Street Experiences

While I’m waiting for my laptop to finish the defrag process (it takes forever) and playing The Simpsons Tapped Out (because I need something really geeky right next to me), I decided to write about something I really love to do, which is street photography.

I am the queen of “chickeness” when it comes to photograph strangers because I am always afraid of being caught in the act.
I look completely silly when I’m trying to photograph someone.

Here’s where I disagree with some street photographers and some articles written on street photography.

Use a 35mm or a 50mm or your photo will not be considered street. You need to be right in the middle of the action.

I ask why. Most of the times I use a 24-70mm. Sometimes I shoot at 35, 50 or 70mm.
If I use the 70mm focal length does it mean that I am not close to the action? Absolutely not.
The other day I was walking around when I bumped into a guy trying to give directions to a tourist. I was very close to them, so I raised the camera and zoomed as much as I could so I would be able to capture the 2 men expressions.

There were also times where I shot with a 70-200mm, to capture a scene happening near me but I couldn’t just interrupt what the person was doing just to take a closer photo. Besides I would have to switch lenses and that would make me lose the moment.
So yes, it is kind of creepy to use a cannon to photograph people and street but what is the best? Capture the moment or being picky and not take the photo?

Recently I started to gather all my courage and photograph people right in their faces. People’s reactions are priceless. No one confronted me (yet) with bad manners.
Let me transcribe some of the funny comments I’ve received:
– Did you take my picture? I must look terrible!
– Did I stay in front of your picture? Because I don’t want to ruin it with this face.
– Why do you want to take my picture? (and after the explanation people will gladly allow me to take the photo)

Did you take my picture? I must look terrible!

The most interesting photo was taken last Saturday while I was in a park with my nephews.
I walked past a bench where 4 women were sitting and one man was standing up.
He said while I was passing by: No one ever wants to take my picture…
I immediately turned back and said: “Well, then we need to fix that. How many pictures do you want?”
– “Am I going to be published in a newspaper?”
– “Well, I’m afraid that for the moment I can only put you on the internet, as I am not a journalist or a pro. I do this because it’s a passion.”
– “Ok then, take my picture. Can my daughter see it after?”
– “But of course! Here’s my website. tell her to contact me if she wants the original for a print. I will send her the picture.”
– “Really? These days no one ever gives anything to anyone anymore.”

And I was sure I will continue to photograph for a long, long time!