Site Sponsors
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 75

Thread: surreptitious shooting

  1. #1
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    surreptitious shooting

    As I get more into street shots, I find I'm butting up against my own shyness and hesitancy to "intrude" on other people. I feel self-conscious pointing a camera at someone even in public places. What I tried today was putting the DLux3 on manual focus and holding the camera at my side, snapping off shots as I saw them but never bringing the camera up to frame the shot. As you'd expect, a lot of garbage but also some good bits as well. I have found a limitation to the native 16x9 though - it is easier and more unobtrusive to hold the camera vertically, and that means I have a lot narrower area to play with to get a shot. For that reason (among others) I'm pondering a GRD2. I also shot only at 28mm today and found it great for this (as has been shown here and historically) so I'm thinking having a non-zoom camera might be a good fit for this and me finding odd macro shots in strange places.

    A friend pokes fun at me though as says this type of shooting is voyeuristic. I somewhat agree, but I'm not sure how else to get the shot. So my question is do any of you shoot this way and how do you feel about it?

  2. #2
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    As I get more into street shots, I find I'm butting up against my own shyness and hesitancy to "intrude" on other people. I feel self-conscious pointing a camera at someone even in public places. What I tried today was putting the DLux3 on manual focus and holding the camera at my side, snapping off shots as I saw them but never bringing the camera up to frame the shot. As you'd expect, a lot of garbage but also some good bits as well. I have found a limitation to the native 16x9 though - it is easier and more unobtrusive to hold the camera vertically, and that means I have a lot narrower area to play with to get a shot. For that reason (among others) I'm pondering a GRD2. I also shot only at 28mm today and found it great for this (as has been shown here and historically) so I'm thinking having a non-zoom camera might be a good fit for this and me finding odd macro shots in strange places.

    A friend pokes fun at me though as says this type of shooting is voyeuristic. I somewhat agree, but I'm not sure how else to get the shot. So my question is do any of you shoot this way and how do you feel about it?
    I simply can't do it.
    I remember many years ago I was cycling home in London (with camera on back), there was a drama with a guy threatening to jump off a roof, the fire brigade were there: I jumped off my bike, got the telephoto on the camera and focused on the guy's face.

    I couldn't - he looked desperate and alone, and I just couldn't. I got back on my bike and cycled home feeling a little besmirched at even having pointed the camera at him. To this day I can't decide whether I was being compassionate or squeamish, and I don't know whether he jumped or not.

    Just this guy you know

  3. #3
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central Maine, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,406
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I have a half-formed idea that maybe the ability to shoot street is a bit like having blue eyes. Either you do (can) or you don't (can't). (*disclaimer.. just an analogy, please don't list all the brown-eyed-award-winning-street-shooters*).

    I sometimes get the feeling that shooting "street" photos is something I should do. And I've tried lurking around on the street looking for the ironic and iconic. But I just don't seem to see it. It really isn't my thing.

    However, I also believe that if it IS something you feel strongly about, then you'll find a way to do it. But my guess is that it has a lot more to do with being really engaged with what's going on than it does with being covert.

    Just a 2-cent theory.

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I have a half-formed idea that maybe the ability to shoot street is a bit like having blue eyes. Either you do (can) or you don't (can't). (*disclaimer.. just an analogy, please don't list all the brown-eyed-award-winning-street-shooters*).

    I sometimes get the feeling that shooting "street" photos is something I should do. And I've tried lurking around on the street looking for the ironic and iconic. But I just don't seem to see it. It really isn't my thing.

    However, I also believe that if it IS something you feel strongly about, then you'll find a way to do it. But my guess is that it has a lot more to do with being really engaged with what's going on than it does with being covert.

    Just a 2-cent theory.
    You could be right - I don't get to the streets that much (country bumkin me), but I certainly see things to take . . . .I just can't take 'em!

    Just this guy you know

  5. #5
    asabet
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I simply can't do it.
    I remember many years ago I was cycling home in London (with camera on back), there was a drama with a guy threatening to jump off a roof, the fire brigade were there: I jumped off my bike, got the telephoto on the camera and focused on the guy's face.

    I couldn't - he looked desperate and alone, and I just couldn't. I got back on my bike and cycled home feeling a little besmirched at even having pointed the camera at him. To this day I can't decide whether I was being compassionate or squeamish, and I don't know whether he jumped or not.
    Great story Jono. I don't think I could have taken that shot either. Though I can and do occasionally take images of strangers, I find myself unable to do it when the other person is really bad off. Here's a story you might relate to -> http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...at-got-aw.html

    Regards,
    Amin

  6. #6
    bartlebooth
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    as far as the question of surreptitious shooting, my feeling is if you want to take the picture, then take the picture but don't try to hide the fact that you're taking it. That way you have a built-in check of whether or not this a picture *you* are comfortable with.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    102
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Lack of more sincere reasons than voyeuristic, people pick up on. I think for starters one should always be able to find it in oneself to throw a simple but sincere nod their way, meet their eyes. If that doesn't sound like you at all, then what reasons do you come up with for taking public shots?

    Just as a bit of training to break down some of the initial horrors of shooting in public, try dressing down/up like you would to blend in at a construction site; wear a traffic allert vest and bring a tripod. Plant it on the floor of an ordinary mall or somesuch place, settle in behind it and shoot away: a man/woman at work. I did this during half a day at a couple of locations and I can say that not one person seemed too concerned about it; like I was 'supposed to be there'.

    I agree completely with bartle that you simply shouldn't hide, sneak about and that sort of nonsense. Compacts are not for stealth but for smiles.

    Thomas

  8. #8
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    just to be clear, I'm not talking about a situation like Jono describes. This is much more "business as usual" on the streets or in shops. And I do have a sincere reason that isn't voyeuristic...I'm always looking for shapes, angles, etc. The people are somewhat of an abstraction, but one difference between people and inanimate objects is motion and energy. And I like to try and capture slices of time.

    I sometimes do make eye contact and acknowledge when people see me. But one challenge is that if you "ask first" you've interrupted the moment and it is gone. There will be another one though. I've read the articles on Sean's site and will re-read and use some of the tips I've gotten here. I always have my business cards with me so if someone asks I don't run away.

  9. #9
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Nostatic, I think that you start with two premises: the first is that you have to be psychologically and emotionally on the same level as the people that you are photographing — the opposite of "slumming" — and you have to respect your subjects; if the photographer is going to look down on them or show how strange they are he should not be photographing them at all. The second premise is that when people are on the street they are in a public place, where they wear a public face, no matter how unguarded — after all we dress differently when we go out than we do at home — and are a fair subject for photography. Apart from these two premises, the rest depends on your body language and your personality. It's not really about "stealth".

    —Mitch/Tsumeb, Namibia
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  10. #10
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I certainly don't look down on my subjects - quite the opposite. Some people just stand out in a certain situation and light and the look works for me. For instance this shot from today:



    There was something compelling about the analog/digital conundrum in the shot. To me it is far from strange and instead a comment on the day. It is a very different mindset from shooting dirty mops and other oddities that I'm drawn to. I'll take all the comments here to heart, and also follow my own internal compass. I have to try and not bias that too much though, as I often assume "the worst" (ie that someone will be really upset if I take their picture). For something like this I don't have to worry


  11. #11
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Sneaky body language or actions will draw far more Attention (and usually of the Bad Kind) than simply being casual, like one *belongs* there.
    Mitch's point about being on the same *level* as ones subject is well taken.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    396
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    40

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Another suggestion I heard somewhere that noone here has mentioned yet is to use a much longer lens, so you can photograph people from a substantial distance away instead of being "in their face". If they notice you at all, they'll probably assume that they're only a small incidental part of the image.

    Of course, that won't work for all desired compositions (or fixed-local-length cameras), but it helps for many.

    Another wonderful suggestion that a fellow photographer I was chatting with used was to carry a small book of his best street photos, and he would show it to the people he wished to photograph if there were any "negative vibes", just to show them *why* he was photographing them and show that it's a good thing, and that would work wonders.

    Lisa
    Last edited by Lisa; 27th March 2008 at 08:19. Reason: (added last paragraph)

  13. #13
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Lisa,
    I have a very good friend living in London who is wheelchair bound, uses a Fuji Finepix S5200 'superzoom' small sensor camera to great effect in street shots.
    He uses the long lens a lot, tho not exclusively. The chair provides a very stable shooting platform.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    549
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Personally, I find the best mood for taking photos is when I'm feeling a bit cocky, not afraid to lift the camera and take a photo. A bad side effect is that one often gets photos of people looking into the camera, with the "w.t.f. are you doing" look. Sometimes this makes for a good photo, but to take photos of people off guard it's necessary to be a bit stealthy, or alternatively be very fast. (I'm not considering the photography of difficult situations here, like the suicide mentioned earlier. THis is a whole different topic.)

    I think it's undeniable that there is an element of voyeurism to street photography. I've always imagined that being introverted and voyeuristic is a plus for taking photos on the street. It may sound a bit contradictory, but I think that being introverted often goes together with being able to take in a situation better.

    OK. Enough of wild generalizations. The third thing I wanted to say is that for me a slightly unsatisfactory side to street photography is the unavoidable randomness. IN the sense that it's necessary to be very fast, sometimes just throwing the camera at a subject, without consciously composing. And sometimes photos come out that work, that would never get taken with intent. I guess that this is a part of the art, but never the less this aspect seems a bit unsatisfactory sometimes.

  15. #15
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Maggie O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Standards Are Down All Over
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I find it's a lot easier to take photos of strangers when someone is paying to do it. Otherwise, I'm uncomfortable. I'm a shy person, but if I have a cloak of purpose, I can overcome it.

    So, if I'm a "newspaper photographer" I have no problem taking photos of strangers in all manner of circumstances- in that capacity I wouldn't have had even a moment's hesitation taking Jono's photo of the jumper (knowing full well that it is not my decision if it runs; it's my job to give the editor the material to make that choice). If I was just walking by with my camera, I don't think I would have even bothered to bring the camera to my eye. My personal work isn't about that.

  16. #16
    Christi Mac
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Nostatic, I think that you start with two premises: the first is that you have to be psychologically and emotionally on the same level as the people that you are photographing — the opposite of "slumming" — and you have to respect your subjects; if the photographer is going to look down on them or show how strange they are he should not be photographing them at all. The second premise is that when people are on the street they are in a public place, where they wear a public face, no matter how unguarded — after all we dress differently when we go out than we do at home — and are a fair subject for photography. Apart from these two premises, the rest depends on your body language and your personality. It's not really about "stealth".
    This is something I struggle with myself both with the work I want to make currently and also the work of others that I have studied in the past. Martin Parr springs to mind. After years of looking at his work I have to say that I still can't decide whether there's a "sneer" in his gaze or not.

    I personally think it's fair to hold everything up to scrutiny and possibly poke a finger of fun at it... but that in itself is different from looking "down" on people. Like I say - Parr is probably the one photographer that everyone can talk about and come close to knowing what premise they favour ala Mitch's post above.

    Personally I'm leaning towards a kind of street photography which isn't so in the face of the subject - I like to step back and look at the crowd rather than the individual, possibly because like you, Nostatic, I have an inherent shyness when it comes to photographing strangers. I still get close but I go wide as well. Very frequently they won't even know they're in the image because they are well off-centre anyway, especially with the lovely wide setting on my GX100.

  17. #17
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa View Post
    Another suggestion I heard somewhere that noone here has mentioned yet is to use a much longer lens, so you can photograph people from a substantial distance away instead of being "in their face". If they notice you at all, they'll probably assume that they're only a small incidental part of the image...
    Lisa, I feel strongly, at least for myself, that this approach does not produce good street photography. For this type of photography you really have to be in the action, very close to the subject, which is impossible to achieve with a telephoto because either you don't see what is happening fast enough or cannot understand the visual significance. I cannot think of one street photographer that I admire — Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, Friedlander, Moriyama — that uses telephoto lenses. To me it's a non-starter for this type of photography.

    —Mitch/Tsumeb, Namibia
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  18. #18
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I also think that longer lenses definitely put you in voyeurism mode because you're not really "in" the situation. While I might not want to affect the vibe, I feel like I should be part of it.

    Interesting posts from everyone. I like the idea of carrying a small book of my work that I can show to people.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Antwerpen
    Posts
    467
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Hi All,

    This is an interesting thread.

    I agree that the sneaking around approach will attract more attention than being natural and I would also have thought yield poorer results.

    I, like others here have a certain degree of shyness but I apply the following rules myself.

    Firstly I think there is a big difference between taking a photograph of somebody and taking a photograph which somebody happens to be in. If I think I am doing the first I will make no attempt to disguise the fact that I am taking photos and if they are static I will make a gesture towards them. If it is the second I will usually do nothing and respond to their reactions.

    I think in general you should know why you are taking a photograph and if asked, you should be able to justify that to the other party.

  20. #20
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Interesting posts from everyone. I like the idea of carrying a small book of my work that I can show to people.
    I always do . . . it's called an iphone

    Just this guy you know

  21. #21
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I always do . . . it's called an iphone
    Jonoslack, very good idea. I have a smart phone (Samsung, not on AT&T) I can load some pics using the SD card.
    Of course using digital cameras one can also just show then what you've just shot to

  22. #22
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I always do . . . it's called an iphone
    brilliant!

    Can I borrow yours?

    Actually this is a shot taken from my iPhone. I'm going to set up an album right now, as I always have mine with me.


  23. #23
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    In regards long lenses, my frinds uses them sometimes but not always.
    I sledom do and never in Street work.
    I much prefer the initmacy of wide angle.
    Although lately the 40mm GT-1 has really opened my eyes a bit.
    For example, in that Melon Sellers shot here

    I might've done well wih the 40mm EFL POV.
    I am carryng the GRD and GT-1 today.


    Edit; yet another vote for GRD40!!!!!
    Waaaaahhhh!!!!
    ^_^

  24. #24
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Jonoslack, very good idea. I have a smart phone (Samsung, not on AT&T) I can load some pics using the SD card.
    Of course using digital cameras one can also just show then what you've just shot to
    Hi Lili
    I think that you've put your finger on why the iphone is so good - if you use a mac, then you simply pick the relevant iphoto or aperture galleries in the iphone sync and you don't need to think anymore.

    e.g. - if you have a smart album called 'killer landscapes' for which the keyword is 'landscape' and the rating criteria is *****, then each time you mark a photo with that keyword and rating, it'll be automatically in the smart album, and next time you sync it'll be automatically on the iphone.

    Of course you can load pictures on an SD card and put it in your Samsung, but it's a palaver and one tends not to get around to it.

    I set my iphone up to work with albums and galleries just before christmas, and I haven't changed the sync settings - but the photos change as I change them in Aperture - easy, and it's always interesting to see what's got there.

    In addition, the movement sensor means that you can turn the phone between portrait and landscape mode and the pictures expand to fit accordingly.

    Like most Apple things, it isn't really very technologically advanced, but it works with very little hassle.

    As for the camera - it's wonderfully wonky - Tim Ashley's iphone gallery at zenfolio

    Just this guy you know

  25. #25
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Maggie O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Standards Are Down All Over
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    FWIW, 40mm EFOV is wide angle. Anything under 50mm EFOV is considered wide angle, or at least it was back in the dark ages when I was in art school. 40mm might fall under a "wide-normal" but it's definitely not telephoto.

  26. #26
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    FWIW, 40mm EFOV is wide angle. Anything under 50mm EFOV is considered wide angle, or at least it was back in the dark ages when I was in art school. 40mm might fall under a "wide-normal" but it's definitely not telephoto.
    True Maggie, but for hardcore GRD user like me, it feels like a tele

  27. #27
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Maggie O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Standards Are Down All Over
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    You ought to try my M8 with a 50mm!

  28. #28
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    You ought to try my M8 with a 50mm!
    Ahhhhhhh, clautrophobia!!!! No sweeping vistas!!


    edit; isn't there a crop factor with the M8?

  29. #29
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I just got back from my morning walk to Peets (coffee) and had my 50-135 zoom on the Pentax. There was this older orange Buick Riviera with big chrome bumpers that I needed to shoot. At 50mm (effective 75) I could get the front the of car. I was wishing for the DLux3 (or GRD2 if I order one today). I was able to shoot the whole tail end of the car but I was standing in the middle of a busy parking lot.

    Effective 28 would have been perfect. Arrgghh....

  30. #30
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Maggie O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Standards Are Down All Over
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Ahhhhhhh, clautrophobia!!!! No sweeping vistas!!


    edit; isn't there a crop factor with the M8?
    Yep. 1.33.

    It's an interesting FOV to work with, especially since for years I shot with nothing but a 28mm on my F3.

  31. #31
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Yep. 1.33.

    It's an interesting FOV to work with, especially since for years I shot with nothing but a 28mm on my F3.
    Ah not too different from using my 50/1.4 on my K100D!

    One thing I do like about that rough FOV is the ability to Isolate ones subject.
    Wonderful for casual/candid portraiture

  32. #32
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    belgïe
    Posts
    1,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    True Maggie, but for hardcore GRD user like me, it feels like a tele
    i kind of felt that way, too, but this shot shows it still has a wide angle thang going for it.. (taken with the same combo as you, but 3:2 aspect):

  33. #33
    Christi Mac
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Beautiful shot Cam - very striking indeed.

  34. #34
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Gorgeous shot Cam, looks like a still from a Movie
    The birds are space perfectly

  35. #35
    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    82

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    FWIW, 40mm EFOV is wide angle. Anything under 50mm EFOV is considered wide angle, or at least it was back in the dark ages when I was in art school. 40mm might fall under a "wide-normal" but it's definitely not telephoto.
    Doesn't that depend highly on the film size (or in today's digitial world, sensor size). I mean a 50mm on Medium format is wide, and I suspect very wide on large format. Normal for 35mm, but telefoto if you attached a webcam interface to it. As this is a small sensor forum I'd assume 40/50 to potentially be somewhat telephoto.

    Or do I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about? (in which case please enlighten

  36. #36
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDauer View Post
    As this is a small sensor forum I'd assume 40/50 to potentially be somewhat telephoto.
    small sensor cameras are usually reported with "effective 35" numbers rather than the actual focal length, so something called a "50mm" would be normal (ie the same as a 50mm on an slr film camera).

    The reality is that with my DLux3, "28mm" is actually 6.3mm on the camera. "112mm" is actually 25.2mm. About a 4x "crop" rather than 1.5ish with a typical dslr.

  37. #37
    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    82

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Lisa, I feel strongly, at least for myself, that this approach does not produce good street photography. For this type of photography you really have to be in the action, very close to the subject, which is impossible to achieve with a telephoto because either you don't see what is happening fast enough or cannot understand the visual significance. I cannot think of one street photographer that I admire — Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, Friedlander, Moriyama — that uses telephoto lenses. To me it's a non-starter for this type of photography.
    Hahaha. Well, I -was- going to post that I use long lenses, as Lisa has mentioned. I like to avoid changing the scene. Think Schrödinger's cat, if you will. Hence the long lenses.

    In the past I've raised my camera to capture a quick moment, but too often I'm way to slow to do it and by the time I've got it set, the moment has pasted. Usually with people having a are you doing, look.


    Otherwise I just try and shoot from the hip. My guessing the distances of objects & people never works well. I'm really not good at that. ;( Way to often I end up with complete trash. I suppose you could look at them as little investments into my Karma photography bank account; which cashed out with my (infamous) once in a lifetime Noctilux shot in the Image Criteria Forum of the hostess (kindly note that the blob center frame is Woody). Needless to say, that was from just guessing his distance.

    Still, I've learned lots from this thread, so thanks to all who've contributed!

  38. #38
    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hawaii/Japan
    Posts
    650
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    31

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    This is a good read ...
    " Street Photography For the Purist "
    written by Chris Weeks ...
    I put a copy of it in my public folder on my iDisk
    10.3mb

    http://tinyurl.com/ypvdoy

  39. #39
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    belgïe
    Posts
    1,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    thank you, Christi and Lili! it was an irresistible shot, but i'm still paying for taking it. my arm's not ready for prime time yet....


    Quote Originally Posted by ShiroKuro View Post
    This is a good read ...
    " Street Photography For the Purist "
    written by Chris Weeks ...
    I put a copy of it in my public folder on my iDisk
    10.3mb

    http://tinyurl.com/ypvdoy
    thank you for that! despite my minor indiscretion shooting yesterday, i'm back to being a spectator until i see the doc on monday. i always love to read about street photography because that's pretty much all i do.


    ************************************************** ********

    (a little babbling from me as i've kept quiet since i'm still stoned on drugs and pain. street photography has become somewhat my raison d'être....)

    speaking of which, another vote here for using a wide angle and being in the moment. i think because i tend to see things in 28mm, if i'm trying to shoot people i need to be there, up close and personal. i have never considered myself a voyeur, more an observer... i take mostly candid shots of people i don't know. as for rules, i follow my gut on propriety and it's been pretty solid.

    for instance, i never have the camera on when i walk into the hospital where i go to therapy despite it's rich array of people and reflective glass and mirrors and windows. in my mind's eye, i have gotten many amazing shots -- but the camera is always off so as not to tempt me to cross the line of right and wrong....

    i truly think we can all trust our own ethics on the matter. as for a comfort zone, you have it in street photography or you don't and it shows in the images. i love the people here and they're the reason i picked up a camera in october. i'd been an observer for far too long -- i wanted to start sharing what i saw. (i can't take a pretty landscape shot to save my life).

    the thread started with a question about the GRD2 for street photography and i do have to add that the camera is absolutely perfect and brilliant for that purpose. mine is on loan to a good friend this weekend (i really am not supposed to be stressing the arm yet) who gets himself in situations i envy. he's very gregarious and has managed to master french (which i have not) despite being a Scot. he lives in bars and cafes and will probably come back with pictures to make me green.

    that may be the biggest key to what makes some of us able to do it and others not -- a comfort level. add in desire and a sense of daring and you have it made. shyness isn't an issue. if you're a shy sort of person, chances are you've been observing your whole life and have an eye second to none.... use it!

  40. #40
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Near London
    Posts
    1,054
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I have recently been using a method of taking discreet shots where I stand facing away from the subject with my GRD2 held at hip level pointing behind me. I'm getting quite good at framing this way now.

    Here is one result of the technique that I'm quite pleased with.


  41. #41
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,895
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Beautifully Done....... Cheers! Helen

  42. #42
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,037
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    so I'm getting mixed signals here. Some say that secretly snapping is wrong, others (especially Weeks) essentially say it is required. Btw, Weeks is just a *tad* dogmatic about the tools the approach...shocking that an artist would be so opinionated

    I'm just going to continue to feel my way through it I guess. In the end it only matters if I can look myself in the mirror (and at my shots). Now I have to walk a couple blocks to take a shot of a neon "brakes" sign. My son and I saw it last night walking home from dinner at the local Indian restaurant. This am on our usual walk to Peets I shot a pic framed from a manhole during daylight. Want to duplicate and night and see what happens. I guess all those years in the lab as a chemist weren't wasted after all...life is an experiment.

  43. #43
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    503
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    I have recently been using a method of taking discreet shots where I stand facing away from the subject with my GRD2 held at hip level pointing behind me. I'm getting quite good at framing this way now.
    ..
    Honestly, I´m a bit wary about shooting small cameras "from the hip" in public places. Here´s an image (link to a Russian site, not mine) showing a type of behaviour that´s becoming a nuisance;



    I´m emphatically not doing it; no one here is, either. I just don´t want any busybody standing around getting the wrong idea and starting a row....

  44. #44
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Lili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Honestly, I´m a bit wary about shooting small cameras "from the hip" in public places. Here´s an image (link to a Russian site, not mine) showing a type of behaviour that´s becoming a nuisance;



    I´m emphatically not doing it; no one here is, either. I just don´t want any busybody standing around getting the wrong idea and starting a row....
    Ahem
    That guy needs a kick from a spike heel
    Hard
    grrrrrrrrr

  45. #45
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    503
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Ahem
    That guy needs a kick from a spike heel
    Hard
    grrrrrrrrr
    Absolutely. If I saw somebody doing it, I´d have yelled out.

    But just because that´s the gut reaction of most people, there´s a risk of someone misinterpreting any fiddling with a camera held low. I just won´t take that risk. I do sometime shoot without raising the camera, but never from below waist level.

    Edit: Suddenly realizing that when linking to somebody else´s work, I shouldn´t just make an image link, but give the context as well. So here´s the page it comes from (it does contain lots of gems...):

    http://legko.be/index.php?option=com...=6053&Itemid=3
    Last edited by Per Ofverbeck; 30th March 2008 at 02:41. Reason: Credit where credit´s due...

  46. #46
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Near London
    Posts
    1,054
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    I would like to say that there is a big difference between taking inappropriate images of someone unawares and what I'm trying to achieve, which is images of people unaffected by an awareness of being looked at or photographed.

    To make sure people don't associate me with the kind of behavior on the Russian site I would like you to know that I showed the smoking man the image I had taken and asked if it was OK. He was fine about it and asked to have a look at some of the other images I had taken. He was interested because he was looking to buy a new camera!

    I will be continuing to use the hip shooting method using the same moral judgements about what are appropriate images to take just as everyone one else does using whatever shooting method they choose. For example extreme telephoto can be abused just as easily as hip shooting, the morality is not in the method but in the image.
    Last edited by Will; 30th March 2008 at 03:49.

  47. #47
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    503
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    I would like to say that there is a big difference between taking inappropriate images of someone unawares and what I'm trying to achieve, which is images of people unaffected by an awareness of being looked at or photographed.

    To make sure people don't associate me with the kind of behavior on the Russian site I would like you to know that I showed the smoking man the image I had taken and asked if it was OK. He was fine about it and asked to have a look at some of the other images I had taken. He was interested because he was looking to buy a new camera!
    Will, I assure you that I had no intention whatsoever to imply that anyone here, either you or any other poster, would do anything like this.

    My only point is that there´s a risk of someone misinterpreting it, and I personally don´t want to take that risk.

    Again, my sincere apologies if you felt my post was aimed at you. It wasn´t.

  48. #48
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    ...Some say that secretly snapping is wrong, others (especially Weeks) essentially say it is required. Btw, Weeks is just a *tad* dogmatic about the tools the approach...shocking that an artist would be so opinionated ...
    Opinionated? That's an understatement! The whole piece is twaddle, written in one-line paragraphs by someone who seems functionally illiterate — as they say, writing reflects your capacity for thinking. There's not an original thought in the whole piece — and the photographs are all derivate as well, although a few of them are of some interest. A lot of them have grim, "bad bokeh" and would benefit having been taken with a small sensor camera with huge depth of field. The whole wretched piece is full of cliches from the 1950s — not really worth spending time writing about it more. I guess you can see that I'm not too fond of it. <grin>

    —Mitch/Tsumeb, Namibia
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 30th March 2008 at 04:05.

  49. #49
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    belgïe
    Posts
    1,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    so I'm getting mixed signals here. Some say that secretly snapping is wrong, others (especially Weeks) essentially say it is required. Btw, Weeks is just a *tad* dogmatic about the tools the approach...shocking that an artist would be so opinionated

    I'm just going to continue to feel my way through it I guess. In the end it only matters if I can look myself in the mirror (and at my shots). ...life is an experiment.
    feeling your way through IS the way to go -- only you will know if it is right... life is most definitely an experiment!

    you'll also get to learn life lessons in the mix as i have. for instance, shooting a drunk, angry man surreptitiously in a small enclosed space with no outlet (like a metro) is not the wisest thing to do

  50. #50
    dickinsonjon
    Guest

    Re: surreptitious shooting

    Well, I took some time yesterday and this morning to read the Chris Weeks thing. He's a bit, er, polarised in terms of opinions, but hey - everyone's got one as they say. I completely disagree with his attempting to strictly define something, but I often wonder what it would like to have such a hard concrete-formed opinion of anything in life. Variety is what makes us human. Some good photos in there, but then again, the writing is appalling. What's with the excessive swearing? Adds nothing, not even impact...

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •