Good street photography is not for the faint of heart, to over quote and perhaps misquote Robert Capa, "if your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough."
...no rhyme nor reason...
In the late 60's and through the 70's 99 % of my photography was street photography. I had one camera and one lens a Pentax Spotmatic and a 50 mm F 1.4 lens. I still have that camera and lens. It remains my most favorite set up for "knocking about" in the street. At times I used the Rolleiflex 3.5 Tessar 80 mm.
Since I have added Nikon 35 1.4 , I have continued this series of street photos with the Pentax 50 mm and the Nikon 35 mm. I like late evening and night shots and bar room shots, and old alleys.
I recently -due to the currently low prices- have picked up other 50 mm primes.
The RF 645 Bronica, with the 65 mm lens I have worked with when light is not a problem, (lenses 45 mm , 65 mm and 100 mm are all F/4) its quality is exceptional, I like it for color and often use the tiny flash attached. Its vertical orientation I like for street portraiture.
As of late I have been working on becoming more fluent with the graflex and the 90 mm and the 135 mm 4 x 5. Also the 6 x 12 and 6 x 17 with 90 mm f/8. The Brooklyn bridge photo Matt Blaise used for the center of the Apug ad for a past Silver Convention was shot with this set up....90 mm and 6 x 17, hand held. You can see this camera in my gallery, in the tech gallery.
90 mm and 135 would be long on 35 mm cameras, but on 4 x 5 are normal and wide.
I have had minimal problems with the public. In NYC 2 years ago, a food stand vendor berated me, (in Chicago they loved the camera). Mix in with the crowd, act as if you belong in the environment, don't sneak about and hide, be agressively positive and positively agressive, keep moving.... hang out with Les McLean and develope an affinity for the wide lens and improve your people skills. Learn depth of field and to pre focus, your shorter lenses really shine here.
I know this post is asking about tele s in street photography. I like the look and perspective that is "normal" focal length to wide....if one needs to "get back" you can get the similar perspective by moving up in format size.
I really like street photography, as long as it it not a job, and has no apparent rhyme nor reason.... just the surprise of having the proof of what you thought you saw.
Last edited by Dave Wooten; 08-12-2008 at 04:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: apallin spelun, due to faulty keyboard
[QUOTE=Dave Wooten;666571]In the late 60's and through the 70's 99 % of my photography was street photography. I had one camera and one lens a Pentax Spotmatic and a 50 mm F 1.4 lens. I still have that camera and lens. It remains my most favorite set up for "knocking about" in the street. At times I used the Rolleiflex 3.5 Tessar 80 mm.
I agree, most of the classic photojournilism done in the golden days of the
30s though the early 80s was done with a normal prime lens. Look at pictures from that time peroid of a gaggel of PJ mobbing someone, almost all used a TLR, 4X5 press camera or 35mm with a normal prime.
Paul: James Nacthwey uses a 16-35mm zoom lens.
Funny, I just did a bunch of street photography in NYC. First time in NYC, only done it around town, here. I must say, it was exhilarating. Exciting, even. I did it with a 35mm, and wished I had a wider lens! lol
I'm new to this forum and (almost) new to photography (I started two years ago with a Zenit E camera and a digital P&S and now I use digital but never gave up film), too and I like this kind of photography (street photography) the best. This kind of photos never made me get bored and usually no photo is like another.
Regarding what to use (tele, normal or wide) I think is also about what do we want to show in the photograph and how. I use all kind of focal lenghts for street shooting, starting from 28mm to 200mm especially whan I want do have a more narrow DOF.
I like the street photos from onexposure http://www.onexposure.net/?photos=street and of course the majority of the shots posted on http://www.in-public.com/photographers and http://www.public-life.org/photographers/ . Among them Bruce Gilden's way of making photos http://www.public-life.org/media/bruce-gilden/5/ striked me the most.
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Hi, welcome to the forum.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
For an in your face technique see Montecarlos post above on bruce gilden, magnum photographer, note the flash technique. Flash is not mounted on camera (leica rf) but held in hand. Bruce "confronts" each of his subjects from a few feet away....Bruce is a pro....is this technique for you? Just thought I'd ask...
Thanks Montecarlo and welcome to the forum
"I use long lenses" "I use short lenses"
Ever notice how opinions are like assholes? Everybody's got one!
And as my dear old daddy used to say, "...and they all stink."
Originally Posted by John Koehrer
You can do street with any lens you want.
The thing is that you need to learn that one lens.
You have to learn how it sees the world, how it affects perspective, what kind of DOF it has, how fast it is.
You have to learn to compose with that lens.
That lens becomes your eyes.
With street you don't have the time to pick different lenses for different scenes.
You also need to be able to visualize the photograph before even bringing the camera to your eyes.
The most important thing is that, like I said, the lens becomes your eyes. The lens becomes the way you see the world, the way you create the photograph.
That's why you have to choose one lens, any lens and stick with it.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit