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  1. #1
    Alisha's Avatar
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    A question about Street Photography

    I wanted to know how some of you feel when you go about doing street photography. Do you ever feel nervous, or miss out of placed?

    I've been wanting to go around my own city to start capturing somethings I've always held interesting, but I feel quite nervous about it being I'm not used to carrying around my film cameras, also I've never been the kind of person whose felt comfortable with shooting portraits either. I always feel awkward, or a pester to the other person.

    I guess I feel this way because society makes it seem as if you always have to carry around this huge dSLR to be considered important, or everyone always expects a photographer to have a very expensive Canon, or Nikon of some sort and this makes me feel miss out of placed.

    Anyway, this is just my personal views and feelings that I'm hoping I'm able to over come once I get used to street photography, but I wanted to know how some other users here at APUG feel when their out shooting street photography using a film camera.

  2. #2
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Hi Alisha,

    I don't ever think anyone ever even has a clue what another homo sapien "thinks" of them. What they think, and what you think they think, is usually wrong, and it really doesn't matter. Get over other people, then get over stuff, and then get over yourself. Do your thing. HCB didn't have a dSLR, either, or Weegee, or any of the other person's who's prints sell for many times what the best dSLR costs.

    PS. I don't mean "Get over yourself!!!" I mean "Get over yourself as in get over things that hold you back. There are enough challenges without letting yourself get in your own way. I had to get pretty old to figure that out.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 10-13-2008 at 11:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Just do it!

    I agree with JBrunner (and every other person who likes to wander with a camera!). The fact is that you will never get these pictures unless you leave your house and take them. The only way to get over that fear is to get out there and shoot. I suggest going out to get pictures of things that will not even notice that you exist, like buildings or politicians. From there do what feels right. Good Luck and happy shooting!

    PS: I did not believe people either when they told me that shooting would feel 'right' in any context

  4. #4

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    I agree with the two previous responses - a big part of it is getting over your self-consciousness. Please rest assured that everyone who engages in street photography feels this to some degree. The trick is to find creative ways to get over it. If you study about Cartier Bresson, you'll find that he was a great advocate of the "shoot and run" approach to street photography.

    I particularly agree with spotulate's response. You may find it easier to shooting in places where you will not look so odd with a camera. As you are in Cali, I'd suggest a popular museum or beach/boardwalk setting. I got over a lot of my anxiety shooting in public by shooting at the Getty Center and at places like the Santa Monica pier and Venice Beach.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Shawn Rahman; 10-14-2008 at 01:05 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Adding words for clarity

  5. #5
    jd callow's Avatar
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    I get uncomfortable at times, but mostly I blot it out and just look for things to shoot.

    *

  6. #6
    two40's Avatar
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    It's easy enough for someone to say get over it. Fact is it's not easy for everyone. I find that the first 2 photos are the hardest. Once you take them the rest of the frames shoot themselves.

  7. #7
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by two40 View Post
    It's easy enough for someone to say get over it. Fact is it's not easy for everyone. I find that the first 2 photos are the hardest. Once you take them the rest of the frames shoot themselves.
    Of course it's easy to say. The act of will comes from the individual.

    Any person who has ever endeavored has met with skepticism or even derision. Self doubt is the first impediment, before you can even begin to enjoy the hubris of others.

    You either spine up or you don't. If it takes two, or ten, or a hundred, nothing changes except when the act of will comes into being. It doesn't just apply to street photography, but to everything.

    For me, it's every morning when my feet hit the floor. I decided that. It just didn't happen. YMMV.


    (BTW, I dig the dollar portraits)
    Last edited by JBrunner; 10-14-2008 at 08:29 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    I live in a city. I believe it is worthwhile to shoot what you. It certainly saves time and gasoline. Almost all my photography is done with a Contax RTSIII mounted on a Majestic tripod with a large geared head. I carry a bag with nine lenses. The sum total of all this means that I am lugging the weight equivalent of a large format setup. I make very few photos of strangers and only a minimal number of people that I know. I photograph scenes. Not having any people in the scene makes problems with releases much smaller. I have an idea that one can tell alot obout the people who live or have in an area by what they have constructed and done to the natural enviroment. I do not set foot upon private property without permission.

    I am by nature shy. Taking photos and concentrating on my photography means that I am hardly aware of the existence of others when I am so engaged. I am also quite deaf. This has its good side in that if others wish to engage me in conversation I can with honesty tell them that my deafness makes such activity unwise.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  9. #9

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    What a kit!

    Lugging around a kit like that would probably make me feel self-concious, too! I usually street with a 50mm f/1.8 or equiv, sometimes a 28-105 if there's good light. I imagine our goals are different, though. Still, it wouldn't be a bad idea to lighten up your kit. I don't believe I've ever come back from shooting thinking, "I wish I had my 70-300 and floodlights with me!"

  10. #10

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    alisha, you need to get out and start shooting tomorrow. all your aprehensions you have will be gone with your first roll of film, i guarentee it!! you will find over time that your camera is empowering

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