Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by Ian Copland, Feb 20, 2018.
Paris-Cafe de la Paix
I used to do that type of photos in the late 70's and early 80's with the Nikon F2 or F3. The only problem back then was that a lot of time the light level was low and the slow film back then couldn't do it.
Today with the Nikon Df, low light in a cafe is no longer a problem but I don't do that any more because it seems today people do not like being photographed at all unless they are posing for you. So if I ask them for permission then all I got is posed shot. If I don't I got upset people to the least as someone may call the police.
What do you mean “all” you get is a posed shot? Some of the best photos made are posed. Don’t automatically discount the possibilities when someone is aware of their picture being taken, for connection, engagement, a little theatricality, and lots more.
If the police are called because you’re taking pics in a cafe, something’s gone horribly wrong. That should be the exception, not the rule. These days, I’m rarely the only person taking pics at a cafe and don’t have problems as long as I don’t act creepy or intrusively, which I don’t. I wouldn’t run up to someone and shove a camera in their face, but there are many ways to be innocuous and successfully take pictures in closed public spaces, all while having fun doing so.
None of this means you should take pictures you feel uncomfortable taking. But there are many street opportunities still out there. Sometimes it just requires a slight shift in thinking or behavior.
I don't like people pose or act to make them look a certain way for the camera. It's simply me.
I have run into situation with people confronting me when I took their pictures without asking. Regardless of my right under the law, many people today treating someone taking pictures of others in public place as creepy and with bad intentions.
Had it happen for the first time recently - was having dinner at a resort and took a shot off the tabletop of what I thought was an interesting silhouette. The male member of the couple was very alert and saw me and commented. The situation was resolved happily when I showed him the image - explained that it was not them, just a silhouette. When I showed him the picture on the camera, his response was "nice shot". At the least, I have taken hundreds of candids without raising the camera, no problem, and never with malice, never been made aware of being spotted before. I'll probably still do it on occasion. I carry some photo Business Cards and have given one on occasion and sent prints.
Here's the photo in question , intrusive? What do you think?
Your photo is not intrusive in any way Sandy but I just wanted to say that in today society people tend to think someone taking pictures of them has to have bad intention. It wasn't like that in the 80's when I did a lot of the type of photography. My problem back then was film speed.
There's a difference between people thinking something about photographers and THE POLICE BEING CALLED. I think some photographers, for whatever reason, tend to exaggerate the risks of street shooting these days. It is definitely the case that people are more sensitive to having their pictures taken by strangers, for a variety of reasons, on occasion becoming openly hostile, but people wanting to take pictures on the street have a million ways around that and I still think hostility to the point of calling the police is the exception and not the rule. If you're just a bit street wise, just a bit willing to forego certain shots that likely will bother some individuals, have an non-threatening street presence, good reaction skills to those who may comment to you, and aren’t being overly and obviously “sneaky,” you should have little trouble on today's streets. Yes, there will be some exceptions. You can let that turn you off to street shooting, or you can take it in stride. No one should feel obliged to shoot on the street or in a cafe and no one should avoid it out of unnecessary or unrealistic fear.
Fair enough. Each of us will abide by our personal taste, though there may be some benefit in reaching a balance between doing what we like and overcoming the comforts of what may just have become ingrained or preferred. While it seems natural to be guided by one’s own tastes it may also be worth considering that . . .
Sandy, your photo doesn’t look intrusive. That doesn’t mean the situation wasn’t. Each of us has to decide and act in the moment. If I sense that people at a table nearby are having a really intimate moment, a moment that if I were having I wouldn’t want filmed even without knowing it, I might refrain even if I thought the photo wouldn’t look like an intrusion. Photos are very good at, and some photographers are also good at, making non-intimate situations look intimate and making intimate situations look less personal. I might take what seems like a very mundane, non-intimate moment among two strangers in a cafe and, through lighting, perspective, silhouetting, make it appear very intimate in the photo. Viewers might react by saying it looks like I intruded. I’d probably respond by saying, “Yes, it does look like that, doesn’t it.” What a photo IS in terms of what was actually happening at the time and what a photo SHOWS can be very different.
Nice photo and I love the hand.
San Francisco • ©Brad Evans 2018
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