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My first attempt at Street Photography

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Frankie Carroll, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Frankie Carroll

    Frankie Carroll Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Sep 29, 2015
    I have always loved street photography and been impressed by some of the great examples I have seen of other peoples work, infact I would probably say this is my favourite genre, however I have also thought it is one of the most difficult types of photography to master. How can I point my lens at a complete stranger and take their photo? What would I say if they confronted me? Etc..etc.. Anyway I have had various attempts over the years which have never really worked and left me feeling like a complete failure, but after downloading the Panasonic Photo App I thought this would be the perfect way to give it another go, by controling my GX7 remotly via the App and with my camera slung around my kneck I would appear like I was just looking at my phone, while I am actually able to line up my shots and snap away!! Anyway here is my first attempt (Taken with GX7, 20mm lens)
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Interesting. Not the method for me but I can see its effective and that's what counts.
     
  3. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I'm a bit conflicted about this approach. While I agree that you might get shots that look more fly-on-the-wall without disturbing the scene it also has the peeping tom problem.
    Citing your own concerns, would you rather have someone take a picture of you out in the open or surreptitiously. Which one is creepier?
    Technology makes this now possible and will do so even more in the future, but that does not mean we have to go there.
    Again, the photo you've shown seem like it benefited from your approach and it does not look like a breach of privacy (in the moral not legal sense), but I can see this get out of hand very quickly.
    Rudy
    p.s. it is better than just shooting from the hip, since at least you can get your framing right...
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Like rudy and bigboys dad, I am not sure where I stand on this particular method of shooting.

    To be very clear I do indulge in street photography, and I often shoot from the hip or other parts of my body where I am not actually framing the shot with the camera. There are many more misses than hits, and even the hits usually require major cropping and straightening..

    15422860962_37a2249d35_b. PA010060 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    8686463078_8bf806030c_b. P4180136 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    or have used the back screen as a form of misdirection to make it look like I am not taking a picture

    15900270172_26bb80687a_b. PB230359 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    3271753659_69ec7d6167_b. Contemplating Eric by kevinparis, on Flickr

    and other times I will look and deliberately compose albeit very quickly

    15386236996_98916696d3_b. P9300038 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    5004658854_934f1e8d02_b. chorus line by kevinparis, on Flickr

    To me an essence of street photography is capturing an interesting moment when the subject is unaware of the camera.

    I would actually extend that to any genre of 'natural' photography where the subject is no longer conscious of the camera.

    Its the point at which taking a photo doesn't involve saying 'cheese', 'look at the camera' or asking some stranger to take your photo in front of some landmark that photography becomes interesting to me and not just a method of recording

    My issue I think with the OP's technique is that he has divorced the act of taking the photo from the camera to the phone and that doesn't sit comfortably with me somehow

    there is a flickr set of my street stuff here

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinparis2007/albums/72157623465764094/with/5004658854/

    K

    PS the photo is OK... but you could have got it without the high tech subterfuge
     
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  5. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Well, you can always use a longer focal length. There is this belief that you have to be in someone's face with the camera. Kevin's photo of the gent reading La Repubblica taken with a 75mm lens (or 150mm in FF terms) perfectly disproves that. You'll probably find that the more you keep shooting, the more comfortable you'll eventually be with the shorter focal lengths. But I'm not criticising - as I say, it's what works for you in this subjective hobby and the image you posted works.
     
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  6. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
    I'm also uncomfortable taking pics of people on the street. I tried some street shooting today for the first time. Held the GX8 in my right hand lengthwise, with the rear display folded closed, and tripped the shutter (electronic) with my thumb. It worked pretty well, and I don't think anyone noticed.

    22236061383_75d335b799_b. 20151107-111750.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22669223000_b9d5f97868_b. 20151107-111807.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22438893468_f1d43cb229_b. 20151107-112504.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22465109049_3a3d5f8cf3_b. 20151107-113034.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22236124503_ea41fa64ca_b. 20151107-113113.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22669284690_00f3bb8dc0_b. 20151107-113225.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22669293440_f7c9e6e839_b. 20151107-113331.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22236148023_269bd2e588_b. 20151107-114011.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22868484991_348b157734_b. 20151107-114223.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22439024118_5f663a5087_b. 20151107-114506.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
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  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Rick
    Kudos on you first venture... you did great... you actually got a shot I would have killed for... but don't think you realised it..

    forgive me for reframing and reprocessing.. but this is how i would have presented this shot

    22236124503_ea41fa64ca_b.

    K
     
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  8. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA

    Thanks Kevin!

    I didn't post any of the B&W edits. Here are the only ones I did from that shoot (although I think many would look good in B&W):

    22236121883_562268e9f4_b. 20151107-113113-Edit.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22233617143_30dcd7f195_b. 20151107-113034-Edit.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr

    22828760626_1fd0a20d80_b. 20151107-111807-Edit-Edit.jpg by Rick McNelly, on Flickr
     
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  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Rick

    think you identified the 3 visually strongest shots in your original set... but never be afraid of cropping the bits out that don't add to the image

    I am still fascinated by the first one... at first reading i took it to be a smoke ring on her face... now I am not so sure... mystery is good in my books

    K
     
  10. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
    Thanks again Kevin, especially the feedback about cropping!

    Smoke ring, or exhaling from her nostrils, it certainly gives the image something.

    I'm just happy the GX8 grabbed a useable focus, the PL15 was wide open at f/1.7.
     
  11. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
    I also like the "eyes" on her shirt.
     
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    actually the best case I have seen for the 15mm. though I do love my 17mm :)

    K
     
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  13. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Really nice shot! While I do tend to be a non-confrontational type, and have some hesitation on the street, I do really enjoy shooting it and it usually outweighs my fear, unless taking a photo would very obviously be seen and registered by the subject. I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong way to shoot on the street, unless of course it ends in you being shot or beat up... but I don't think you need fear reactions too awful much. I tend to use a 50mm equiv lens so I can stand a little further back. Wider lenses are also useful further back in that you can include human subjects, but not at the center of the frame, and then it appears like you're shooting at something near them, but not at them directly.
     
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