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  1. #21
    Jesper's Avatar
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    Using a TLR with a waist level finder is often perceived as less threatening than using a camera at eye level.
    They are more likely to ignore you than if you are carrying 2kg of SLR.
    In my experience old and "funny" looking cameras will make people more relaxed around you.

  2. #22
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewkirkby View Post
    Search YouTube for street shots Bruce Gilden.
    Oh, this is great ! thanks for sharing this.

  3. #23
    guitstik's Avatar
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    A TLR with a WLF, any rangefinder like the canonet QL17 GIII or try an Exakta with a WLF. I use all of these and have been successful at getting great candid street shots because most of the time people don't even notice when I am looking down into a WLF. They probably don't even recognize them as cameras. Most rangefinders are very quiet and unobtrusive enough that you can take a shot and people don't even realize it. Anytime people have confronted me about taking pictures of them, I tell them that I am taking random shots of the area and that they just happened to ruin my shot by walking into the frame.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  4. #24
    jamesgignac's Avatar
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    To keep it brief:
    I love WLF for shooting the streets - I'm sure this has been brought up by someone else by now but if not it's a great option.

    Wide angle lenses are nice - usually you can look at something in the distance as if you're lining up a shot of that with a telephoto and then snap away - I've done this a lot over here in China.

    Another thing I've done is to wait on a busy street lining up a shot of a building and waiting for the right person or group of people moving in an interesting way in front of it as they pass by. Most people wont notice - again a wide angle lens is nice here - you can shoot the building and some fascinating characters in front of it.

    When you say 'stick a camera in camera in someone's face...' I hope you don't mean that literally - if you want the candid street photo look then this will never work. That being said you can certainly take photos of people if you don't mind talking to them...but it really depends on your intentions here. Most people don't mind if an interesting person finds them interesting as well and asks to take a photo...this is my experience anyhow.

    For the 'people of the street' (ie the homeless) it's a good idea to talk to them first, during, and after. I did a project on 'bums' in highschool and it was a great challenge at first but became very comfortable. I traveled to different cities around Canada around that time and hung out and photographed a number of the street folk - I usually offered them a cigarette and we were able to shoot the breeze and enjoy the process together. I definitely recommend it, and the next time you see them I'm sure they'll give you a warm smile and wave. I was later able to track some of them down and give them some finished prints - this made them VERY happy and I got a couple of good hugs and handshakes out of it.

    So you can be discrete and shoot without people knowing or try to be slightly obnoxious in your outgoing attitude and see what happens - chances are the more outgoing you are the more attention you will attract from other outgoing people - try to get people to notice you - if people stare for more than a couple of seconds it's a good way entry for you to ask them if you can shoot them.

    That's my ¥2.
    Last edited by jamesgignac; 09-09-2010 at 04:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    -dereck|james|gignac
    dereckjamesgignac.com

  5. #25

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    It's awesome.

    The related Bruce Gilden videos are good too...

  6. #26
    Chriscc123's Avatar
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    after not reading any of the posts, my answer is to bring a person and PRETEND to shoot them... just shoot right past them and nobody will be the wiser
    What is one to do as one watches humanity slowly destroy itself?

  7. #27
    mablo's Avatar
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    I don't do much street shooting but when I feel like it I usually grab my TLR. People response positively to a TLR. Some people even ask me to photograph them (youngsters or winos mainly). I just wish I had a 135 film adapter.

  8. #28

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    I have been photographing people on the street for years. My experience is that generally they are unaware that I am doing so and extremely rarely do I get a negative response. You need to know your equipment inside out and be able to use it instinctively, rapidly and smoothly - I use an RF, generally with a 35mm lens, but sometimes a 28 or 21, focused to either 2 or 3m, and work quickly Body language is important, you have to feel positive, respect your subjects and smile if you get eye contact. Practice helps! Have a look at the photos on my web site.
    http://johnbeeching.com/

    Yours,

    John

  9. #29
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    I did a lot of street photography in NYC a long time ago. The place is so busy... even pictures I would stop and compose for (often it was people lined up to get on a bus for some reason) they wouldn't really notice me. Sometimes, I had the camera around my neck, and would keep it there, having it set for the light, and focus at infinity, and just release the shutter. I wouldn't necessarily know what I got, but I have a few great pictures made that way. Also, in winter, when the light is low, walk the streets so that the sun is behind you, but in the eyes of people walking toward you. They'll have a hard time seeing that you even have a camera.

    I think the best way to avoid pissing people off, is to work as a kind of "fly on the wall" so that you aren't really noticeable. And if someone does see you... question you, tell them honestly what you are doing. It can be done if far less intrusive ways than Bruce Gilden.

  10. #30

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    First, don't shoot homeless people. It's cheap and hardly ever makes for good street photography.
    Second, a small camera with a single lens is crucial. Obviously most street shooters use a rangefinder for this reason.
    Third, no telephotos. This will only cause you grief. The lens is big and intimidating. People think you're stalking them because you're pointing a giant lens in their direction from across the street. It makes people uncomfortable.
    Third, make yourself invisible. This means small movements that are deliberate. Running around snapping at everything draws attention. Don't fiddle too much with your gear.
    And last, be humble and empathetic. Smile when someone notices you've taken their photo. Don't try to hide the fact or turn around in shame. Make eye contact, give small smile as to say "it's all OK, thank you for sharing a moment of your life with me that I'll keep as a photograph" and then move on to your next subject. I've never had anyone get in my face screaming and yelling. Occassionally, I'll get a head nod or a smile in return.

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