Shooting people on the street: Creepy? Confrontational?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by TiCoyote, May 5, 2009.

  1. TiCoyote

    TiCoyote TPF Noob!

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    I see great shots of people on the street just living their lives. I want to take shots like this, but I'm often concerned that strangers will be upset, angry, or confrontational if I photograph them. How do you avoid this? Are you unobtrusive about it? Do you use a long telephoto? Is there some other technique?
     
  2. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    My approach has always been to be unobtrusive even though I'm in pretty close.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends.

    If the final picture in my mind requires the person(s) to look at the viewer, I ask permission. If not, I try to be as un-noticed as possible. I usually work in 35mm with a lens of 50mm to 135mm. Tri-X permits high shutter speeds.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just pull out the "Sigmonster" from a mile away and have a model across the street from where you want to shoot... they'll look up... lol

    What was the name of that NY photographer that ran around poking the Leika w/35mm and tethered flash? He just went around blasting people in the face from like 6-15 inches... *he* got away with it, why could you not? lol
     
  5. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    People tend to be slightly more forgiving of someone who just runs around taking pictures of EVERYONE in such a way that he looks certifiably insane :lol::lmao::lol:
     
  6. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    I use my 50mm or a wider lens and just shoot quite literally from the hip. I don't get the shot all the time, but I like the angle much better, and people notice it less:

    [​IMG]

    Still, people DO notice it:


    [​IMG]

    Or another solution is to shoot them from the back:

    [​IMG]

    Or when they are too busy dodging traffic to notice:

    [​IMG]

    Or perhaps, just forget the people altogether:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bruce Gilden
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM[/ame]

    I wonder how many times he's been punched in the face..
     
  8. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Many will be upset, angry and confrontational. Learning who is approachable and how to photograph is a big part of the learning curve on street photography. Over time, one will develop a sixth sense about shooting in the streets ... until then one needs a thick skin and to keep on walking.

    I first started shooting street people 30 some years ago.

    Gary Ayala : photos : On Broadway 1- powered by SmugMug

    In the beginning just shoot and walk ... shoot and walk ... never stop.

    Gary
     
  9. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not even to laugh.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

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    I'm no expert myself so take my advice with a pinch of salt, but starting off somewhere that is popular with tourists is always a good place to start (although not always possible i know). No one will pay any notice of you snapping away. this can help you feel less self-conscious.

    Personally, I feel fairly comfortable taking street shots in the city i grew up in. Every street holds a memory from my past and I feel like i am part of them, in a funny way I feel like they are mine, I own them and everyone else is just a guest, so i can do what i like! Plus, I know the types of people to avoid :) .

    Seefutlung is the man to listen to. His stuff rules

    I always love browsing your photos Seefutlung
     
  11. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    There are always expections to the rule.

    Gary


     
  12. kf_chris

    kf_chris TPF Noob!

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    I noticed when walking around NYC, most of the people really don't care...but with the intense tourism there it's not a suprise to see literally a thousand (other) people with cameras. If someone gives me a look when I shoot them, I usually apologize and ask if they mind. No one has had an issue yet (talking about outside nyc)
     

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