Street Photography.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by K_Pugh, May 10, 2008.

  1. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well one thing i've been really wanting to do is capture some photography from the streets. I think people make the best subjects in photographs, and that's one thing i very very rarely do, is photograph people.

    Whenever i'm in the two cities near me (Glasgow & Edinburgh) there's always lots of things that make me laugh, lots of emotional people, people full of character and all that jazz.. it's always interesting - That's the reason i wanted to take my camera!

    I went to Glasgow today to have a stab at it with my 35-80mm lens, i could have used my 70-300mm but i didn't want to cheat or feel like a peeping tom and wanted to break the ice and get right in there.. as it's something i've never done before.

    Initially i walked about without even the camera in my hand and didn't feel comfortable whipping it out. Eventually i got it out and took a few architectural shots and started from there. To be honest, i never got many shots off at all.. i just didn't feel right pointing it in peoples faces and i didn't feel comfortable trying to do it "on the fly" by shooting from the hip etc.. and i was so conscious of the loud shutter as well.

    I did, however get a few off in a crowd of folk watching some drama act... and once i shot a few in there it was pretty easy to keep going even though i was breathing down peoples necks at the time!.. after i walked into the open streets again i didn't get any off once more.

    I did meet one guy though, and well, that's another story which hasn't yet ended which i met let yous in on at a later date, i got his photo but he decided to pose so i didn't want to say no and just took what i could.

    I really think this type of photography can be really rewarding in all ways. Not only getting those really insightful, interesting, and hopefully captivating photo's of strangers, but also meeting people and generally walking about the city with no direction to go takes you places you've never been or seen before. I just wish i lived closer to the city as i could easily do this every other day to get more experience and confidence doing so.

    I'll post the pics i managed to get once i develop my film (probably in the next day or two)
     
  2. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    Sounds exactly like my first (and second even!) attempt at doing some street! Still haven't had a chance for a third run at it though. I Found myself pretty comfortable with cars in the street with people in them, or long stretches with people walking along them, as I wasn't directly photographing people. I Did get a couple of people shots, and even took a couple of a construction worker who asked "What's that for then?" - I Told him 'just for the sake of taking photographs, it's something I enjoy' (Trying to sound as calm as possible!) and it turned out he enjoyed taking photos too, and we chatted for 10 - 15 minutes about it!

    After my second outing I was starting to feel a little more confident, I'm just waiting for an opportunity to go out again.

    Personally, I didn't want to shoot from the hip, I'd like to develop the technique, but I don't want to look like I'm trying to be sneaky... If I'm going to take photos, I wanted to look confident and comfortable doing so, looking through the viewfinder, not snapping from the hip, looking nervous like I've got something to hide...

    I Guess the main question is "Did you enjoy getting out for the day with the camera, regardless of the number or quality of shots you got?" If you enjoyed being out and about "People watching" as my mother calls it (She doesn't take photos, just enjoys watching people), then you had a sucessful day :) I Know I did.
     
  3. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup, sounds pretty much the way it went for me. It seems a lot easier to do in your head but once you get there it's a bit harder!. I was using an SLR so i was pretty aware of that, or aware that other people would be aware of it.

    I've just bought a FED 4 which should be here during the week so i'm going to get accustomed to that and maybe try again on Saturday/Sunday see how that goes. I really think i'd do a lot better with that though over the SLR.

    Most shots i had taken were through the viewfinder, like yourself, i don't want to look sneaky or edgy. Saying that though i think blending in and not standing out would work best so shooting from the hip wont be such a bad thing.

    I find that in a crowd (like the drama act) with peoples attention being diverted is a good place to take snaps. That's where i had taken most of my shots and funnily that's when i was right in the action.

    I did enjoy myself though and i'm itching to finish off this film so i can develop it and see what i captured (or not). Even if i didn't get much it was still a good experience and like usual when i go to Glasgow, something weird happens.
     
  4. Renair

    Renair TPF Noob!

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    I always find it difficult simply because I am too polite. I dont like putting my camera in peoples faces. However, I do find have one or two beers first makes it alot easier. I find if you think about your favourite photographer, what we he do? Would James Nachtwey or Steve McCurry walk away.... nope.... Just try and be polite, dont over do it and most of all enjoy....
     
  5. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    I'm gonna hafta try that next time I go out :lol:
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Put the smallest lens you have on your camera. Size wise I mean. I like a 28mm prime. I tend to set it to it's hyperfocal and just enjoy being with people and the shots take themselves.

    Which reminds me that it's been too long since I've been out on the street!
     
  7. JeromeMorrow

    JeromeMorrow TPF Noob!

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    I was just about to post a very similar story when I noticed your post. I had the exact same problem today. I felt really uncomfortable not just taking pictures (didn't take any) but actually just taking my camera out, as if those people would psychically detect my intention. I really want to get in there face, have some arguments, meet some kinder folk, and take some great shots, but I thinks its going to take a few more attempts until I work up the courage.
     
  8. theadamsociety

    theadamsociety TPF Noob!

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    I just care about my photos more than my reputation or myself. If someone wants to think 'hey that guys weird for walking around town taking pictures', than they can. And than they can buy my landscape photography. :)
     
  9. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    My experience with street photography is that you gotta do it again and again. After a while you'll get a thick skin and a sixth sense of who you can shoot straight out and who requires a bit of working.

    Here's a link to some street stuff I shot in Los Angeles about 30 years ago.

    http://garyayala.smugmug.com/gallery/1939275_S62ig#28689844_arfvR

    Gary
     
  10. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You guys check out Gary's street work in L.A. I've seen it before, and it is top notch.

    And he is right, after a while, you do develop a sixth sense about what and who to shoot.
     
  11. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Rick ... hey, when you coming to California so we can shoot together?

    Gary
     
  12. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Gary, I am in the middle of a full blown mid-life crisis. I have sold all my pro gear, I am down to one camera and two lenses, I have quit my job, and I am drinking heavily. As far as I'm concerned, life could not be better. My wife thinks I am crazy and may soon be leaving me.

    Actually, that is a slight exaggeration- but only slight. I may be in California any day now. I'll give you a shout out if I make it out there and we'll go shooting, my friend. :mrgreen:
     

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