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Thread: Street photography

  1. #1

    Default Street photography

    I love to see street photos. I visit the Street and candid gallery on CS everyday so i was wondering how the pros and artists do it. I managed to find this YouTube clip showing how Bruce Gilden does it. He's a member of Magnum and that says a lot, but i dunno, take a look at the clip. I don't quite agree with his "style" of agressive shooting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM

  2. #2

    Default Re: Street photography

    Wah.So "agressive".Thanks for the interesting clip

  3. #3

    Default Re: Street photography

    Compare Bruce Gilden's approach to this guy's approach to street photography:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3HXILo9Znk

  4. #4

    Default Re: Street photography

    My personal preference to street photography is less intrusive, more discrete. I prefer to capture the subject in their natural surroundings and adopt a documentary style of shooting, like the old masters who use rangefinders with quiet shutters, hidden behind handkerchiefs until the final decisive moment.

    There were some opinions expressed in dannysantos' thread "Street shots up close" and his utilisation of the "shooting from the hip" method. Well, this video shows a street photographer who "sees with his hands" to achieve the documentary shooting effect that i highlighted above. More importantly, he provides inspiration to all those who want to explore taking their photography to the next artistic level. Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-IOEAlBpSo
    Last edited by milamber; 14th September 2008 at 06:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street photography

    I would shoot openly and have fun. Not that aggressively though.

    If I am a member in the public, I would be more obliging and comfortable to have candid shots taken by tourists/photogs who has the kind intention to at least show what they want to do, than to sneak and look evasive.

    Of course holding a camera doesn't exempt us from conducting ourselves properly in the public. Most of the time it should be alright being open about it. But always be prepared that there will be some who are slightly less tolerant, and in that case I would be happy to delete it out of courtesy.

    Ryan

  6. #6

    Default Re: Street photography

    I can't remember the last time Joe shoots with his dslr, as seen on the vid. Unlike what danny is doing, Joe shot mostly with his grd and recently, a modified canon G9. It's easiler and definitely less intrusive with a compact camera. You can shoot all day from the hip and nobody sees you. People only sees a compact camera when you raise it to eye level. But Joe's experience with working the compacts allow him to get some very nice frames.

    When I use a dslr, people will look at at my cam whether I have it at eye level or dangling off my hand. I can honestly say that you will loose a lot more shooting opportunities with a dslr if you work close, which imo is the only way to really capture a street photograph. People won't act as naturally so the only way is to shoot faster than a subject can react, whether through a viewfinder or from the hip(which is riskier to loose a shot due to estimation of framing). With a rangefinder, compacts and the sigma dp1 though, the camera is more invisible and lot less intimidating than a bulky looking dslr.

    As for Bruce Gilden, I think you should check out his book, "facing new york" where he applied some flash candids to. Flash to him is his way of expression, despite his goose hunter makeover he is really an artist.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    Of course holding a camera doesn't exempt us from conducting ourselves properly in the public. Most of the time it should be alright being open about it. But always be prepared that there will be some who are slightly less tolerant, and in that case I would be happy to delete it out of courtesy.

    Ryan
    Yes, i agree. I wonder if our Singaporean culture is as tolerant of street photographers compared to the West. But i do see more and more people here taking to the streets with their DSLR so hopefully, over time, the tolerance will come. Nevertheless, ethics is important when shooting.

    Quote Originally Posted by drybox
    I can't remember the last time Joe shoots with his dslr, as seen on the vid. Unlike what danny is doing, Joe shot mostly with his grd and recently, a modified canon G9.
    Hi Gerald, how come you sound like you know Joe Wigfall personally? I was thinking of procuring a G9 myself for the purpose, but got sidetracked into looking at the A590IS with its flip screen LCD which i thought would be very useful for discrete shooting away from eye level. Then Pana released its G1 which is another camera that seems tailor made for street shooting... not the gaudy red or green bodied one but the all black model.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    Yes, i agree. I wonder if our Singaporean culture is as tolerant of street photographers compared to the West. But i do see more and more people here taking to the streets with their DSLR so hopefully, over time, the tolerance will come. Nevertheless, ethics is important when shooting.

    Hi Gerald, how come you sound like you know Joe Wigfall personally? I was thinking of procuring a G9 myself for the purpose, but got sidetracked into looking at the A590IS with its flip screen LCD which i thought would be very useful for discrete shooting away from eye level. Then Pana released its G1 which is another camera that seems tailor made for street shooting... not the gaudy red or green bodied one but the all black model.
    Despite what you think about the west being more tolerant, I would say it's actually no different than any part of the world. But some places are definitely harder to photograph, like HK due to media sensitivity. Developing nations are probably easiler to photograph for obvious reasons. In some parts of Europe (I believe it's Germany) it's forbidden to take a picture of people showing their faces without their permission.
    If you are talking about through the viewfinder here, tt's really not that difficult to take a picture of a person upclose in Singapore as compares to NYC Hell's Kitchen, whether you ask for permission, or not. Fact remains that most people do not like their pictures taken and it's up to the photographer how he or she works to get around that.

    I do not know Joe personally, he's a flickr contact who got me started with street shooting and it's easy to tell what he is using, just look at his photo tags. I only know that he customized his G9 after I asked of course.
    Cameras will just be cameras. It's the approach that counts. Different cameras allows you to approach a subject differently; In terms of getting permission to shoot, people tend to take me seriously when I use a dslr and I usually get more interesting and varied reactions. But it's easiler to shoot with discreetion with a compact, and even if I am pointing it at them 4 feet away they'll just ignore me.

    Forget those camera's with flip out screen. Chances are, if I am the average joe on the street and see you looking at the LCD with the lens pointed elsewhere, I will get a terrible impression of this photographer, because he is obviously sneaking a shot and he is very visible in a bad way. Flip out lcd shooting would be poor for spontaneous shooting also.

    The G1 with their 7-14mm F4 seen like a very good option for street works, mirrorless will definitely be more quiet, but I had prefer to see what olympus's going to do before I make any decision.
    Last edited by The Dry Box; 14th September 2008 at 07:19 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    I love to see street photos. I visit the Street and candid gallery on CS everyday so i was wondering how the pros and artists do it. I managed to find this YouTube clip showing how Bruce Gilden does it. He's a member of Magnum and that says a lot, but i dunno, take a look at the clip. I don't quite agree with his "style" of agressive shooting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM
    Super duper agressive.
    Meow!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    I love to see street photos. I visit the Street and candid gallery on CS everyday so i was wondering how the pros and artists do it. I managed to find this YouTube clip showing how Bruce Gilden does it. He's a member of Magnum and that says a lot, but i dunno, take a look at the clip. I don't quite agree with his "style" of agressive shooting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM
    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    Compare Bruce Gilden's approach to this guy's approach to street photography:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3HXILo9Znk
    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    My personal preference to street photography is less intrusive, more discrete. I prefer to capture the subject in their natural surroundings and adopt a documentary style of shooting, like the old masters who use rangefinders with quiet shutters, hidden behind handkerchiefs until the final decisive moment.

    There were some opinions expressed in dannysantos' thread "Street shots up close" and his utilisation of the "shooting from the hip" method. Well, this video shows a street photographer who "sees with his hands" to achieve the documentary shooting effect that i highlighted above. More importantly, he provides inspiration to all those who want to explore taking their photography to the next artistic level. Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-IOEAlBpSo
    Comparing the way of shooting between the 3 of these artist, i personally prefer Joe's way of shooting. Not too intrusive. But the use of hand to shoot, i feel, there will be chances where great moments will not be properly composed and thus, go to waste...But still, i really love most of his shots. Maybe it is due to the wider perspective he is using.

    Oh, this is the first time i see the shots of these 3 photographers by the way.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    I would shoot openly and have fun. Not that aggressively though.

    If I am a member in the public, I would be more obliging and comfortable to have candid shots taken by tourists/photogs who has the kind intention to at least show what they want to do, than to sneak and look evasive.

    Of course holding a camera doesn't exempt us from conducting ourselves properly in the public. Most of the time it should be alright being open about it. But always be prepared that there will be some who are slightly less tolerant, and in that case I would be happy to delete it out of courtesy.

    Ryan
    Fully agree, bro~

  12. #12

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dry Box View Post
    It's easiler and definitely less intrusive with a compact camera. You can shoot all day from the hip and nobody sees you. People only sees a compact camera when you raise it to eye level.
    Ya man. True. Even nowadays when you raise the compact to eyes level, most people won't really care as along as you don't look really local. Recent experience in China with my P5100 shows that. Especially in places where a lot of tourists are moving about.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dry Box View Post
    When I use a dslr, people will look at at my cam whether I have it at eye level or dangling off my hand. I can honestly say that you will loose a lot more shooting opportunities with a dslr if you work close, which imo is the only way to really capture a street photograph. People won't act as naturally so the only way is to shoot faster than a subject can react, whether through a viewfinder or from the hip(which is riskier to loose a shot due to estimation of framing). With a rangefinder, compacts and the sigma dp1 though, the camera is more invisible and lot less intimidating than a bulky looking dslr.

    Yup, that's why i say you are the man.(oh ya, dannysantos bro too). Up in the face.

    I remember there was once i was doing some shoot with my P5100 in the park and i saw a China lady (pretty wor...) using a dSLR and tripod. Immediately, she attracted attention of people around her. But since she is doing macro (err, with a kit lens...), no one really do care.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Dry Box View Post
    Fact remains that most people do not like their pictures taken and it's up to the photographer how he or she works to get around that.
    True... Maybe even for shooters like us too.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dry Box View Post
    Cameras will just be cameras. It's the approach that counts. Different cameras allows you to approach a subject differently; In terms of getting permission to shoot, people tend to take me seriously when I use a dslr and I usually get more interesting and varied reactions. But it's easiler to shoot with discreetion with a compact, and even if I am pointing it at them 4 feet away they'll just ignore me.
    Ya.. i personally also feel, if we were to ask for permission, the shot won't be natural already. And to me, somehow, is not street photography already.

    Street photography to me, maybe, is to portray a certain feel through the body movement of the subjects. So to me, it requires observation of the subject.

    It is not just simply bursting the shutter and take photos of people around us. And to me, closeup of face may or may not be neccesary as the main thing is the motion and action of the subject.

    But i do hope to do more close up street shot inclusive of the motion and action of the subject. This is something i am lacking for sure.

    Anyway, 1 way to do it opening (using a dSLR) and not so intrusive (camera right in the face), is to maybe use a wide angle lens and tele photo lens.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dry Box View Post
    I do not know Joe personally, he's a flickr contact who got me started with street shooting and it's easy to tell what he is using, just look at his photo tags. I only know that he customized his G9 after I asked of course.
    Oh yes, i need to learn more about Flickr. Do you keep in touch with him often? I googled him and found out that he had won a prestigious photo contest recently. Glad to see his sacrifice paying off eventually! So, what did he do to "customise" his G9?

    With regards to the flip out screen, i was also on the verge of getting a second hand Olympus 5050 to play with. Their screen doesn't really flip out but rather comes out at a 90 degree angle to the body so that it looks like you're using a medium format look from the top style of shooting. Another plus point is the super cool f1.8 lens on that camera. Even the current LX3 cannot beat that speed.

    The G1 with their 7-14mm F4 seen like a very good option for street works, mirrorless will definitely be more quiet, but I had prefer to see what olympus's going to do before I make any decision.
    Yeah, i hope they come up with something that looks more like a rangefinder than an SLR.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Street photography

    It's great to see all you experienced street photographers discussing the art of street shooting in this thread. Maybe one day we could all meet up and go for a street photoshoot, which is an idea i'm toying with for the coming big Christmas festive holiday!

    Anyway, here's today's video clip of the day! From my own personal favourite Magnum photographer - Alex Majoli. Did you know that he actually shoots using a point and shoot camera to produce all his award winning shots? Read this article about him:

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...id=7-6468-7844

    As of 2005, he was shooting using the Olympus 8080! Not sure if he still shoots with a prosumer these days. The other photographers at Magnum sort of looks down on his choice of camera but hey, he has won many prestigious awards since then and brings these prosumer cameras into the war zones of the world! Goes to show how hardy these plasticky prosumers really are! Here's the video clip on him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbu6q1CevCE

  15. #15

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    It's great to see all you experienced street photographers discussing the art of street shooting in this thread. Maybe one day we could all meet up and go for a street photoshoot, which is an idea i'm toying with for the coming big Christmas festive holiday!
    Hehe, form a new group call Street Shooters.

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    Anyway, here's today's video clip of the day! From my own personal favourite Magnum photographer - Alex Majoli. Did you know that he actually shoots using a point and shoot camera to produce all his award winning shots? Read this article about him:

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...id=7-6468-7844

    As of 2005, he was shooting using the Olympus 8080! Not sure if he still shoots with a prosumer these days. The other photographers at Magnum sort of looks down on his choice of camera but hey, he has won many prestigious awards since then and brings these prosumer cameras into the war zones of the world! Goes to show how hardy these plasticky prosumers really are! Here's the video clip on him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbu6q1CevCE
    Wow, seems like you are really doing a lot of research on street photography. Thanks for the link bro~

    Ya man, as you can see, actually, street photography can be done with a PnS too.
    It is not that technical like portrait and poses (which requires a lot of knowledge on pose, lightings, PP etc), landscapes (lightings, filters to use, tilt etc), macro (DOF, specialised lenses).

    Basically, at least to me, is to capture the moment or tell a story. If possible, to make people think.

    And if you ask me,

    1) Why dSLR?

    Oh, cos i hope to have more control of my stuff.
    And of course, i wanna be able to take shots of other fields as well.

    2) Why expensive lenses?

    Speed. And also, these lenses can be use for other type of shots as well.
    I use my wide angle for landscapes and street.
    I use my tele for action, portraits and street too.

    And you seldom see me use my 17-50 for street though it is most likely the most commonly used focal range for streets due to its versatility.
    But i merely use it for event shoot. Which i seldom do. No business. Hahahhaah.
    Last edited by Yapster; 15th September 2008 at 12:00 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    Oh yes, i need to learn more about Flickr. Do you keep in touch with him often? I googled him and found out that he had won a prestigious photo contest recently. Glad to see his sacrifice paying off eventually! So, what did he do to "customise" his G9?
    If you like, I can help you ask. He's a very nice person really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yapster
    Ya.. i personally also feel, if we were to ask for permission, the shot won't be natural already. And to me, somehow, is not street photography already.
    Imo asking for permission not necessary have to be a a full liner, it can be as simple as saying "hi uncle", see if the reaction is positive and hit the shutter release.

    I think it really depends on what you want to capture. A smile, an acknowledgement, it can be a nice variation from what we normally do.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dry Box View Post

    Imo asking for permission not necessary have to be a a full liner, it can be as simple as saying "hi uncle", see if the reaction is positive and hit the shutter release.

    I think it really depends on what you want to capture. A smile, an acknowledgement, it can be a nice variation from what we normally do.
    Yup bro, this way is nice. As long as not, "Uncle, can stand there for a while and give me a "V" sign?".

  18. #18

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Yapster View Post
    Wow, seems like you are really doing a lot of research on street photography. Thanks for the link bro~
    Yup, i'm very sian at the moment, cannot shoot due to busy work commitments so can only surf the net to get inspiration for my next photoshoot opportunity. Building up to the coming Christmas season shoots.

    Here's a video clip with a different feel. Enough pictures of Ang Mors! Lets see some Asian streets to get closer to home accompanied by some powerful accoustics and haunting melodies:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOfRcU1ftgE

  19. #19

    Default Re: Street photography

    Quote Originally Posted by milamber View Post
    Yup, i'm very sian at the moment, cannot shoot due to busy work commitments so can only surf the net to get inspiration for my next photoshoot opportunity. Building up to the coming Christmas season shoots.

    Here's a video clip with a different feel. Enough pictures of Ang Mors! Lets see some Asian streets to get closer to home accompanied by some powerful accoustics and haunting melodies:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOfRcU1ftgE
    Those are Mark Carey's works. He, like Joe Wigfall also use flickr as a medium to showcase their stuff.
    Here's his site.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/markantonyphotos/

    One thing about Mark's pictures is they are usually very focus on a particular subject(like joewig), and his style is unmistakable. Check out his stuffs, and you'll see the difference between him, joewig and actually, lot others.
    He also use the G9, and canon dslrs.

    Quite a number of vids you can find on tube are created by flickr users.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Street photography

    Thanks for sharing, guys.

    Here's one wide angle street shooter intro to me by night86mare bro himself.

    Rui Palha

    I pretty much like his use of wide angle for street stuff.

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