Urban Photography...Course needed, or not? How can I take pics of strangers?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by PhotoNoobling, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. PhotoNoobling

    PhotoNoobling TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure how well known ICP in NYC is, but I have been looking at their courses and they all have a pretty hefty price. I have only taken 1 intro photo course in college...I was wondering iif anyone had any tips, for example books. I understand that Technical Basics very well. But I would like advice on the practice of Urban Photography for example ( I am very interested in capturing people in their urban-niche...)...any suggestions?? For example I do not feel comfortable snapping photos of people I do not know, what if they confront me? How do I ask if I have the opportunity to or if I even want to?
     
  2. Enough Already

    Enough Already TPF Noob!

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    If you have a zoom lens, start by photographing people at a distance if you are not comfortable with it. Capturing that moment with an expression, or an action is about timing. You could take hundreds of photos and only have a handful of keepers, so be patient. If someone approaches you, dont be too concerned. There is no law against it. It can be very rewarding, so keep at it and concentrate on your compositions. Look at other peoples work as a guide, but follow your heart. You can read all the books in the world about it, but honestly, getting out there and practicing is the best way to improve your skills.
     
  3. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    Try setting a number of frames to be shot before you step out the door.
    Let's say 24 frames and you can go home.
    Shoot for quality and wait for the worthwhile shots, and know that in so and so frames you can go home.
    Should alleviate the pressure some. Lower the number, if necessary.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  5. T-town photographer

    T-town photographer TPF Noob!

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    I just finished a shoot last week that was for the homeless and the needy. You might actually be amazed at what a little sign language and a happy go lucky attitude will get you. When I was shooting outdoors I was using a 28-200 but when I was shooting inside the shelter I was shooting a nikor 50mm f1.4 without the flash. I was using 400 speed film so you can duplicate that with digital.

    Basically do not be intrusive and try to not get busted. If you get busted just wave and tell them they have a lot of charactor in their face and that you just had to photograph it for your portfolio. Most people will get a kick out of the compliment and move on. If you get approached in a negative manner just inform them very politely that you are within your rights to take the photo. Offer to give them a copy of it, if they seem interested in it.

    Good Luck,

    Michael
     

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