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Thread: a question on shooting, not technology

  1. #1
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    a question on shooting, not technology

    I am a decent macro shooter, but I am not very good at shooting people. Well, I have good groupings with my Sig p226 but that is a different type of shooting

    I've seen some wonderful shots of people here and I was wondering what your approach is. I think part of my problem is that I feel self-conscious pointing a camera at someone I don't know. Do you just snap away on the street, or do you talk to them first, or ? And are you thinking anything in particular? The one exception is that I get some great shots of my son. But I think that is because I have great empathy with him and am able to find where he is.

  2. #2
    Lewis
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    Re: a question on shooting, not technology

    Sometimes it's best just to shoot I find-I have had a few people give me abuse for taking their photo, but I just ignore it. I'm sure it's sometimes good to ask but they may say no...can you take that risk? I'm still building up confidence, I find it helps if you've been drinking heavily!

  3. #3
    helgipelgi
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    Re: a question on shooting, not technology

    Just smile and act like a tourist -- I don't think people mind having their picture taken if you're well-meaning and honest about it, i.e. that you engage with them and give something back in the interaction.

    Also you may want to check out Sean Reid's article about photographing strangers. I haven't read it yet as I've just recently subscribed to his site, but I have a feeling there's some good stuff in there

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: a question on shooting, not technology

    I subscribed to ReidReviews and am going through the articles. Some very good tips there. It is interesting to see the correlation between personality and shooting style. I already knew this from my video work. I do "mini documentaries" on a variety of subjects for work and others. In order for me to get the shot, I really need to work with one of my partners. He is a writer and extremely gregarious. I get the shot while he works the subject. We try to never use voice over, instead trying to get quotes from the subjects to weave the story. He is great at drawing the people out, and I can then capture. But the times when I have to go shoot solo (funny to see me with a Canon XH-A1 in one hand, boom in the other) *and* be the interviewer, I'm just out of my element. In certain situations I can work a room just fine and in fact love lecturing in public (was a professor for a number of years). But not in the "cold call" situation. One reason I never was a good salesman.

    So I think there is something to matching the style to the subject, just like matching the equipment to the style.

  5. #5
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: a question on shooting, not technology

    Hi Nostatic,

    Yes, this is something I discussed, in various ways, in the article that is called "Photographing Strangers". Is that the article you're thinking of?

    Cheers,

    Sean

  6. #6
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: a question on shooting, not technology

    Hi Sean,

    Yeah, that's what I just finished reading. What is interesting is how inherent personality crosses across media types. I've been a musician for almost 40 years (I started young :-p) and when I play, while on one level I'm quite extroverted on stage (from an energy standpoint), I'm actually "shy." I move all over the place, but never look at the audience. I just don't feel that...the connection comes from someplace else. Same when I shoot still and video...I want to be in the shadow and fade into the action rather than be the center of it.

    Of course your other damn articles have me pondering if I should try a rangefinder for grins and/or a Digilux 3. ;-)

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