Street photography, had a guy go weird on me

Started Sep 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rsn48 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,254
Street photography, had a guy go weird on me

I was at a very popular local area where I live at a beach location. I was practicing trying to hold the camera in such a way that the subject wouldn't know they were being photographed (this is what got me into trouble). Now you have to realize at this beach area that does kayak rentals on the Labour Day Holiday Monday, the place was packed with people.

I thought I'd try and take a shot or two of folks seated with my camera almost sitting on my lap but pointed at the subject. I'd shoot while looking away to not call attention to the act. However I was sitting beside this guy who clued in to what I was doing.

The gal I was photographing was full clothed, in fact wearing a sweater. I really wasn't interested in her as a subject so much as could I get the technique down pat. This gal was also roughly 25 years old, maybe a year or two younger or older, hard to say.

So I took the picture and the guy who wasn't with her but sitting beside me went into a rant about taking pictures of "little girls," (she definitely wasn't I told him it was a public place and many people were taking pictures of all sorts but this seemed to escalate him. Then he threatened to call the police so I said I'd delete the photo which I did. Then he demanded I leave. I did as I could see he was not going to settle down and he thought the woman wouldn't like her photograph being taken (while others were shooting photos all around I live in a picturesque touristy area).

I tried to explain "street photography" to him but this was proof in his mind how weird I was. I wonder if Vivian Maier had days like this.

By the way the woman wouldn't have like the photo as she was kind of grimacing at the moment, I did like the photo.

The technique I was working on was to set the distance manually on the lens, then set the exposure value in manual mode so the lens wouldn't hunt and seek in autofocus and the exposure value wouldn't adjust. I was holding the camera while seated with it almost sitting in my lap. I knew what I was roughly after so I could look to the side quite a bit and keep the person in my view though peripherally and shoot. With the guy beside me, if I hadn't checked to see how the pic turned out, he wouldn't have known. The technique worked well, just don't sit close to folks while you are doing it.

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"Photography is, indeed, an inclusive language."
Ansel Adams

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