Street Photography- HOW?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GeeJay, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. GeeJay

    GeeJay

    Jan 26, 2005
    Florida
    I"ve wanted to ask this for a long time and now that I'm home with my fast line I can do it more easily.

    How do you 'street photographers' do it? How do you hang out casually and get pictures...or do you do that? Do you sit in one place and wait for some action and people or do you roam around?

    What's your favorite street lens and camera? I would think the less obvious you are the better you'll do.

    Thanks for any comments you can make. I'm eager to try anything you suggest.

    Thanks very much!

    Gaye
     
  2. I'd like to hear about this too.

    What little I've done, I followed someone that is experienced at it. Never had more fun in my life.
     
  3. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    I go to the monthly, downtown Phoenix art walk called First Fridays in order to photograph artfans and other artsy denizens. Over the last two years this event has become zoo like, and so I opened a gallery exhibit this month called The Zoo featuring street photography from First Fridays alongside animals.

    To get the photos I wander along some of the more lively parts of the arts area and shoot with my D100 at iso 1600-6400 and usually a 35mm f/2 lens. Occasionally I use an 85mm f/1.8 lens. I carry the camera strapped to my wrist and ofen try to catch the eye of my targets before pushing the button.

    I find it great fun to juxtapose people with their activities.
     
  4. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Well I am always running around somewhere with my camera and a long lens.

    Folks love to see that :>)) Wow look at that camera...Sometimes they ask to have thier pic taken. and then they give me thier email address and if it turns out ok I'll send it. If it doesn't I drop a line and say, hey i goofed that one.

    Or I go to fairs and artshows and snap away. Artshows are tricky though, they think your stealing thier art. lol sure...

    Take pics when they aren't looking, you see something funny , cute, PJ stuff. thats fun.

    Just feel comfortable. You can usually read body language or facial expressions.

    I will post one of my favorites.
     
  5. BLV

    BLV

    322
    Jul 14, 2005
    NYC
    Hi Gaye,

    Since I've upgraded to D70 I haven't been able to take much street photos. The swivel lens on my 5700 was perfect for that type of photography. Few weeks ago I was approached by two angry guys because they thought that I were taking their photos. Only later I understood why they were angry, they were/are sellers of fake merchandise on the streets of NY. I rather angrily replied that next time they see a lens pointing in their direction, they shouldn't get their hopes up about someone being interested in them. That's just a recent D70 experience. The lens was a modest 70-300.

    Now, experiences with 5700 were all good. No one ever knew that I'm taking their photos and that's what street photography is all about, in my opinion. It's not about sneaking up on people, but about catching the right moment and/or a genuine expression which, once again in my opinion, would be lost in most cases if I were to ask for permission. I'd generally always have the cam in my bag and would take it out while I'm "roaming around".

    As much as I love the D70 it's been tough for me to take candids with it. Everyone notices it and it makes it difficult to just sit on a bench in a park and wait for the right moment. So I'll check back into this thread to see what others suggest :).

    Here are a few of my favorite street shots:

    original.

    original.

    This one was taken with a D70 & 24-120VR. I still can't understand whether he's giving me a thumbs up or was just gesticulating, and if the guy in the background was in the process of giving me the finger :-D
    original.

    D70 would have been great for this shot, but I think their chemistry makes up for it:
    original.

    original.
     
  6. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Gaye,

    This is my favorite. Taken at a craft fair.

    47600613.

    Oh by the way. Gordon Large is coming to you part of the woods in Dec and would like to shoot or hook up with you. He has been to the Merrit shoots and one heck of a great gentleman. Could you maybe drop him a PM when you see him here. Would like to know where to go shoot and locations.

    thanks
     
  7. I did have one funny thing happen while doing street photograpy. I was taking a picture of a homeless person and he got all upset with me. In an attempt to defuse the situation I offered to let him take my picture with my camera. After a short tutorial I handed him my D100 equipped with my 70-200mm lens. I could just see him dropping it and costing me a ton of money; however, he did an admirable job and then handed my camera back to me. I then was allowed to take his picture. :smile:
     
  8. mf44

    mf44

    128
    Jun 4, 2005
    NJ & MD
    Practice is my advice. Try to shoot "from the hip." A lot of my PJ work had me holding the camera above a crowd or an obstacle. You learn quickly how to compose without the viewfinder. And shoot a lot...since you're basically blind and relying a lot on luck at first, firing a bunch of shots at different focal lengths and orientations will help you.
     
  9. Protests are an ideal to give street photography a try. Cameras are expected and for the most part a photographer is left alone unless the protest is near a federal building. You can capture very good moments without too much trouble since the protestors are too occupied for the most part.

    Some of my favorites.
    OAS, Fort Lauderdale
    http://www.pbase.com/lautermilch/oas

    Terry Shiavo
    http://www.pbase.com/lautermilch/terrischiavo

    Animal Rights of Florida. They are an off shoot of PETA and know how to get attention.
    http://www.pbase.com/lautermilch/arff
     
  10. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    I think one thing that helps is to dress the part of a photographer.
    I have found since I bought a vest and where it when I go out shooting that I get treated as if I am suppose to be there.. IE Press!
    When I have the vest and both my D70's around my neck I am treated differently than without the vest.
    With it, no problems taking pictures of people, most want to think that they might end up in the paper.
    With out it, I get asked why you taking my picture? Most of the time they don't really care but with the vest they rarely ask or object.
    Now I don't lie about what I am doing either. I just say that I am shooting for a website, which is true. MINE! :smile:
     
  11. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  12. Street photographer is about capturing the right moment... :tongue:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Don't be afraid of rejection. There will be plenty of people that don't want their pictures taken, but it's a part of the whole experience. The key is to connect with people no matter how brief the moment and get the shot.

    sf03_full.

    sf07_full.

    sf08_full.

    sf07_full.

    sf03_full.
     
  14. digitalfrog

    digitalfrog Guest

    timing, choose your target, and good running shoes ;-)

    35361677.
     
  15. GeeJay

    GeeJay

    Jan 26, 2005
    Florida
    Sure thank you ALL for the great comments, ideas and pictures. I'm eager to get out and try some of your suggestions.

    Thanks very much and keep the posts and pictures coming...

    Gaye
     
  16. My gosh, Chris, I'm trying to imagine what you look like with a D100 "strapped" to your wrist? :eek:

    Virginia
    aka beaucamera

     
  17. Elena, you've really got some great shots here! Just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed them!

    Virginia
    aka beaucamera

     
  18. GeeJay

    GeeJay

    Jan 26, 2005
    Florida
    I just went through my summer pictures and didn't realize that I have some 'street photography' pictures. These were from a parade and a dogshow.

    I realize now that if I go to an 'event' that I am much less obvious with my camera than if I go to a mall or downtown street. So this thread has given me much more confidence and knowledge about what street photography is all about.

    Question: would a lens like the 24-120VR be better than a fixed lens for street photography? Seems that a zoom would give more range but which one to use that would not be too intrusive to people? I know it depends on the light available.. and, of course, my feet could do the zooming too.

    I thank you all for the super help and hope you keep the posts and pictures coming.

    Gaye



    This man was waiting to be in the parade

    [​IMG]


    This picture and the next one of the bulldog seem to go together

    [​IMG]



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    [​IMG]
     
  19. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Kinky, huh. But really it's like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Personally, I prefer the upfront approach. When I say upfront, I mean I don't ask, but I certainly don't shoot from far away. I just work very fast, keep the camera on the ready, look for definitive moments, and take the shot. I have a failure rate from OOF shots and blur from being quick, but its not too bad. I have a rejection rate too sometimes from annoyed folk, and a lot of moments are destroyed when people then actually want to pose. I use my 17-55 mostly, preferring close-up and direct rather than far-off and removed. I think the shots look better that way. You just have to be a bit thick-skinned at times and as the ad says "Just do it"
     
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