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Reflections

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Still working on my technique for street photography. Stealth is really something that can’t be translated over from video games. Pretend to hide and you’re going to attract the wrong kind of attention. The key, I think, is in the way you hold the camera. Shooting from the hip is one way to get exciting street level shots with people seemingly racing towards you. However, the instant someone hears that trademark, “KLAK KLAK!”, you’ll have instantly earned a sour face. Even worse, if you blatantly aim your camera at your subject, they will dodge you or block their face(depending on your country, their reaction could be far, far worse).

This sounds nuts, right? Why am I analyzing this strange topic? This is street photography. Capturing candid shots of amazing people doing amazing things without realizing it. If you walk up to every potential subject and ask them to pose, you’re going to end up with a shot that will inevitably look “staged”. The goal is to reproduce that “moment” and capture everything natural about it. I’ve seen so many techniques, like the “cough and shoot” and the “look left, shoot right”. I’m 6′ 2″ tall and pasty white, so even back in the U.S. I stand out a bit. That make street photography all the more challenging for me, and all the more exciting and fascinating.

At the moment the easiest lens I find to shoot discreetly is my 50mm F1.2 ais. It’s easy to measure the distance on the lens between my subject and myself. Thus, I can select a number and assume that everything, for example, 2 meters ahead of me will be in focus. Then I start walk and fire off a few rounds, then review to check whether my settings are quick enough to capture people walking without letting the speed of my own walking interfere. Tricky! The longer I stand still the higher a chance my subjects will notice me. If I do have to stand still, I need to accept that I have about 2-3 seconds before they notice. People have a 6th sense for cameras, it doesn’t matter what country you’re in. You know when someone is pointing something at you! So it’s not just about blending in, hiding in the shade or having an amazing telephoto, it’s about being quick and having your camera on you at all times.

I still have MUCH to learn, there is no end to studying photography which is why I love it so much. It’s become the perfect art medium for me to express myself. If anyone does happen across my site and has any good tips for street photography, please share them!