How to get really authentic candid shots of strangers!?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by GeorgiaOwl, May 29, 2008.

  1. GeorgiaOwl

    GeorgiaOwl TPF Noob!

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    Anyone out there have any tips on this? Yesterday a couple were eating lunch in the window of a little cafe near where I was shooting. I tried several times to catch them not looking at me, but it seems the fat guy with the camera was all there was to look at! So, I thought about stepping inside and just asking them if they minded if I took their picture...but I wasn't sure if they'd think I was some kind of wierdo or what...
    I tried shooting from the hip, but my aim with a brand new camera is really off. I got alot of shots of grass and sidewalk! I also sat down for a while and took a few without causing alarm..

    Do you just "get the shot" and not worry about people thinking you are a stalker or what?

    I even tried crossing the street, hiding behind a building and popping out 5 minutes later to catch them eating or something - anything - but nope...as soon as I stuck the corner of my lens around the building, the guy was looking right down it straight to my right eyeball! :) hahahaha...

    I felt stupider doing that than asking about it now, but only slightly!

    Any help is appreciated.... I'd like to know what you guys do so take pics out in public without alerting your subject and without causing a scene.
     
  2. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    Just shove a lens in their face!

    Tbh I don't really ever worry about my street shots but then again I'm just a kid.
     
  3. STICKMAN

    STICKMAN TPF Noob!

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    Maybe he's is on the look out due to something lol. Sounds like this guy is really watching his back.

    I go with, I could care less take the shot, its a free country...... If they aproach you then explain yourself and offer to show them the file being deleted from the card if they so chose. If your using film then thats another issue. But hay if there putting themselves out there in public, thats the chance you take....
     
  4. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    Or you could always slap on a 300mm lens, get some nice bokeh AND be far enough to avoid alarm... except from those directly near you.

    :lol:
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    That is why I often use a camera with a tiltable LCD screen for preview or live view. Then I can hold the camera at my waist, as if I am checking a shot that I have already taken.

    skieur
     
  6. PhotoDonkey

    PhotoDonkey TPF Noob!

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    I spend most of my time trying to keep random people out of my shots. I've never had the desire to take pictures of people I don't know.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thats funny... I do that too but I use the Nikon E8800 that I have, its near perfect for that 8mp and an 80X zoom makes it quite useful). Near impossble to do with my D200... lol
     
  8. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    I'm not great at street either, I need practice, but I think the key is to take the shot and move on.

    The fact that you hung about, disapeared for a few minutes, then came back, always concentrating on the couple, would arouse suspicions, and possibly make them uncomfortable. See the shot, raise the camera and take a couple of pics, and move on. Don't hang about to check the LCD, check exposure, take more shots etc, just move on. If you discover later the shots haven't worked, then so be it, learn from those mistakes and keep practicing.

    Additionally, practice shooting from the hip around your house and just walking down the street around your house until you can pretty much nail a target. It doesn't cost you anything except time, and you delete the practice shots later.
     
  9. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    My wife has this attitued as well :grumpy:

    You've never wanted to shoot a street performer? Never seen someone playing with a dog in a park almost as big as them, or someone with garishly bright clothing standing out from a dullish 'suit n tie' sort of crowd, people with "unusual" hairstyles, people looking out of place, people showing some particular emotion and thought "Wow, that'd be an interesting shot"?

    Each to their own of course, it's your hobby (or profession), do what makes you happy, but some of us like (attempting) to capture the unusual and out of place, enjoy capturing emotion, or just like shooting different, unposed subjects.

    Personally, I love my wife n kids, but I'm tired of taking the same sort of family snapshots of them over and over. Luckily my intrest is rubbing off on my son, and he loves using our old A95 P&S, so I'm hoping to go for a day of shooting in the city with him sometime :)
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Shoot from the hip. Don't target the subject and they won't give you a second look unless they hear the shutter sound.
     
  11. GeorgiaOwl

    GeorgiaOwl TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips. I'll try the hip shooting thing some more. I tend to get alot of trees and sidewalks. :) LOL But, I've only had the camera for a few days...

    As for suspicions....there was nothing I did to encourage that...I was thinking about it yesterday while taking some other photos of people eating( what's up with me and that? i dunno) and I think the fact that they were right IN the window( which is what made the shot so great) was the reason they were watching me from the beginning....there was nothing else to look at! Maybe I can get someone else sitting in the window and take the shot to show you guys. . . the little table is crammed right up against the window.

    At any rate, next time I'm going to follow your advice, take the shot(s) and move on. If someone chases me down the street for the photos I just took I'll just act crazy and speak spanish!

    No comprendo, gringo! Silencio! Vamanos! Ahora! boogity-boogity-boogity! :)
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some good advice that I've read is to have your camera ready to go for pretty much everything you're shooting that day. Pick a slightly higher ISO, 400ish, so that shadow shots don't require a slow shutter speed, and shoot in aperture mode, so all you do is pick the aperture you're shooting at before hand. Easy easy.

    Also, try keeping the camers in AI servo focus mode and shooting with both eyes open. Doing that has really help me with photography in general as now I'm not just aware of what I see through the view finder, but I'm aware of everything else around me.

    That's not so much a problem with wider angles, but when you're shooting with a telephoto lens, especially a zoom, it's a huge help.
     

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