September 01, 2014, 10:15:11 PM

Author Topic: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?  (Read 29638 times)

RS2021

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 720
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2013, 11:38:35 PM »
This looks to me like a great technique from HCB...but not as easy with any of the dSLR's I own. As much as I love Leicas, the manual focus is not gonna be practical for me.... RX1 seems more and more attractive.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 11:49:12 PM by RS2021 »
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

canon rumors FORUM

Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2013, 11:38:35 PM »

drmikeinpdx

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 304
  • Celebrating 20 years of naughty photography!
    • View Profile
    • Beyond Boudoir Photo
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 12:15:19 AM »

I attempted to use this HCB technique with the 40 pancake lens on my T2i and walking around the city streets in a trendy district of Portland, OR on a cloudy day.  I switched off the autofocus and used the zone focus method.   I got a lot of blurry images from camera motion.  I probably should have used a higher ISO and shutter speed.

I also noticed that a few people gave me dirty looks.

My second attempt at street photography was in the busy central courtyard of a local college at noon on a sunny day.  I put the 55-250 (stabilized) lens on my T2i.  I was able to sit on a decorative boulder and photograph people in the courtyard from a considerable distance without any problem.  About 80% of the images looked good.  I did not keep the camera on any one person too long, but I noticed when I reviewed the photos at home that some of my subjects were looking right at me.

Street photography is not a simple thing.  I imagine it gets easier with experience.

I've never been hassled by anyone when I am photographing buildings, scenery or pretty models outdoors.
Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
blog:   http://www.BeyondBoudoirPhoto.com

J.R.

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1469
  • A Speedlight Junkie!
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2013, 12:23:26 AM »
Get someone along with you on the photoshoot. Put them in the frame where there are other people involved - trouble goes down dramatically because others realize that you have a "specific human subject". Anyone else who happens to be there becomes largely incidental.
Light is language!

distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 12:38:47 AM »
135L is the longest I have used on the street...last time sitting on the sidewalk bench with a bagel and coffee. But frankly it is not my favorite way to shoot street...it is too distant and one of the more alluring parts of street photography is the immediacy. And interaction with the subject(s) is frequently part of that equation.

This goes to the essence of it for me.

I read comments about using long lenses and trying to hide what you're doing and having some means to escape; I wonder why anyone would take pictures of people if they're afraid of people. What's the purpose? Hell, go take pictures of buildings or cars or something you don't have to fear.

Honestly, I don't think you can be good at classic street photography if you don't genuinely like people or at least have some feeling for them. And if you fear people, I don't know why you would be taking pictures of them.

As RS says, there is immediacy and interaction -- that's the intimacy of real street photography. And like all human interactions, some will be great, most will be good and a few will be not so wonderful. That's life. You can use a camera to celebrate that or you can use a camera to aim at it and run away before anything meaningful happens.
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

DocMo

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2013, 02:05:05 AM »
If I'm "touring" and want to capture some street shots, I use my LX-7 and keep it slung over my shoulder, lens cap off, AV, and cued up. I have my shoulder strap adjusted so that the camera rests at the perfect angle for me to just press the shutter casually without having to raise it or compose.  Of course, many shots will miss and often I will need to straighten and crop after, but I can get some great shots this way and no-one knows I'm even taking pics. For example, I'm in China at the moment and here's a pic I took a few days ago SOOC.

If I'm home based, and I want to shoot a protest or rally or even just some street, I'll use my DSLR gear and throw a name-badge lanyard on. I've got all types of badges from conferences and events at work - none of them have to do with photography. But nobody reads the badge, it just looks "official". People very rarely question what they perceive as "authority", no matter how informal. If I am questioned, I just state that I'm capturing some candid photos of "the event", "the local population", "the citizens of Chicago", and then I follow with "would you like to be in a shot?". I took some candids at a Native American rally a couple months ago and one of the guys actually gave me his facebook name so I could send him a shot. After that, I got about 10 candids of him throughout the rally and was sure to follow up by sending him the pics. He ended up reposting and changed his profile pic to one of my shots. It worked out great.

So, basically, what others have said. If you have to go stealth, use a nice compact. If you bring out your real gear, act like you know what you're doing, smile, talk, invite, and shoot.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 02:29:37 AM by DocMo »
T4i  :  135 2.0 L  :  70-200 4.0 IS L  :  18-135stm  :  40 2.8stm  :  50 1.8 II  :  55-250 IS II

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2292
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2013, 10:25:27 AM »
If I'm "touring" and want to capture some street shots, I use my LX-7 and keep it slung over my shoulder, lens cap off, AV, and cued up. I have my shoulder strap adjusted so that the camera rests at the perfect angle for me to just press the shutter casually without having to raise it or compose.  Of course, many shots will miss and often I will need to straighten and crop after, but I can get some great shots this way and no-one knows I'm even taking pics. For example, I'm in China at the moment and here's a pic I took a few days ago SOOC.

If I'm home based, and I want to shoot a protest or rally or even just some street, I'll use my DSLR gear and throw a name-badge lanyard on. I've got all types of badges from conferences and events at work - none of them have to do with photography. But nobody reads the badge, it just looks "official". People very rarely question what they perceive as "authority", no matter how informal. If I am questioned, I just state that I'm capturing some candid photos of "the event", "the local population", "the citizens of Chicago", and then I follow with "would you like to be in a shot?". I took some candids at a Native American rally a couple months ago and one of the guys actually gave me his facebook name so I could send him a shot. After that, I got about 10 candids of him throughout the rally and was sure to follow up by sending him the pics. He ended up reposting and changed his profile pic to one of my shots. It worked out great.

So, basically, what others have said. If you have to go stealth, use a nice compact. If you bring out your real gear, act like you know what you're doing, smile, talk, invite, and shoot.
I hate people posng and smiling for me.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

RS2021

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 720
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2013, 10:52:01 AM »
I attempted to use this HCB technique with the 40 pancake lens on my T2i and walking around the city streets in a trendy district of Portland, OR on a cloudy day.  I switched off the autofocus and used the zone focus method.   I got a lot of blurry images from camera motion.  I probably should have used a higher ISO and shutter speed.

T2i, even with the shorty forty, would be rather bulky and obvious IMHO.  ISO in the ~1600 range and AF helps, at least for me. Much of what I do is with 35L and you have more latitude when the aperture is set higher and the shutter speed is also higher (so high ISO is key)...higher shutter speeds help reduce blur in a bustling street and higher f/stops provide deeper DOF so more of the street context is in focus. Looking for "bokeh" in hardcore street work is silly. I don't always try for the "sharpest" shots...it is a lost cause in street.

I also noticed that a few people gave me dirty looks.

Nothing riles them up more than surreptitiousness that is revealed. :) Dirty looks is not the worse so be thankful and you just smile and behave appropriately if confronted. As distant.star said, fear is useless and actually could set you up for more trouble than if you were bolder.

“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

canon rumors FORUM

Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2013, 10:52:01 AM »

J.R.

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1469
  • A Speedlight Junkie!
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2013, 11:17:48 AM »

Nothing riles them up more than surreptitiousness that is revealed. :) Dirty looks is not the worse so be thankful and you just smile and behave appropriately if confronted. As distant.star said, fear is useless and actually could set you up for more trouble than if you were bolder.

+1. There is no middle ground in such a situation - shoot without fear and the usually the worst outcome will be that someone will ask you (maybe not nicely) to bugger off.
Light is language!

bluegreenturtle

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2013, 11:25:09 AM »
Weird - I shoot video constantly on streets and public places, and include people all the time.  I'm not inconspicuous - I've got a huge video tripod with a fluid head on it.  Nobody, other than drunks and crazy people has ever said a word in all the years I've been working.  Occasionally people ask about my project, but they are friendly and interested.  I just spent 2 weeks in downtown LA shooting and the only attention I attracted was from another videographer.  Who was very friendly. 

emag

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 316
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2013, 11:47:31 AM »
After a few tense moments they realize that I am not sitting with a cannon getting ready to lob projectiles at our nation's capitol but instead trying to photograph Saturn's rings.

Moral of the story: You can get into a lot of trouble when people with guns mistake what you are doing.

Second moral: Police can't tell the difference between a dobsinian telescope and a cannon in the dark.

When I was a younger man with a full head of dark hair, Pope John Paul II visited Guam while I was stationed there.  Some friends and I were set up on a hill overlooking the podium he was to speak from, I had a Pentax ME on my orange C8 (2000mm f/10) to take photos.  Not long before he arrived, a van pulled up and several armed federal agents came over to see what I was up to...I'd been spotted by security folks who were on higher ground.  Showed them it was a telescope and camera, the lead agent radioed in that all was okay.  We went back to beer and waiting.  Who knows how things would go down today.

bornshooter

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 703
  • Love L series glass
    • View Profile
    • my flickr
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2013, 11:57:23 AM »
Don't take photos of people in public unless you get signed permission.  Many people are concerned about their photos showing up on the internet, and its a valid concern.   If there are children with them, you could end up in trouble.



 In some countries, you will end up in jail by photographing people without permission.




Claiming that you were not actually photographing anyone, is not going to be believable, if a person sees a camera pointed their way or toward their children.



As more and more so called street photographers take photos of people and children without their permission and post them on the internet, we will move closer and closer to totally restricting the use of cameras in public places.



[\soapbox]
sorry but this is nonsense real professionals have been taking photos of strangers for years i cannot believe you would say this.

bornshooter

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 703
  • Love L series glass
    • View Profile
    • my flickr
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2013, 12:01:50 PM »
Here is a street shot of a girl in prague a complete stranger let me tell you good looking girls love the attention :-)

blonde on the streets of prague by Lseriesglass, on Flickr

bornshooter

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 703
  • Love L series glass
    • View Profile
    • my flickr
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2013, 12:04:39 PM »
here is one from the uk i was practically right in this girls face with the 5dmk3 but she was in a dream world and never even noticed me lol

Rock chick by Lseriesglass, on Flickr

canon rumors FORUM

Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2013, 12:04:39 PM »

J.R.

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1469
  • A Speedlight Junkie!
    • View Profile
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2013, 12:06:32 PM »
Here is a street shot of a girl in prague a complete stranger let me tell you good looking girls love the attention :-)


I guess you are right but trouble starts when their boyfriends don't like it.
Light is language!

bornshooter

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 703
  • Love L series glass
    • View Profile
    • my flickr
Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2013, 12:07:32 PM »
Here is a street shot of a girl in prague a complete stranger let me tell you good looking girls love the attention :-)


I guess you are right but trouble starts when their boyfriends don't like it.
i have never had problems yet..but when the time comes a smile really does work :-)
and keep in mind if they attack you they are in the wrong you sue and get a few grand out of it lol
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 12:09:28 PM by bornshooter »

canon rumors FORUM

Re: How to not get beat up when photographing public places?
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2013, 12:07:32 PM »