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How to photograph strangers,
Old 03-18-2014   #1
jip
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How to photograph strangers,

I wrote a article on how to photograph strangers, and some tips and tricks for street photography.

You can find the article here:
http://jipvankuijk.nl/photograph-str...tography-tips/

Let me know what you think in comments here, or on the website!

Jip
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Old 03-18-2014   #2
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That's a good summary of the basics, and is well illustrated.
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Old 03-18-2014   #3
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Websites code is still broken...

Edit: Checked you code. Your css is bugged, check your "photo-wrapper" class, the issue lies there.
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Old 03-18-2014   #4
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We all have different ideas. This talks much about equipment such as quiet and discrete cameras, lenses, iso, hyperfocal distance and the like. My thinking about equipment is quite different, only that you have to have a camera but any one will do. Forget being discrete. It makes no difference is you are using an iPhone or a Speed Graphic. Point it at someone and they know you are taking their photo. It is only your attitude and self confidence that makes any difference.
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Old 03-18-2014   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
We all have different ideas. This talks much about equipment such as quiet and discrete cameras, lenses, iso, hyperfocal distance and the like. My thinking about equipment is quite different, only that you have to have a camera but any one will do. Forget being discrete. It makes no difference is you are using an iPhone or a Speed Graphic. Point it at someone and they know you are taking their photo. It is only your attitude and self confidence that makes any difference.
... yep, but then I tend to stand in fromt of people and they still don't seem to notice me, like this





... and then some folk just head straight for the prettiest and ask

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Old 03-18-2014   #6
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If I like something. I just take a picture of it.

Even if there is a gang of idle men just sitting there...



In a crowded place I just take the shot and leave.



I try to be as anonymous as possible, just neutral.


Mostly nobody really even reacts.


The fear is just usually in the photographers head.
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Old 03-18-2014   #7
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Quote:
The fear is just usually in the photographers head.
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Old 03-18-2014   #8
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Quote:
The fear is just usually in the photographers head.
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Old 03-18-2014   #9
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Beautiful image.
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Old 03-18-2014   #10
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... yep, but then I tend to stand in fromt of people and they still don't seem to notice me, like this .......
I am continually amazed at people believing you are not photographing them when you obviously look at something in the background between shots. I shot 5 or 6 frames at this hot dog stand by simply gazing up at the signs on the wall between each. Everyone just ignored me.

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Old 03-18-2014   #11
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Old 03-18-2014   #12
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Sometimes the only thing between you and the photograph is your own self conscience. Like other's have said, the camera doesn't have much influence on the outcome other than psychological weight. Use what you like, exploit what you know.

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Old 03-18-2014   #13
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Not quite in the street but I found this guy fascinating and asked if I could photograph him sitting on his bike. After an initial hesitation and a question of 'why I wanted to do so' ... he agreed.

I was a little nervous when I asked!


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Old 03-18-2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jip View Post
I wrote a ...
Let me know what you ...
Dude, sorry for following IMHO, but honesty is something which might sounds rude.

You wrote about your digital gear with Leica label on it.

But...
Way too many of backs shots. If you do take them, it has to be something interesting.


Untitled by Ko.Fe., on Flickr

You know, some story.


Benefit of cycling. by Ko.Fe., on Flickr

Also, take it close. Overwise you are presenting digital snapshots of environment with some people present in the distance.
Take it close, dude.


Untitled by Ko.Fe., on Flickr


*** by Ko.Fe., on Flickr

I understood your excitement to be able to use your gear and have some strangers present in framed pictures. But, get it closer to the subjects of your article.

Strangers and their stories you would have to tell us.


Time to pay. by Ko.Fe., on Flickr

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Old 03-18-2014   #15
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... yep, back-shots, photographers ...



... and folk on mobile-phones are cheating a bit

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Old 03-18-2014   #16
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... yep, or the dogs head
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Old 03-18-2014   #17
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I don't tend to take shots of people on their mobile phones our outside having a fag. Too easy, not very interesting, and a bit of a cliche.
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Old 03-18-2014   #18
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Originally Posted by Sejanus.Aelianus View Post
I'd still rather stay out of sight and show what's happening, not how they react to me...
Thing is they often don`t react even if you stand in front of them although sometimes they do.
Doesn`t really matter.

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Old 03-18-2014   #19
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Old 03-18-2014   #20
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I don't tend to take shots of people on their mobile phones our outside having a fag. Too easy, not very interesting, and a bit of a cliche.
I'll take them... what isn't a cliche at this point? It's kind of hard to avoid mobile phones and cigarettes outside in NYC.







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Old 03-18-2014   #21
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I like the get up close and personal most of the time.

I also look geometry, repeating shapes, leading lines and other basic visual elements.





I waited a fraction of a second for the guy in the background to mimic the poster




If I see an interesting face or subject sometimes I ask.


Most of the time I don't.


In this I saw the pattern and the US flag reference and waited for a moment. The child reached up and I pushed the shutter. They took a couple of steps and the background became so busy because the street moved into the frame.




My advice is reference and look at those that have done it well. Not to copy but see where the bar has been set and then get out and do the work. Try to see consistent things in your work and build on that. But you need to do it often to keep the eye and the reflexes sharp. Winograd was said to have shot 5 rolls a day and I think boogie says he shoots even more than that.
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Old 03-18-2014   #22
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[quote=Bob Michaels;2318629]I am continually amazed at people believing you are not photographing them when you obviously look at something in the background between shots. I shot 5 or 6 frames at this hot dog stand by simply gazing up at the signs on the wall between each. Everyone just ignored me.

True. WInogrand did this often. If you watch film of GW working you also notice he is very, very quick. If you really know your camera, then you can work fast.
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Old 03-18-2014   #23
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[quote=willie_901;2318709]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
I am continually amazed at people believing you are not photographing them when you obviously look at something in the background between shots. I shot 5 or 6 frames at this hot dog stand by simply gazing up at the signs on the wall between each. Everyone just ignored me.

True. WInogrand did this often. If you watch film of GW working you also notice he is very, very quick. If you really know your camera, then you can work fast.
Pre or hyper focus and be ready. I usually have both my focus and exposure set so I can just respond. Know you equipment so everything is second nature. Like walking, breathing or driving a car. It is just natural.

And sometimes as mentioned earlier they do react. Were #1


and
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Old 03-18-2014   #24
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We have a lot of history that includes a lot of great work that has been done well. It's never been easier. It's all just a few clicks away now.

Yeah I know. Everything to you is great. There are no measures of good or bad. LoL

Well I look around the internet and I see that just isn't so.

Over two thousand years or two dimensional art, there has to be something mankind should have learned in all that time. But hey we wouldn't want to narrow our view. So everything is great according to sejanis. There are no standards or any way to judge what is or isn't good LoL . We wouldn't want to narrow our opinions with knowledge.
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Old 03-18-2014   #25
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Quote:
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Pre or hyper focus and be ready. I usually have both my focus and exposure set so I can just respond. Know you equipment so everything is second nature. Like walking, breathing or driving a car. It is just natural. ......
Absolutely. I am amazed at those carrying cameras that do not know without looking what the aperture, shutter speed, and focus is set at much less have it set for making a photo in an instant right where they are. And don't get me started on those people do who not know the FOV or framing of the lens currently on their camera.

That split second between when you start raising you camera and when it gets to your eye is your last chance to tweak aperture, shutter and focus. You need to be pressing the shutter button when the camera meets your face.
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Old 03-18-2014   #26
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Absolutely. I am amazed at those carrying cameras that do not know without looking what the aperture, shutter speed, and focus is set at much less have it set for making a photo in an instant right where they are. And don't get me started on those people do who not know the FOV or framing of the lens currently on their camera.

That split second between when you start raising you camera and when it gets to your eye is your last chance to tweak aperture, shutter and focus. You need to be pressing the shutter button when the camera meets your face.
Absolutely and that fraction of a second can be the all the difference in getting it and not getting it.

Bresson talks a lot about a developed instinct and that also is not just about seeing and being able to capture the visual elements when the come together but also from a developed ability to see and evaluate light in an instant. That comes from doing it a lot.
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Old 03-18-2014   #27
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Thing is they often don`t react even if you stand in front of them although sometimes they do.
Doesn`t really matter.

... but they don't normally react like that though, do they?
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Old 03-18-2014   #28
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... and what Bob-M and Frogman said ... f8, 1/500 and 3m
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Old 03-18-2014   #29
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Theres a good documentary that talks to and follows some of the street photographer in New York. Everybody Street and is definitely worth the $13.00 price.

Heres a trailer for that and notice Bruce Gilden at work LoL. Not a huge fan of his style but it can be confrontational at times. It is the nature of the beast.
About 58 seconds in but watch the entire trailer.
http://petapixel.com/2013/07/23/trai...t-photography/
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Old 03-18-2014   #30
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... but they don't normally react like that though, do they?

No true .... I think the thing , for me , is a degree of flexibility in the type of shot .

I don`t always look for that unguarded traditional street photography moment.

Truth is I can get a bit bored with that approach.

If it presents itself I`ll take it but I`m equally happy with asking too.
I enjoy the social interaction just as much.
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Old 03-18-2014   #31
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Quote:
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Theres a good documentary that talks to and follows some of the street photographer in New York. Everybody Street and is definitely worth the $13.00 price.

Heres a trailer for that and notice Bruce Gilden at work LoL. Not a huge fan of his style but it can be confrontational at times. It is the nature of the beast.
About 58 seconds in but watch the entire trailer.
http://petapixel.com/2013/07/23/trai...t-photography/
Bit hipsterish, I thought.

Gotta agree that the likes of Bruce Gilden getting up in people's faces with a flash is one of the things that gives street photography a bad name, and makes it a bit harder for the rest of us who are (I hope) more benign.
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Old 03-18-2014   #32
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That's an interesting view. Of course, I disagree with it completely but peaceful coexistence is the thing...

... lol

... and when I was a young man, hipsters were pants

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Old 03-18-2014   #33
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That's an interesting view. Of course, I disagree with it completely but peaceful coexistence is the thing...

Your cat appears to have ear mites, but that's just my opinion....
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Old 03-18-2014   #34
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I read somewhere, in Hungary it is illegal on the street to photograph someone without permission.
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Old 03-18-2014   #35
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I read somewhere, in Hungary it is illegal on the street to photograph someone without permission.
... that would be Hungary's loss then, and little to do with this conversation wouldn't you say?
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Old 03-18-2014   #36
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That's an interesting view. Of course, I disagree with it completely but peaceful coexistence is the thing...

And I never buy into the arguments for ignorance.
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Old 03-18-2014   #37
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I don't understand these articles, workshops and all the bs around street photography !
Go out use what you like and do what you like !
I just approach strangers, talk to them and point the Pentax 67 to their faces ! Sometimes they laugh, other times they think I'm some sort of professional !
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Old 03-18-2014   #38
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Any advice can be mined for its useful content.

Personally I'd back the advice in the replies here above the OP's piece when it comes to signal:noise ratio.

Cheers,

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Old 03-18-2014   #39
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Any advice can be mined for its useful content.

Personally I'd back the advice in the replies here above the OP's piece when it comes to signal:noise ratio.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-18-2014   #40
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I am trying to be as discreet as possible and non intrusive. If i see that someone realized that i have taken his picture, i usually approach and speak to them. Sometimes i give them some printed cards with my blog and my email to contact me if they want their picture to be removed. I never had any problems whatsoever....
Here are some pics...

















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