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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Street photography...Been looking at http://www.in-public.com (thanks to milou for bringing it to my attention) and I'm really inspired. I love it ...
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Old 13-08-2005, 20:29   #1 (permalink)
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Street photography

Been looking at http://www.in-public.com (thanks to milou for bringing it to my attention) and I'm really inspired. I love it all.

However, being new I'd still feel a bit self-concious wandering round town with a DSLR in my hands. Can anyone offer any advice for someone looking to spend their first day a-wandering?
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Old 13-08-2005, 20:38   #2 (permalink)
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take a point and shoot?

Really, I think the essence of candid photography is to be so comfortable with it that you don't look obvious. Nervous people tend to stand out like a sore thumb, especially when they're waving a obviously large camera around. People pick up on it sub-conciously, I'm sure.

Oh yeah, turn off any camera noises if you can, nothing draws attention like a beep and a shutter noise.

And get a long lens!
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Old 13-08-2005, 20:40   #3 (permalink)
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Steve is just really nice
Steve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really niceSteve is just really nice

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I have to state the obvious but don't go pointing your camera at children, unfortunately people will assume the worst and you will end up with grief. Also I would be wary of shooting on your own with lots of equipment at night, or in areas that are dubious. Unfortunately some of the dubious areas often offer the best opportunities for street photography.

If starting out you will probably feel more comfortable working at a distance from your subjects so a zoom lens will be almost a necessity, once you become more confident though, you will get better results working closer to your subjects but it will take a while for your confidence to reach that level.

Speak to your subjects, explain why and what you are doing and be polite about it at all times, respect their wishes if they decline to be photographed.
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Old 13-08-2005, 20:45   #4 (permalink)
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Long lens, eh? I'll test out the new Sigma then I guess. I was gonna use the 50mm prime just for the speed but cheers for the tip.
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Old 13-08-2005, 20:52   #5 (permalink)
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Lookin at some of the photos on that webby I think it's probably a combo of either
a) long lens
b)wide angle (so you can point the camera away from the subject but still get them in shot)
c) actually asking permission (GULP!)
d) using a very good camera phone (K750i)
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:02   #6 (permalink)
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Depth of field on most of my faves seemed pretty decent so I'm guessing wider lenses, rather than longer ones. Some were grainy so camera phones are a real possibility too I guess.
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:16   #7 (permalink)
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Another sneaky way of doing it is set your camera uo with a reasonably small aperture and hand holdable shutter speed, with the lens manually focused to the mid distance (hyperfocal) setting. Basically, you're turning your expensive SLR into an instamatic. With the camera hanging round your neck but at around waist level you can point the camera in the general direction of likely subjects and get your shots without being noticed. You'll have around a 50% success rate with a bit of luck and your shots being unposed wiill be genuine candid ones.

I went to a kids sports fete type thing in a local park the other day to get some shots, but the attitude of some of the parents was openly hostile, so I did a Donald. Sad sign of the times I'm afraid. :eyesup:
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:20   #8 (permalink)
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I must say that I have just had a look at Nils Jorgenson's portfolio and I am well impressed. He has spotted and created some very good examples of street photography.
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:22   #9 (permalink)
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Donald?

I quite like the sound of that technique. Might give it a go. What sort of distance should I be focusing on? Three metres or so? As for settings... 1/100 @ f/8 be about right?
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:24   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT
Another sneaky way of doing it is set your camera uo with a reasonably small aperture and hand holdable shutter speed, with the lens manually focused to the mid distance (hyperfocal) setting. Basically, you're turning your expensive SLR into an instamatic. With the camera hanging round your neck but at around waist level you can point the camera in the general direction of likely subjects and get your shots without being noticed. You'll have around a 50% success rate with a bit of luck and your shots being unposed wiill be genuine candid ones.

I went to a kids sports fete type thing in a local park the other day to get some shots, but the attitude of some of the parents was openly hostile, so I did a Donald. Sad sign of the times I'm afraid. :eyesup:

used this one in the past myself, if i can find the negs I'll scan and upload for ya!

worked fairly well as far as I can remember
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:30   #11 (permalink)
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Jamey,

Also check out: http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/ (archives: http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/thumbnails.php)

and

http://shotsphotography.co.uk/blog/ (his thoughts link gives some insight into his approach)
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:35   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerz
Donald?

I quite like the sound of that technique. Might give it a go. What sort of distance should I be focusing on? Three metres or so? As for settings... 1/100 @ f/8 be about right?
This is what really bugs me about modern lenses. You used to get a proper depth of field scale so you could work out the hyperfocal distance easily.

I'd think maybe a little more than 3 metres but try some test shots... dead easy with digital. There may be some depth of field scales in your lens box.

As for exposure you need to take an exposure reading to ascertain what the best aperture/ shutter commbination the prevailing light will allow you to use.

OR

Use Shutter Priority and let the camera choose the aperture .. picking a shutter speed around 125th. At that speed with walking people only the extremeties, hands and feet tend to blur a bit and it looks good anyway. Go a little slower with the shutter speed if you have to to get a reasonably small aperture. A wide angle lens is ideal for the job - good dof.

Did a Donald.... buggered off!

Last edited by CT; 13-08-2005 at 21:44.
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Old 13-08-2005, 21:46   #13 (permalink)
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Cheers again CT.

Milou - thanks for those. I remember you mentioning http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/ before and I liked his stuff. The colours are lovely. Is it a saturation thing, do you suppose, or does he just get tonnes of good photo ops passing through his field of view every day?

Read the thoughts bit on the other site. I might give that a go but the guy seems like a very different person to me so I think I'd have to develop my own style a bit. I guess the sooner I get out there and start the sooner I'll work out how best to approach it.
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Old 13-08-2005, 22:15   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerz
Cheers again CT.

The colours are lovely. Is it a saturation thing, do you suppose, or does he just get tonnes of good photo ops passing through his field of view every day?

I think it's a combination of a bloody good eye for a photograph and excellent post processing skills. Some of the stuff has obviously been fiddled with. I'm not saying it isn't excellent because it is. Just trying to dissect what makes it so good really.

But yeah, alot of very saturated images!
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Old 13-08-2005, 22:22   #15 (permalink)
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Take this one for instance:



That's shot against the sky. How come the foreground isn't underexposed compared to the sky? Or perhaps more correctly I should ask why the sky is still deep blue if the foreground is correctly exposed? The jaunty angle makes you think it's handheld but I guess it could be a tripod job with two different exposures layered together.
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Old 13-08-2005, 22:27   #16 (permalink)
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I know it's not in the same league but it was shot with a naff camera and has had no post processing.

I'm guessin the image you used was a case of cheeky fill in flash!

Last edited by Gandhi; 13-08-2005 at 22:34.
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Old 13-08-2005, 22:44   #17 (permalink)
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That bar shot... he's obviously exposed for the foreground and probably sorted the sky out afterwards. Actually that blue is so uniform it could even be just a fill in PS. It's a lovely shot anyway.

Gandhi.. yours is pretty good too.
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Old 13-08-2005, 23:07   #18 (permalink)
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cheers. It's a bizarre builders merchants (!!!????!!!) in Torrevieja in spain. The frontage is designed to represent all the elemnts the spanish use in their new builds, wood, glass, steel and concrete. I have some other shots of the whole front but they aren't good, I might just post post them so you can see the worlds most bizarre builders merchants!
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Old 14-08-2005, 00:07   #19 (permalink)
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Chromasia - sometime son the comments link, he gives details of the post processing eg on this he posts a link to the straight-from-the 20D-RAW file:http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archi...2058_clean.php
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Old 14-08-2005, 00:17   #20 (permalink)
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I love his comments on that link about his attitude to post processing. I couldn't agree with him more!
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Old 14-08-2005, 10:54   #21 (permalink)
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I'm a big fan of Chromasia's work. I love his post processing and I'm always amazed that he can post 1 new photo a day. He makes Blackpool look like a fantastic place to live. I'm also a big fan of street photography and have had a pretty successful run with my shots. I find my lomo cam is a great camera to use as its so small and portable. Its not overly offensive either, not like my 10D + battery grip + 100-400 Street photography is so real which is why I love it. Real people, real lives, real moments.
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Old 14-08-2005, 23:40   #22 (permalink)
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Street photography can be interesting when you learn to shoot from the hip, so to speak.. learn to focus hyperfocally if you have decent manual lenses, or use a depth of field program mode.. keep the camera parallel to the horizon, not looking up... use a wide setting and practice. You can get pretty accurate after a while, and you get the best shots when no one realises you are shooting.
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