Archive for the ‘Telephoto lens’ Tag

Street photography with Promaster 60-300 f/4~5.6   Leave a comment

This is the oldest and the cheapest lens that I have. My wife bought me this glass as a gift fifteen year ago for about $300. At that time it was very expensive for us.

I almost never used it. Oddly, I thought that having such expensive zoom I should stay with Pentax brand.  This is the classic example how wrong reasons lead to great decisions.

Now, when I do candid street photography, this lens has the second life. I even bought rubber hood for it.  It is fun to take quick snapshots using pull-push for zoom and manual focus. With some practice you can operate it pretty fast. Image quality is good enough.

Pentax’s in-body image stabilization technology works great with this stuff too. Usually, I configured it for 200mm. When I am in the mood for long range hunting I have fun with Promaster 60-300.

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Editor’s choice for Image of the Year

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

Fez tannery with 70mm   Leave a comment

Fez tannery is the only place in Morocco where I chose telephoto 70mm instead of the wide angle 21mm. We were escorted to the elevated balcony. Taking pictures from the top is not ideal for candids but using camera’s viewfinder and having freedom to wait for interesting moment was very refreshing after close range of the Fez alleys.

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

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

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.

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What is “the candid photography of strangers”?

Why is the candid photography unique?

Rules and Myths of Candid Photography: Wide angle or telephoto lenses   4 comments

Many bloggers and experts like to say that you should use wide angle lenses because they require being close to the subject. This makes street shooting a “fair” game. It seems dishonest to use a telephoto by hiding from a distance.

Hunters have the same debate when choosing a weapon.  They will argue that it is valiant to select a tool that will give their victim a chance to escape.

However, we are photographers and our goal is to make great images. We are not in a contest with people on the street or with each other. The choice of lenses is governed by artistic considerations, feasibility, or convenience, not by some superficial notion of machismo.

Often I use lenses from wide to short telephoto, including small zoom. On occasion I have fun with my old long telephoto 60-300.

I don’t toggle lenses during shooting. My choice is based mostly on my current mood and situation. If I am in doubt I use a “normal” 31 mm (with 1.5x crop factor).

I don’t use a long telephoto because being far from the object (using small view angle) makes the depth of perspective compressed. But sometimes this compression is an important part of the composition.

Wide angle lenses allow the photographer to be very close to the person. Photographers can invade the personal space of the subject before getting a chance to use the camera’s viewfinder. This may require shooting from the hip or belly.  Do not frame tightly in order to have latitude for rotation and cropping.

Use any lenses that you think are most appropriate for your situation.  Don’t concern yourself with artificial rules that many candid street photography experts try to push.

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Pentax 14mm f/2.8 for Candid Street Photography

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

Rules and myths of candid photography: An Introduction   Leave a comment

Through reading street photography forums and blogs, you can find several discussions about how street photography should be done. I will list some of them:

  • Black & White or Color
  • Wide angle or telephoto lenses
  • Ask permission or invade privacy
  • Use post processing or in camera only imaging

Let me say this now before we will delve into further details:

Photography is art. You have to make candid images that are the best for you, and, hopefully, somebody will express interest in them. Everything else is irrelevant.

Before you read an expert’s advice on how candid photography should be done, first look at his pictures. If you like them, read more and practice, otherwise continue looking for your own way.

I will address each aspect of candid photography in my next posts. Stay tuned.

Now it is my time to preach.