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franco

Shooting Street with the X-Pro 2

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Personally, I don't like the nefarious style of shooting.  I don't think I agree with your statement that people have been striving to find ways to do this.  Some classic street photography was staged and posed.  I tend to think photographing people nefariously can be somewhat creepy - perhaps more so when it's middle aged men using longer lenses to photograph younger women they obviously find pretty from a-far (that's not a criticism of you, just an observation from other places).  I photograph street portraits by asking people, and I think the engagement you can get is more insightful and rewarding.  It also often leads to interesting conversations, invitations to sit down, or offers of coffee or beer.  "Random snapping" I don't find artistic or creative, and too often is used as an excuse for poor composition, exposure, focus and a whole host of issues that devalue any artistry.  Again, these are not criticisms of you, just general observations about the modern concepts of "street photography".

What has caused the revelation with the X-Pro 2?  I assume it's the speed of focusing and operation, based on your recount of the style of shooting?

 

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I don't find 'random snapping' creative or artistic either - its pretty dull. And you're right, there is plenty of it about as well. I prefer to tell a story, capture an unusual look or behaviour, something interesting about a person or persons...not merely pot-shots of the public. Anyone can do that.

You're right, it is nefarious - I call it a dark art, and yes, deceitful - but I also find it challenging, and that is another aspect that appeals to me. I understand it isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it greatly and it beats taking long exposures next to Big Ben, for me anyway. As far as taking random images of pretty girls with zooms - you're right there as well. Not my bag at all...

Like you, I do ask for a portrait too (as mentioned in the blog) from time to time - but I do prefer to capture something un-staged and natural, and the only way I can do that is by not telling my subject. 

 

5 hours ago, artuk said:

 

What has caused the revelation with the X-Pro 2?  I assume it's the speed of focusing and operation, based on your recount of the style of shooting?

 

Spot on. It is exactly that.

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Hmmmm....I think the issue is culture change.  50-60 years ago middle aged men shooing younger girls with cameras would not be frowned upon the way it is now.   Social change and the media have created this drama that men with cameras are in general creeps when they focus on young girls.  Personally I find it most amusing yet at the same time extremely sorrowful.  Why is it creepy for an older man to photograph a young girl and babies on the street - but it is not creepy for the same man to photograph the elderly, the homeless, the despondent, and the forgotten?  As we age, our desire for beauty does not.  We still think in our minds and hearts that the pretty 19 year old blonde who is walking along dressed in a short skirt is something special to look at.  Men have always thought that way.   Street photography used to be fun and quite enjoyable.  I find it is rather stressful these days.  

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One of the few advantages to getting older (I'm 69 this year) is that I can speak to women and even ask for a picture without them thinking "I'm on the pull" - or maybe it's actually me that has gained more confidence from that supposition! Even my wife is now happy for me to say how attractive someone is. Anyway I'm with Matt here but there is nothing nefarious in the style unless the intent itself is nefarious. What I want (and I think, Matt too) is an un-posed picture and to me any picture where the subject is aware of being photographed takes on an element of posed. I shoot Usually with XP1 from waist height. The camera is slung across my body on a longish strap to hang around my hip. I then casually "steady" the camera with my thumb on the shutter button - keep the camera back straight and vertical and aim by turning my body while looking around or even directly at the subject. The stree pics in my gallery were taken mostly from waist height. Even if one uses the tilt screen it still presents a different viewpoint to the norm and I find it attractive and when shooting with wide angles it avoids big heads/small feet - it also avoids the "looking down on someone" feel.

Like many here, I'm an admirer of the late http://www.vivianmaier.com/ who used a twin lens reflex with a waist level finder and I'm convinced that the old photographers using TLRs had an advantage in that there was less feel of the camera being pointed at the subject - there was less feel of direct eye contact - a sort of cut-off point. This didn't prevent Vivian and her contemporaries from making a link between them and their subjects though.

Any newbies - take a look at the gallery above.

 

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On 5/29/2016 at 3:10 PM, franco said:

I don't find 'random snapping' creative or artistic either - its pretty dull. And you're right, there is plenty of it about as well. I prefer to tell a story, capture an unusual look or behaviour, something interesting about a person or persons...not merely pot-shots of the public. Anyone can do that.

You're right, it is nefarious - I call it a dark art, and yes, deceitful - but I also find it challenging, and that is another aspect that appeals to me. I understand it isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it greatly and it beats taking long exposures next to Big Ben, for me anyway. As far as taking random images of pretty girls with zooms - you're right there as well. Not my bag at all...

Like you, I do ask for a portrait too (as mentioned in the blog) from time to time - but I do prefer to capture something un-staged and natural, and the only way I can do that is by not telling my subject. 

 

Spot on. It is exactly that.

You don't need to be defensive about your work. Your street photography is outstanding.

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Agree absolutely with the OP.

I did this with my XT-1 and 27 mm and there is a certain challenge and yet excitement about capturing people when they are not posed.

Mind you, more recently I also had a "commissioned" photo shoot of an office colleague's child in a playing field (with both dad and mum being present). Where children are concerned I probably would not take candid shots as per above because people are very sensitive about such things these days even though everyone is obviously fully clothed on the street.

As for veejaycee's comment, approaching young (or old) women is still something I hesitate to do, but I suppose with time I will get to that also, even though at 54 I may still be slightly in the "pulling" zone :-).

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On 06/06/2016 at 4:20 AM, RSHPhotography said:

You don't need to be defensive about your work. Your street photography is outstanding.

Thank you so much for that. Greatly appreciated.

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