn't surreal to me.
5. There are too many street photographers. Adding to that pile of work is like peeing in the ocean.

totalmotard
11-23-2010, 09:40 AM
I go places with my friends and loved ones. Then I take their pictures. Voila! Street photography that is candid. My friends are very comfortable with me taking pictures and hardly ever pose anymore. They ignore my camera since I have it with me all the time. I'd rather have their picture than that of a stranger anyway.

Make some friends and go places with them. Live a full life and record it.

freax
11-23-2010, 06:12 PM
Don't know if this was referenced here but this youtube video from Bruce Gilden is very related with this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRBARi09je8[]'s

Gerald C Koch
11-23-2010, 06:29 PM
With the current paranoid atmosphere in the world, I would not dream of doing any street photography. An article on the local news had a photographer being stopped by the police for having a camera and being close to a school. He spent a couple of hours with them in order to prove that he was not a child pornographer. Sadly street photography belongs to a past and more innocent era. I believe that in some parts of Europe you can be sued for taking someone's picture without their permission. This also applies to their house, their dog and their livestock.

And don't even think of taking a photo if part of a government building would be in the frame!

Gerald C Koch
11-23-2010, 06:38 PM
Do what Atget did and photograph the street without the people. I love his photographs, they have a certain surreal quality.