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Building Up The Nerve

Taking a candid shot at point blank is rather difficult when your target isn’t preoccupied with a phone or a music player. This woman was fixing her hair in a antique Chinese mirror when I walked by. I snapped a few shots, but they really didn’t catch the mood or the scene that I was seeing. You can see the one I decided to post here. I went back a bit later and she was standing in the doorway, oddly oblivious to my camera and I approaching. It’s the hesitation that really killed it, I know I had a good shot but it’s still off frame. Singapore is a bit more challenging to do candids, it’s not quite as intense a city as NYC or Tokyo, where people are generally preoccupied with whatever it is they’re doing and the radius in which they notice their surroundings is much more condensed. I know this may sound obnoxious/obvious, but there is definitely a trick to reading facial expressions to determine if they will notice you, if they are on guard, or if they are completely relaxed and off guard, if you want to try getting up close for a candid with a 50mm or 85mm. In the case they are totally relaxed, you have a few extra seconds to frame the shot before the loud, “clak!” “clak!” of the shutter gives away your position(like in MGS!), that is unless you’re shooting with a Leica which has a more muffled shutter release. The D700 which I shoot with is VERY noisy, unless you’re shooting next to an active construction site with someone using a jackhammer, you will be noticed shooting with this camera. Perhaps I should start collecting candids of angry and irritated faces of strangers who notice my camera shutter… C’est la vie…