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Technique: How To Shoot It Ask questions about how to take pics, as well as share your own favorite shooting tips.

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Old 03-28-2012   #26
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Was it a situation like this ?

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Old 03-28-2012   #27
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I don't think you could have handled that any better to be honest. I most certainly would not delete images. I have had a few scrapes over the last year and posted about my experiences here - http://aperturepriority.co.nz/2012/0...-mean-streets/

Keep shooting, don't be put off....

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well
Old 03-28-2012   #28
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well

I think the "hip shot" where your subject sees you shooting from the hip, probably trying to be sneaky (?) can cause unpredictable reactions from strangers.

Subjects may be:

a) drug dealers
b) wanted for felonies
c) paranoid
d) owe money/in big debt
e) owe alimony
f) a secret agent
g) undercover agent
h) in the witness protection plan
i) mobster
j) yakuza
k) mossad
l) MI-5

etc. Just because you got off this time, doesn't mean the next time you won't get your butt pounded into the ground, not that it would necessarily be a kind thing to have happen... just sayin'


Quote:
Originally Posted by MVCG View Post
So I was out on Sunday with my M6 and 24 Elmarit and noticed a character dressed in some interesting clothes so decided to take a hip shot as he was crossing the street. I mostly shoot "hyperfocal" so didnt need to adjust a thing with this lens.

We crossed paths shortly after and were on opposite sides of the street. We were both coincidentally waiting (me for my fiance and him for the bus) although he kept on looking at me with an intense stare. Shortly after he decided to cross the street over to me whilst I was on the phone and stood in front of me somewhat aggressively. I was concerned so cut short my call. He asked me to stop taking pictures of him and to delete the shots I had taken (1). I admitted to him that I had indeed taken a picture of him as I was crossing the street as I thought his outfit was interesting but I couldn't delete the picture as it was not a digital camera. He became rather aggressive (although "sort of" polite) saying that this was rude and that I should have asked him, to which I said, "ideally, you are right, however, had I of asked you, would you have said yes?", I told him I was a street photographer who liked to capture people in their natural environment and I would be happy to send him a print of his picture. He didn't respond but was very dismissive at this point and started crossing the street although kept looking at me for quite a while until his bus came...

My question is to all you savvy street shooters, what should our stance be???? On the one hand, I know I am legally allowed to take pictures of anything I like on the street but how do you handle these situations??? This really puts me off street shooting and has tainted my confidence...
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Old 03-28-2012   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
I think the "hip shot" where your subject sees you shooting from the hip, probably trying to be sneaky (?) can cause unpredictable reactions from strangers.

Subjects may be:

a) drug dealers
b) wanted for felonies
c) paranoid
d) owe money/in big debt
e) owe alimony
f) a secret agent
g) undercover agent
h) in the witness protection plan
i) mobster
j) yakuza
k) mossad
l) MI-5

etc. Just because you got off this time, doesn't mean the next time you won't get your butt pounded into the ground, not that it would necessarily be a kind thing to have happen... just sayin'
..

You left out "m) Neighborhood Watch Volunteer"...though "c) paranoid" covers it, I suppose.
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Old 03-28-2012   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
I think the "hip shot" where your subject sees you shooting from the hip, probably trying to be sneaky (?) can cause unpredictable reactions from strangers.

Subjects may be:

a) drug dealers
b) wanted for felonies
c) paranoid
d) owe money/in big debt
e) owe alimony
f) a secret agent
g) undercover agent
h) in the witness protection plan
i) mobster
j) yakuza
k) mossad
l) MI-5

etc. Just because you got off this time, doesn't mean the next time you won't get your butt pounded into the ground, not that it would necessarily be a kind thing to have happen... just sayin'
Now that would be interesting.....surely that just makes it more exciting!! Don't put him off...
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Old 03-28-2012   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Toad View Post
..

You left out "m) Neighborhood Watch Volunteer"...though "c) paranoid" covers it, I suppose.
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Old 03-28-2012   #32
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1. Smile.
2. Explain I'm just out enjoying taking some shots of the place (less so people).
3. Smile.
4. Walk away (smiling)

I try to avoid the awkward fleeting glances after a shot. I generally move on so I dont spent time with someone who knows I photographed them unless there is already an 'understanding.' I have never been pursued either.

I find using an extremely non-threatening body posture helps enormously, but the golden rule is to avoid eye contact if you see those searching eyes coming. If people cannot make eye contact they are forced to make a closer approach or a louder verbal challenge to get your attention (they don't know your name remember), which is a far greater escalation than a quick, quiet question once they get eye contact. I find it important to avoid the first question and, if you cannot, to disarm them with niceness then bolt. Its amazing how a few questions back and forth can head south quickly, which could have been avoided entirely if you'd left quickly, smiling.

These principles hold true almost anywhere. I'm busy shooting street photos in Kabul and quite a few times I have had to thrust out my hand smiling and shake the hand of a young man who is clearly a bit 'upset'. Its not unusual to see someone looking quite angry one minute and then having a lovely chat later on. Anger is normally the product of suspicion and that is the fear of some sort of nefarious activity. Make that fear go away and your problem is usually gone too.
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Old 03-28-2012   #33
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I was photographing a busy street market, about 40~50 people in frame, all going about their shopping. A joker, one of the vendors, about 60 feet away yelled out "don't take my picture". I grinned and said 'no no, don't flatter yourself, at this distance your face will be an insignificant speck on the negative.' He turned back to attending his stall.

Actually, the camera was a Kodak Tourist, 6X9 negative, 105mm lens. So it turned out that his face was in fact, recognizable.
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Old 03-29-2012   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
If a brief cordial reply from me does not diffuse the situation, I simply tell them nicely to "have a nice day" and walk away.
I agree with this most of the time...
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Old 03-29-2012   #35
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Sometimes a simple #@&% off works too...
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Old 03-29-2012   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVCG View Post
We live in a world where trust and civil decency are seemingly harder and harder to come by. . .
I completely agree. It used to be considered impolite to stare at people on the street because they were unusual; now people think it's just fine to shoot photos of them, too, and then they wonder why their subjects object. Decency is, indeed, dead.

It's sad to live in a world where people's treatment of others is defined as proper if merely "within the law", without considering others' feelings at all.
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Old 03-29-2012   #37
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In my book, anyone shooting from the hip is a potential freak, with all due respect to the OP.
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Old 03-29-2012   #38
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I was outside a bookstore that had a table offering rescue greyhounds. As I was walking in I snapped a shot of the dogs. 5 minutes later a lady walked up and asked if I shot of picture of her and her kid. I said no, just testing the camera. Then she explained the kid was autistic, and that it was against some "rule" for her to allow photographs. I told her not to worry, my wife works with autism, and such. After a few minutes it was clear she was just trying to do her job, as a caregiver, she was not the parent. Anyway, sometimes subterfuge and discussion isn't a bad thing. And another point, if you see a crazy looking guy, or a cop, or a hells angel, do you Really want to take that picture and risk trouble?
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Old 03-29-2012   #39
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Quote:
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It's sad to live in a world where people's treatment of others is defined as proper if merely "within the law", without considering others' feelings at all.
A few RFF members and I go out an photograph at times. There will be situations where we say "That was a great photograph" without taking it... and the concensus as to why we didn't take it is because we don't want to make the person feel like ****. Someone rummaging through garbage for food comes to mind as a typical scenario.
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Old 03-29-2012   #40
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Quote:
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And another point, if you see a crazy looking guy, or a cop, or a hells angel, do you Really want to take that picture and risk trouble?
Sometimes, yes.

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Old 03-29-2012   #41
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Part of the fun of shooting street is anything can happen. In Queens Plaza someone thought my camera was a gun from across the street and backed away from me. Also in a remote industrial area in Queens Plaza I was mistaken for a cop by a truck driver who had called 911; he thought my light meter hanging from my neck was a badgeholder, but numerous times I get approached and asked if I'm a working pro.

Once on East 116th Street with JSRocket (John) this tough looking guy wearing a black leather vest singles out John and I and yells to us, "You two, come over here."

John and I were just kinda walking along and were not actively photographing, but when we walked over the next question was, "What are you guys doing here?"

John being a rather big white guy with a shaved head that kinda stood out in El Barrio, and me being a skinny Chinese guy with a ponytail didn't really fit in even though I had just moved into the neiborhood.

Anyways we ended up getting to know this nieborhood vigilante and his friend. The neiborhood protector allegidly was in prison for 17 years, but he told a story of breaking up robbery with his bare hands, and saving someone on the subway who was having a stroke.

The most memorable background is that our friend was also a bounty hunter and allegidly he took down 17 men by running up to them and yelling, "You're the ******* who Fxxxed my wife" and taking them down using mixed martial arts.

BTW John helped diffuse any tension when he was asked if he was a cop. John's response was, "Just because I'm a white guy doesn't mean that I'm a cop." We all laughed hard. Later I got asked if I was wearing a wire, and I pulled up my shirt to show them I was not bugged. Seems like we stood out as being suspicous.

Cal
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Old 03-29-2012   #42
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Use an iPhone. Nobody thinks youre taking pictures. Just think toure fiddling with your phone like every other person on the street. Problem solved.
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Old 03-29-2012   #43
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i'm glad i mostly photograph things instead of people ...
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Old 03-29-2012   #44
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This is the problem I don't want to happen. Which is why I rarely do street stuff. Maybe I'll start doing more street...
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Old 03-29-2012   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
John being a rather big white guy with a shaved head
That's a surprise! I always thought he looks like his avatar
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Old 03-29-2012   #46
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That's a surprise! I always thought he looks like his avatar
Nah, that's just some Fujifilm executive.
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Old 03-29-2012   #47
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Quote:
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That's a surprise! I always thought he looks like his avatar
Accually I look more like John's avatar. LOL.

In real life John's a kinda big guy though. Funny thing is that he likes small cameras, rarely shoots with a hood, and loves tiny lenses. Go figure.

Meanwhile although I'm 5' 10" I only weigh 155 pounds and I shoot big cameras that John calls monsters like a Nikon F3 with motordrive. Both my Leicas feature TA rapidgrips and TA Rapidwiders BTW.

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Old 03-29-2012   #48
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Nah, that's just some Fujifilm executive.
I kind of suspected something like that

It does make you look friendly though LOL
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Old 03-29-2012   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Accually I look more like John's avatar. LOL.

In real life John's a kinda big guy though. Funny thing is that he likes small cameras, rarely shoots with a hood, and loves tiny lenses. Go figure.

Meanwhile although I'm 5' 10" I only weigh 155 pounds and I shoot big cameras that John calls monsters like a Nikon F3 with motordrive. Both my Leicas feature TA rapidgrips and TA Rapidwiders BTW.

Cal
Cal, you aren't exactly a small guy I'm 5'7" and weight exactly like you

I used to like big cameras too but small cameras have their charm. I can't imagine myself with a Canon 1Ds now that I experienced RFs.
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Old 03-29-2012   #50
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Quote:
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i'm glad i mostly photograph things instead of people ...
I've been asked to stop taking pictures of things!

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