Catching people unaware Street photography

1 week 1 day ago #644031 by Pettigrew
I give you street photographers credit.  I've been trying my luck at street photography and I'm finding it difficult to catch people unaware of you framing up a shot with them in it.  Generally what happens is when I get them in frame, they notice me and either turn away, or they look at me with this WTH you doing look.  Either way, neither capture the prior moment.  

How are you guys doing this?  I read some time ago, actually I think it might have been a YouTube video where this guy was talking about the 50mm as being the best lens for photographing people as it forces you to get close and capture the moment.  

That's what I'm using and I have been getting about 6-8' feet from people and just striking out.  I need to re-think this.  I'm thinking about moving to my 70-200mm and shooting from the next zip code over!  LOL seriously, how are you guys doing this?  

It's been 4 weeks of me trying this and I don't have a single good shot.  Another thing, its tougher than you would think getting that close to a stranger and trying to photograph them!

OK, that's enough from me.  Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.  

Canon EOS 7D SLR | XT W/18-55 Kit Lens | Canon 50mm 1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | Canon 28-105mm | Canon 75-300mm | Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro | Canon 100-400
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1 week 1 day ago #644036 by Nikon Shooter
My tool of choice is the 70~200 for that purpose…
most flexible, unbeatable.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
This person is a posting maniac and deserves a #1 badge!Top Poster

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1 week 1 day ago #644042 by garyrhook
There is a recent American Masters (PBS) on Garry Winogrand . Watch it.

There are a number of things you can try:

Have your camera at the ready with focus and focal length, knowing more or less where you need to be. Then surprise people by bringing it up and taking the shot without worrying about the viewfinder.

Get a camera that operates at waist level (film).

Actc like you're focusing on something past your intended subject.

Use a long lens and get away from where you want your action to be.

Watch the referenced show. It shows another interesting technique used by Winogrand.


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1 week 19 hours ago #644110 by KCook

garyrhook wrote: There is a recent American Masters (PBS) on Garry Winogrand . Watch it.

There are a number of things you can try:

Have your camera at the ready with focus and focal length, knowing more or less where you need to be. Then surprise people by bringing it up and taking the shot without worrying about the viewfinder.

Get a camera that operates at waist level (film).

Actc like you're focusing on something past your intended subject.

Use a long lens and get away from where you want your action to be.

Watch the referenced show. It shows another interesting technique used by Winogrand.

Good stuff :thumbsup:

If your idea of SP is headshots, then the telephoto approach may be your best bet.  If your SP goal is scenes that are candid, then any and all of the techniques listed by Gary could work.

I have had my best results at public occasions, fairs, celebrations, etc.  Times when cameras are expected, instead of suspect.  If there ain't a crowd, I usually strike out.

One additional technique is to set a trap.  Find a scene with an obvious backdrop (fancy building facade, whatever), set up across the way from it.  You could even use a tripod.  And simply wait for somebody interesting to walk through your FOV.  If you have the time and patience.

Kelly

Canon 50D, Olympus PL2
kellycook.zenfolio.com/

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1 week 8 hours ago #644182 by ThatNikonGuy
I was trying to find this video I watched last year on street photography, and while this isn't the one I was looking for, this is a good one  that takes a deep dive into street photography. 



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1 week 8 hours ago #644183 by ThatNikonGuy
You brought out shooting with your 70-200mm, turns out that same guy in the last video has a video on street photography shooting with a 70-200mm. 



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1 week 3 hours ago #644246 by garyrhook
I failed to mention above that there's a very good podcast called The Candid Frame, hosted by Ibarionex Pirello, that is highly recommended. Go back to the beginning when all he focused on was street photography. He's also written books.

Learn by studying others.


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6 days 6 hours ago #644373 by Zach Mosher
Great advice, I couldn't agree more with.  Why try to reinvent the wheel when you can follow the path from others.  


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5 days 18 hours ago #644430 by Chris Briggs
Position your camera in the path people and be ready for the shot.  That way you cut down on last minute calls.


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