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09-26-2018, 09:16 PM   #16
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I like that first video that was posted up. That guy has his game down. I rarely if ever will stick my camera anywhere. If it's going to cause a fight I don't bother. The US is the worst, by far, about this.

At the end of the day it depends on what kind of shots you really want to get. A lot of people walk around with a big camera or long lens looking like some kind of paparazzi and I just don't think that's effective. It could be but only marginally. I myself have walked up to people on the street and took shots of them, for sure. It tends to work out well if you have a good rapport with people. On the other hand walking around just clicking at anything that moves has a downside. Most of the time if not always you wind up with crappy shots. That said unless you're taking pictures of the Pope or President it's not the best idea to just run around trying to force a shot.

For me 'street photography' requires a lot of planning (when I get a chance to do it). I will walk around and note scenic areas, I will also walk around and make note of when and where the light is at. Recognizing good light is key. For example if you camp out near a glass high rise on a shiny day odds are you will get a ton of reflection back into your image. Basically put I am looking more for a 'landscape shot' and I approach it in ways that are similar to that.


I will take days or longer to figure out where I want to shoot, what kind of background it will produce, and try to determine the best kind of light for that area. Then on top of that I have to see if there will even be people in that area when the stars align. Overall the whole thing can take a ton of preparation and advance planning.


One key feature that helps facilitate things though is the tilting screen. It makes you look less conspicuous. I might only get 5 or 10 shots off, but at the end of the day I might have 1-2 keepers.


On another level I also do stuff in big crowds. When there is a festive mood going on it's a great time to 'run and gun'. By "Festive Mood" it can be anything from a riot in the street to a big street party. In those kinds of situations it's much easier to do the whole 'running around shooting thing'. It doesn't or rarely I should say give you 'technically good' photos all the time but rather is more of a documentation of the events.


Really there is no right or wrong answer. It all is dependent on situations and what your end product is that you want to produce. Planning 3, 4 or 5 days for a 30 or 45 minute window to get shots isn't what a lot of people consider 'street' but it really in fact is.


I guess the real question here is are you trying to document something or are you trying to create and capture an artistic impression of something?

09-26-2018, 09:34 PM   #17
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Another skill that is good to have is focus trapping skills. You can manually focus and get some stellar shots.


I also know that it's kind of cheating but there is nothing wrong with having a friend (or model) be a part of the plan. Follow the plan in my first post about finding good locations and then have willing participants dress up or whatever and not really 'pose' but say 'walk across the street' at a designated point or whatever. The real trick there is to get them to not stare right into the camera, but rather just go on about business to get the effect you want.

If you take the latter approach it's a whole lot easier to be productive than to have unwilling participants. Depending on what I wanted to do, I've even put like a little pebble on the ground as 'point A' and then had another one set at 'point B' and I would just have people walk from A to B and on to C and I would just have to determine the optimal snapping point.
09-26-2018, 09:53 PM   #18
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Try and take architectural photos where you want no-one in the shot. Just as you click the shutter release, several people will lunge into the frame. ie - my theory is that if people sense that they are not wanted in the shot, they will be very happy to stand in front of your camera.... and vis-versa...

So my suggestion would be to try wave people away from the scene - you will soon get all the volunteer subjects you require.
(Less sarcastically) try using a very wide angle lens and frame your shot - then wait for the right person to walk into the frame. The general public seem to be unaware of wide angle lenses - but they can tell a telephoto lens right away.
09-26-2018, 09:58 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
For the sake of comparisons, here's an example of the two cameras mentioned earlier.





I guess I'd feel uncomfortable as well with the Pentax being pointed at me.
Put a 35-100 f4-5.6 on that Olympus. That's a stealthy telephoto. Even the f2.8 version isn't big.

09-26-2018, 10:12 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Try and take architectural photos where you want no-one in the shot. Just as you click the shutter release, several people will lunge into the frame. ie - my theory is that if people sense that they are not wanted in the shot, they will be very happy to stand in front of your camera.... and vis-versa...
lol. I've certainly had a lot of blocked shots. That's okay, since someone else's right to travel should get higher priority than my photos. It's my obligation to work around people.

What annoys me is when I'm setting up a wide shot on a tripod, trying to time it for when people are in good places. Overly polite people stop just short of my camera but in the edges of the frame, trying not to ruin my photo. KEEP WALKING!
09-26-2018, 10:31 PM   #21
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What about trying a smaller lens, like a FA50 or an FA43? You said your 50mms were big, but are they bigger than a traditional 50mm?
09-27-2018, 04:30 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Really there is no right or wrong answer. It all is dependent on situations and what your end product is that you want to produce. Planning 3, 4 or 5 days for a 30 or 45 minute window to get shots isn't what a lot of people consider 'street' but it really in fact is.


I guess the real question here is are you trying to document something or are you trying to create and capture an artistic impression of something?
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to plan ahead the next time the urge to take street photos hits me. Usually however I just end up grabbing a camera and walking out the door... looking for that one moment of inspiration to capture something good. As for your question, I'm trying to focus more on the artistic rather than documentary aspect of street life. It's easy to take something that looks like it belongs in a news article, but to me, there's something special about a photo with artistic quality; something Cartier-Bresson did so well.




QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
What about trying a smaller lens, like a FA50 or an FA43? You said your 50mms were big, but are they bigger than a traditional 50mm?
Yes, even the Pentax HD *50mm is ginormous compared to most 50mm primes and is around the same size as the 24-70. I do have a legacy Pentax 50mm f2 that I've used on occasion. Perhaps I'll go back to that.

Last edited by amstel78; 09-27-2018 at 04:35 AM.
09-27-2018, 07:13 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to plan ahead the next time the urge to take street photos hits me. Usually however I just end up grabbing a camera and walking out the door... looking for that one moment of inspiration to capture something good. As for your question, I'm trying to focus more on the artistic rather than documentary aspect of street life. It's easy to take something that looks like it belongs in a news article, but to me, there's something special about a photo with artistic quality; something Cartier-Bresson did so well.
I love that first photo!!!!

And you and me are alike in the sense of focusing on the artistic. I personally almost never get the opportunity to do 'street photography' (I live in rural Texas) so in ways I envy people (photography wise) that live in cities. In normal situations I travel a lot when I can. I recall walking around a place like Istanbul on sensory overload. You could spend a year there without any problem. Other cities too.


When I go to places like that I often either walk around for days exploring and making notes (physical) or mental about the who what when and wheres. Paying particular attention to light is the biggest deal to me and then throw in some fantastic composition....it's actually an art form so if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

09-27-2018, 08:04 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I love that first photo!!!!

And you and me are alike in the sense of focusing on the artistic. I personally almost never get the opportunity to do 'street photography' (I live in rural Texas) so in ways I envy people (photography wise) that live in cities. In normal situations I travel a lot when I can. I recall walking around a place like Istanbul on sensory overload. You could spend a year there without any problem. Other cities too.


When I go to places like that I often either walk around for days exploring and making notes (physical) or mental about the who what when and wheres. Paying particular attention to light is the biggest deal to me and then throw in some fantastic composition....it's actually an art form so if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
Between you and me, I actually hate living in large cities. I also own a home out in rural Pennsylvania and try to escape their with my family on weekends and holidays. I only tolerate Manhattan because both my wife and I work here and it sucks commuting in every day.

I haven't yet had the pleasure of visiting Istanbul. Closest I got was Antalya and even so, didn't have much time to do much except work. My wife on the other hand has been to Istanbul several times and loved it. But yes, planning is certainly paramount. When I'm on vacation, the first day or so I usually focus more on surroundings rather than taking photos. This way I can get the lay of the land, know ahead of time what I want to photography, and when the best time of day to do so.
09-27-2018, 08:21 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
For the sake of comparisons, here's an example of the two cameras mentioned earlier.
I guess I'd feel uncomfortable as well with the Pentax being pointed at me.
I have taken literally hundreds of photos using my long lenses, and not once did I ever stick a lens in somebody's face. Most of them never knew they were being photographed.

Take-My-Picture | Flickr

What is being confused here, is, the Pentax doesn't violate the subject's personal space and in no way restricts their movement or enjoyment of the scene. Using the smaller camera and violating someone's personal space just isn't right. It may involve personal discomfort on the part of the person being photographed.

It would seem anti-photography laws are made to protect the shallow sensibilities of people uncomfortable in their own skin.
09-27-2018, 09:03 AM   #26
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Here's a longer lens shot made with an m43 camera. I was at a renaissance fair and this was in public areas but this was a stage not in use at the time.



He was quite aware he was having a photo taken of him but he was not close and didn't actually say anything to me.

There are any number of threads on this. Typically street photography isn't stealthy voyeristic shots - it's in the action and offers some environmental context.

This thread talks about this and also the long shot options:
Stealthy street portrait lens - PentaxForums.com
09-27-2018, 10:00 AM   #27
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Anyone in costume at a public event is fair game. However some venues will ask you to check your camera at the door. If they don't, as far as I know, you're free to shoot away.
09-27-2018, 10:18 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Anyone in costume at a public event is fair game. However some venues will ask you to check your camera at the door. If they don't, as far as I know, you're free to shoot away.
Agreed. He was a performer but it was his downtime and I don't think he was happy about it but he didn't challenge me either.
09-27-2018, 10:59 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
It's easy to take something that looks like it belongs in a news article, but to me, there's something special about a photo with artistic quality; something Cartier-Bresson did so well.
What he did so well, was realize a location's potential, and then wait patiently, sometimes for hours, for the right moment. It's amazing how many people leave out the scouting and "wait patiently for hours" part. They make it sound like he just walked out the door and found these images.

Then they compound the ignorance by asking wha camera he used.
09-27-2018, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
What he did so well, was realize a location's potential, and then wait patiently, sometimes for hours, for the right moment. It's amazing how many people leave out the scouting and "wait patiently for hours" part. They make it sound like he just walked out the door and found these images.

Then they compound the ignorance by asking wha camera he used.
LOL - yup. I tried to explain this to a friend when he asked what kind of camera I used. I said that's like asking the chef what kind of pans and knives he uses.
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