Question for street photographers

Started Jan 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
sgoldswo
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Re: Question for street photographers
In reply to alolywu, Jan 10, 2013

A bad idea is to get stuck in cliches such as only using WAs for street photography. It's a conservative view that I'm sure the originators of street photography would have laughed at as meaningless orthadoxy. The key is to get people in their environment and it doesn't particularly matter if that's done with a WA or a telephoto as long as you do it. It is often easier with a WA but that doesn't mean it is the only way to do it. But don't use telephoto lenses as a crutch to avoid engagement with subjects. Try to use them in combination with other focal lengths for a more powerful effect.

Another cliche I hate with a passion is homeless people or drunks (or both) giving the camera a thumbs up. They can look impressive on their face but they leave me with a nasty feeling inside.

A really bad idea is to wander around taking photos from the hip - its likely to provoke argument and bad feeling if people realise. That said, in crowds I've used the flippy screen held over my head to get great shots, it does depend on context.

Just try to make it clear you are taking photos (putting the camera to your face to use an EVF usually achieves that) and if people move out of the way or otherwise indicate they aren't happy ("I don't want no photos, Guv" is a clue!) don't take their photo. Be confident and engage with people (smiling really helps if you  can manage it and I'm a moody barsteward). Try to avoid peoples kids if you can unless you have their (parents) permission or they are part of a crowd of disparate ages and it's unavoidable. Try to pay/tip street performers before taking their photos - they will often reciprocate by smiling for the camera.

The best place to get "comfortable" with the idea of street photography is in a location with a lot of people moving slowly and concentrated on multiple things, like a market, exhibition or live event.

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