Archive for the ‘Techniques and Styles’ Tag

Candid street photography as gambling   3 comments

By understanding relationship between the candid street photography and gambling we can answer many related questions. In gambling and in street photography you “invest” time and money. The major loss in candid photography and gambling is your opportunity loss to spend time in more rewarding way. Success in gambling and candid street photography can be achieved only by mixture of talent and pure luck.

Q. All photographers compete for attention, money or honor. Why does photography with such low entry requirements have free “how to” information available with no strings attached?
A.  Because information does not make you better photographer. By learning and doing photography you feed The System.  Very few of us have talent that would allow competing with professionals  but meantime education encourages us to pay for books, read advertisements and buy equipment.

Q. Why do people flood each other with so many bad images?
A. Investment on every image is extremely small so it is easy to make bet for some glory.  Most of us take good picture once in a while by pure chance. Streak of luck makes us feel as a genius. Lucky moments we remember much better then millions of failures and hours of wasted time. Positive reinforcement pushes us to do more shooting. Our real loss is the totality of all missed possibilities, time and money that we spend for this pursue.

Q. Why some people cannot stop buying equipment? Do we really need 3 cameras and 20 lenses to make good shot?
A. When photographers experience persistent bad luck (bad streaks) or got bored they can exhibit irrational behavior (going on tilt). There is only one remedy for this. Photographer has to admit this problem and reevaluate the basic strategy.

Q. Why the majority of photos (good but especially bad) are taken during good weather, interesting locations, or in the bars?
A. Most of us intuitively understand the concept of hedging. Hedging is the idea to get at least something in one thing for a loss of another.  It is essential strategy in the most popular gambling activity – financial trading.  At least photographer can enjoy walking, sights or cocktail when nothing valuable in terms of imaging comes to his way. Much more people would like to get soaked in the rain if this would guarantee great picture.

Give me more questions and I will happily explain them.

Related topics
What is “the candid photography of strangers”?
Why is the candid photography unique?

Random Shot   1 comment

What is the chance that you like absolutely random shot? I would guess that chance is very low but it is not zero.

Before starting my walk with infrared camera I always make one random shot with the most contrast to check histogram.  I do it often with visible light as well.  When  I looked at this test exposure image I liked it.  I feel some jazzy composition in its chaos.  I would never take it on purpose.

Related topics

What is “the candid photography of strangers”?
Why is the candid photography unique?
Infrared candid street photography

Candid mini-serieses   2 comments

Many photographers, probably intuitively, are looking for the same themes on the street. They look for candid situations with high chance of success to get interesting image. I have mine mini-serieses as well.

Bus stops

ObaMania

Ruined image or Artistic expression   10 comments

In the previous post I described some technical challenges for candid photography in Morocco.
I had my own share of missed opportunities due to technical misjudgment or just sloppiness.
Sometimes, I found interesting artistic expression in obviously ruined shots.

When I was taking pictures of doors I used low shutter speed.  I forgot my camera was still on this setting.

Overexposed, blown-out highlights occurred from not adjusting exposure after walking in a deeply shaded narrow street.

I failed to change focus when this man moved towards me.

Related topics

Why is the candid photography unique?

Candid street photography in Morocco with Pentax K-5 and 21mm f/3.2

Rules and myths of candid photography   Leave a comment

Let me know if you would like to discuss other rules and myths of candid street photography.

Use your own judgment and be creative.

Related topics

What is “the candid photography of strangers”?

Why is the candid photography unique?

Rules and myths of candid photography: To use post processing or in camera only imaging   Leave a comment

Some experts support the notion that for candid photography to be “authentic” you cannot use postprocessing for enhancement. Some may say that while it’s ok to use mercury during image development and spiral into insanity, the computer is the “poison” for your creativity.

This idea probably stems from the fear that the computer makes things so easy, professionals are going to be overwhelmed by amateurs.  It is similar to the perpetual struggle of professional gilds against mass production. Ultimately, progress is inevitable.

Opponents of postprocessing are fundamentally misguided because the more good pictures we have, the better. Even with the edition of postprocessing, nothing can make a dull image interesting.  The art of photography will always remain in the skill of the photographer.

I use very simple post processing tasks:

  • Cropping and rotating
  • Converting from color to B&W
  • Enhancing contrast
  • Sharpening

Usually this takes no more than 10 minutes. If I feel that my postprocessing is taking me too long, it’s probably a bad image in the first place.  It’s better to take the time to find a better shot, than slave away behind a poor composition.

I chose this image as an example because I did nothing with it.

Related topics

Rules and myths of candid photography: Black & White or Color

Pentax 70 mm f/2.4 DA Limited for Candid Street Photography   Leave a comment

After work one day, I had about 3 hours to myself.  I decided to kill the time shooting with a 70 mm f/2.4 using a wide open aperture.

Considering its reach, this is an amazingly small lens. With 70mm I can always use the viewfinder and there is no reason to think about shooting from the hip.

The depth of field (DOF) of f/2.4 is shallow and my only goal is to focus on the object. This is a liberating experience. The challenge is to focus on the moving target, so don’t think about what else you want to be sharp.

For more pictures go to Shooting with Pentax 70 mm 2.4 wide open only

Related topics

Rules and Myths of Candid Photography: Wide angle or telephoto lenses