How do you do it? Taking pics of people...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Axel, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    US East Coast
    I would like to know how people take pictures of other people. There are plenty of homeless people in NY (unfortunately) and plenty of picture of these. But do you ask them before you take a picture of them or do you simply have huge lenses? I don't have the nerve to ask people to pose... The same goes for other people that I find interesting; Students, sellers etc. I am going to the city tomorrow and want to know if to ask them to pose (which I find not very spontaeous) or to just take a picture of them without asking and run the risk of being insulted...

    I live in a very Jewish area of NYC, and there are plenty of times that I see a good shot, but what about if they don't want to be photographes?

    Let me know your experiences...

    Thanks.
     
  2. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    US East Coast
    BTW, the same goes for pictures on the subway. There are a lot of interesting "faces", but I just don't have the nerve to just shoot...
     
  3. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    I don't know much about new york, never been there.

    In toronto, I've shot on the streets and in subway. Make it obvious that you're taking pics. The lens should be small too. 80mm or 135mm... stuff like that

    In subway I have a tripod set up "to catch the train". This gimmick gives an impression that my main subject is train and not the people.

    On the street I just stand, Set everything to manual, select a background and just shoot.

    If people don't like you, they'll let you know. I have a nice pic of a girl showing the middle finger :) When they refuse, people just cover their faces or make a stop gesture.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    One method is to "shoot from the hip"

    Prefocus your camera and/or stop down to get a larger DOF and take the pics while you are holding the camera down at your side. People tend to act unnatural when they see that someone is pointing a camera at them.

    Of course, it may look like you are up to no good and that could irritate some people more than if you just hold up the camera and shoot that way.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    Yeah...

    Also: Don't take a lot of gear and learn to run fast! :D

    Just a tip
     
  6. Sash[DSL]

    Sash[DSL] TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    get a P&s camera. One of those old skool style with non-zoom lenses. I got a minilta freedom III with a 35mm f2.8 lens for 5 bucks at a garage sale, works excellent. People tend to associate a person with a professional-looking SLR with paparazis and spies and are therefore rather hostile to such. Whereas a person with a P&s camera is seen as more of a tourist or something and is granted much more trust.
     
  7. Nagala

    Nagala TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville
    The more you do it, the more comfortable you get with it. Never be afraid to take a picture.
     
  8. Lula

    Lula Cracks-Up At Crazy Titles!

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    i'm not telling you
    loloolol


    these reminds, a while ago there's was a explosion near my house so i went down to photograph the all thing......some old ladies that were there start to critize me for taking pictures....damn old ladies were really annoying me :shock: :shock: stopped cause's i start imaging them running after me trying to hit me with their fake teeth !!!! :shock:

    lololol
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I don't always ask, but if it's possible I usually do. I've never had anyone say no, but I have had several folks express gratitude that I did ask.

    The traditional camera of choice for street photography is the 35mm rangefinder. They are small and very quite. I'd agree with Sash[DSL] that there are some very small P&S cameras (film and digital) that take a very nice photo. My favorite would be the Olympus Epic Stylus (with the fixed f/2.8 35mm lens).

    None of the recognized masters of street photography made a habit of asking permission, but they lived in different times. These days with the profusion of small cameras (cell phone cams, etc...), and the internet, folks can get kind of touchy about being photographed. There's this huge group of amateur paparazzi running around trying to photograph embarassing moments, cleavage shots, and up skirt pics for their websites. These guys are making the public skittish.

    I was at a wading pool with my daughter. I was watching a grandpa wandering along after his g-daughter snapping away with his digi P&S. He was obviously only taking pics of his kid, but even so, several other parents approached him to specifically ask that he not photograph their children. I thought it was a little weird, but I guess people are afraid of being "exploited".

    I'm usually carrying a vintage cam, and folks react different to old cameras. Half the time I think they don't even believe I'm really taking a picture (or that it's even possible to take a picture with an old camera).

    The Widelux is an interesting street camera. People are too captivated by the movement of the lens to care that I'm taking their picture, and they don't really understand the 140 degree angle of view I'm getting. Sometimes, when I don't hold it up to my eye, I fire from the hip or even at arms length, and I don't even think that many people recognize it as a camera. I've had some looks of horror like I was using some strange device or possibly setting off a bomb.
     
  10. mad_malteaser

    mad_malteaser TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Rayleigh, Essex
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There are some really great tips here. I'm taking part in a Candid Street Photography contest, and I've always wondered what the best way to go about getting certain shots is.

    Not that I'm a very good runner, but I'll have my running shoes on. I know what the people of Essex are like! LOL
     

Share This Page