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Author Topic: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers  (Read 1280 times)

Offline spikeyjen

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QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« on: November 05, 2013, 01:07:30 AM »
How comfortable are you photographing strangers?
Do you ask for permission before taking their photo?
Do you sneak around with along lens?

share some tips about how to take those street photos....

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 06:39:05 AM »
It's illegal in France -  Droit à l'Image. However, the EU Court of Human Rights has passed a judgment that this law is in breach of the fundamental right of free expression. But France rarely pays any attention to international laws unless it wants to. And as this law was introduced largely to cosset politicians, it remains on the statute books.

It is something that saddens me enormously, not least because France was the home of street photography. People like Ronis and Cartier-Bresson wouldn't have been able to publish their work today.
Howard  My CC Gallery
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline ABERS

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 07:58:20 AM »
I'm never happier than when I'm out and about spotting suitable targets. It's usually in a crowded place, (I've not got the patience to wait in the middle of Richmond Park just in case someone happens along) and of course everyone is fair game in a public place, and that includes the London Tube.

There are places where people love to be photographed, Speakers' Corner, demonstrations, carnivals etc. so it's like shooting fish in a barrel really. As far as asking permission it depends on circumstance, 99% of the time no, the other 1% is when I take people engaged in some activity, e.g. Woodworking, Pottery etc.

One rule I adhere to, never take people down on their luck. I used to years ago and then I realised I was taking advantage of others misfortune, I went away happy, but their situation remained the same. Eccentrics and exhibitionists, yes.

I don't creep around I'm quite open about what I'm doing.

If you see someone looking straight down the lens at you that you think are a bit peeved, press the shutter, lower the camera and smile with a big wink at them and they will smile back.  :) ;) 

A few people pics from over the years

« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 08:04:29 AM by ABERS »

Offline kerbside

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 08:26:59 AM »
Great collection of faces ABERS, liked looking through them. :tup:

You have to be in to win but winning is not everything, it's participating that counts.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 09:16:04 AM »
I like candids and street shots. I've not been doing it that long, and still have a long way to go. Don't think I'll ever reach ABERS' level, but I'm trying.

My main handicap is, that I can only see things that are right in front of my eyes; anything in the distance is lost to me, so I miss a lot of opportunites.

I often spot someone/something when I am too close, have to saunter past innocently, turn round, amble past again and have a go. Sometimes the situation/person is still 'in situ,' sometimes it's gone.

I haven't used a long lens very often, normally shoot people 'right in their face.'  I have also practiced 'shooting from the hip,' which gives you a chance to get really close. I have also, on occasion, switched to 'electronic shutter' (I think that's what it's called) which eliminates the shutter sound. (Mine is rather loud.)

I sometimes show the shot and offer to email the file. I have asked permission, especially when shooting children (fathers are 'easier to handle' than mothers. The fact that I am a female 'of a certain age,' and a mother myself - I often mention that - may give me an advantage over men.)

On occasion I have asked people if I could photograph them, but then they immediately 'pose,' which I hate. So I ask them to continue what they were doing and I follow them.

Most of the time I simply shoot, and hope for the best.


Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline SimonW

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 09:18:04 AM »
It does depend on circumstance. If it's one or two individuals I ask, and have never had a problem though I've had the occasional polite refusal. If it's a crowd or a public performer - music, sports etc, then just shoot. But I did once have a very nasty experience when photographing a street sculpture in late evening using flash. A passing woman got very abusive and quite threatening because she thought I had photographed her. I managed to calm her down and eventually explained what I had done and showed her the result on the camera, but if she had actually been in shot I guess it might have got a lot worse.
Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline Oldboy

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 09:39:49 AM »
I'm amazed at the number of people who come up to me and ask if I Will take their photo. What is even more strange, with one exception, they never ask to see the photo or where they could view it! On Saturday night after shooting the fireworks I went into the fair and took some photos of the rides using a slow shutter speed. Whilst doing this a young lady came up and asked if I would take a photo of her and friend. I had to decline, as I hadn't got a flash gun with me.

Walking around with a D3 or D800 attached to a 70-200mm F2.8 lens around my neck is a clear indication I'm taking pictures. Like Abers, I don't take shots of people down on their luck or children. When shooting crowd scenes it's almost impossible to take the shot without including children, but as long as they are not the subject I regard that as OK. I don't ask permission, as you end up with a posed shot rather than natural. If they spot me before I've taken the shot, I lower the camera and walk off. I once took pictures of young people throwing snowballs at each other but they spotted me. They came over and said they were school children and I shouldn't have taken the pictures. I point out they where in a public space therefore, I wasn't breaking any law. They also appeared to be over sixteen but, as they had objected, I agreed to delete the images. I could have replaced the card and recovered the images when I got home but I didn't. The point is to use common sense when taking photos and you shouldn't have any problems.    :tup:

Offline spikeyjen

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 09:47:25 AM »
Abers, that's a wonderful collection of photos, I only wish I could have a set of photos like that - I can only keep dreaming and practicing.
I'm getting better at the street stuff, and trying not to look uncomfortable when I do. I hate it when you aske and then they pose. I always feel obliged to take the shot, but I've lost the moment. We had a club activity doing 'signature photos'. That is we were the models for each other. It was great fun, but it was really hard to be on the other side.

Offline Jediboy

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 10:56:43 AM »
ABERS - Great photos.
And I like your ethical approach.
Personably I don't take photos of strangers. I don't feel particularly comfortable with it, but that's something I need to get over.
May the Force be with you.


Offline donoreo

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Re: QOTD 5th Nov- Photographing strangers
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 11:34:22 AM »
I must look creepy.  I never do candid street photography and I get people asking me to NOT take their photo.  I have been out taking photos of things, never people, and I will asked that.


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