Sunday, February 08, 2015

People Photography

People photography is not my specialty.

I am not a confrontational person, and when you're as big as I am, when I try to get close with my camera to people, their reaction kills whatever potential photo I saw.
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 48mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200

You have to be a good people person and have a lot of personal charm to get good people photos, like a great street photographer does.

Saturday, I hobbled around downtown Melbourne for a little while, the afternoon light was glorious (as was the whole day).

At one point, I could see amazing light on the west-facing buildings of a side street. so I followed the light.

When I wander with my camera, I just look for interesting light around me and walk over there, good photographs invariably present themselves.

On the other side of the small street, where the light was great, a tattoo artist came out of his shop and sat down for a smoke.

Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 95mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200
He looked up at me and I pointed at my camera and asked if he minded if I took a photo or two of him and his shop.

He asked what the photos were for (people often ask if I work for the newspaper), and I said they're just for me.  I told him I'd lived here for eighteen years and I had realized that if I moved away I wouldn't have photos that represent this area as I saw it.  That I was trying to now take photos that would more completely show how I see the area where I live.

He said he didn't mind and set about doing stuff on his smart phone.

I took these photos.  

Thanks to Matt at Low Tide Tattoos!
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 34mm, f8, 1/160sec, ISO 200

Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 48mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, 18-300mm lens at 95mm, f/11, 1/160sec, ISO 200


Norma said...

How big are you? I'd never heard that as a reason before.

JAM said...

Basically, I'm a really big guy. I've found out repeatedly, that when I get within peoples "personal bubble" with my camera (big-ish dSLR with large lens), they react to ruin a typical street photography shot. This happened even when I had a small but high quality point-and-shoot camera for easier carrying. But then again, true street photography and street portraits usually entail the photographer walking right up to a person, pulling up the camera and taking a shot before the person can react. Then the photographer walks away and the person photographed either does nothing and wonders what just happened, or sometimes they confront the photographer. Either way, I'm not (as of now) a pushy enough person to do that, and my size is an added factor in surreptitiously getting that close. I like looking at other's street photos, but I'm not a confrontational person and when I watch "how-to" videos on street photography, I realize that I'm pretty chicken. Legally, it's not a problem, a photographer in public places can legally take photographs of ALMOST ANYTHING in view from that public place, including children and things happening on private property. The only exceptions are semi-secret military sites and many nuclear power plants areas.