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  1. #1
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    Taking Candids of Random People

    Something that's always bothered me:

    I'll be walking around or driving with my camera, and I'll see people that are arranged perfectly for a picture, and I'll really want to take one, but they don't know I am. Like the other day, there was an old man smoking a pipe, with his dog, standing at a rest stop along the highway, against a background of trees; it would have been a perfect picture, just the way everything was set up; though I'm always wary of taking pictures of random people whom I do not know.

    What do y'all think? What to do...

  2. #2
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242

    What do y'all think? What to do...
    Ask?
    That's why I like portraits with shorter lenses. It seems more like the photographer actually had a rapport with that person.

  3. #3
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    Well, that would have been the obvious solution; sometimes I don't think. At times, though, asking people will make them adjust from their natural position, thereby ruining some of the effect...

  4. #4
    PhotoPete's Avatar
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    Shoot first, ask permission later...
    Just take a look at Bruce Davidson's MO. Up close and in your face with a 28 mm...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoPete
    Shoot first, ask permission later...
    Just take a look at Bruce Davidson's MO. Up close and in your face with a 28 mm...

    Always ask, othewise you may end up with something in your face that you didnt ask for. And its simply polite.

  6. #6
    PhotoPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne
    Always ask, othewise you may end up with something in your face that you didnt ask for.
    Agreed, this is a somewhat confrontational approach, and you have to be prepared for what can happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne
    And its simply polite.
    I again agree, but I am glad that HCB and others who have followed in his footsteps choose to ignore that social convention. We are collectively better off for it, IMHO.

  7. #7
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne
    Always ask, othewise you may end up with something in your face that you didnt ask for. And its simply polite.
    One good way to avoid this is to prefocus, pre-set exposure, and only bring the camera up for the shot. A rangefinder is great for this. And follow the advice of TR, "walk softly and carry a quiet click". The carney in this photo never heard the shutter and backed down when I lowered the camera.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/attachmen...achmentid=3363

    It's a calculated risk. I could tell from the way he was holding the softball that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn... at least not very hard.

    Lee

  8. #8

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    I do street candids occasionally, using a 100-300mm lens.
    You take the picture before people notice.

    G

  9. #9
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    I do a lot of street shooting, looking for candids, and I always shoot and never ask. If you ask, as someone said, the candid is lost. I used to use a 70-300, but now I only use a 135 f/2.8 with a noisy AF SLR and it gives me what I want. The worst I got was a bad face, while I was walking away. Always be discrete, prepare the picture, shoot and walk, like if it had never happened. But it may be a cultural thing. Maybe in your country people will come after you...
    I am not afraid of grain.
    http://fotodura.pt.to

  10. #10

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    Regardless of the ethics, you should also be aware of the legal position in the location. This will depend on where you are (on the street, in a private shopping Mall etc), and what you intend to do with the image.

    Here in the UK there is an on-going discussion on the letters pages of Amateur Photographer about the dangers of taking candid shots, especially of children. People have been attacked and beaten up/robbed and accused of being paedophiles in some situations.

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