Capturing moments with a real time perspective requires a social strength, observation, and practice. The best documentation photograph is like holding up a mirror to the decisive moments of the subject. The extraordinary photo will allow the viewer to experience the place almost smelling the environment and touching the textures. When you achieve this it is worth the effort that has gone into and it.
So step one is get social! In order to do this there was a 100 strangers project going on in Flickr which is a very appealing challenge that will allow to practice your social skills. This is so interesting that I may do this myself soon. However, this series of images is from two simple street walks. My aim was to capture no more and no less than ten images of people and their interaction with others and their environment.
Now you have to understand to do this in Newcastle, Australia is harder than you think. As we are not prone to paparazzi and it is not in our culture. Also there would be many to argue that these picture are pointless as it does not tell a story. I can see that argument. However, the purpose of this post is to practice getting up close.
I have been asked previously:
“What is the gear that I utilise to capture the moment?”
I feel it is all an over rated item as it is all in your own eye. However, you do need a fast camera that is ready to take the shot. To get the full effect of real time moments it is important to have a discrete camera. Currently I do all my work with the Olympus OMD EM5 and 17mm 1.8 prime lens (prime lens is one focal length). This allows me a depth of field similar to the old 35mm cameras.
I find the EM5 is a beautiful fully manual small camera that produces sharp images. It is inconspicuous and you will be more mistaken for a tourist than a photographer. To be honest the best camera is one that you are comfortable with. This could be as simple as an I-phone.
I like prime lenses for all work. They are faster, smaller, have great bokeh properties and will not have you standing there zooming in and out to get the frame. Once your use to the lens and camera you will know exactly where to stand to capture you image. I must say the 17mm 1.8 is a wide – medium format lens therefore you need to be very close to capture any sort of portraiture works. However, it works great to capture the scene. I know others that prefer a 50-90mm equivalent as it allows more space between you and the subject. I tend to agree with this and have the 45mm 1.8 on my bucket list.
Too many people including myself get caught up in all the gear. However, photography with a real time approach does not care for it. All you need is a camera that can work for itself. I utilise A mode (aperture priority) 95% of the time but others swear by P mode (program priority) so don’t have to think about the camera at all. It is all about your eye and pre-thinking of the whole concept. I should say S mode is the on to utilise if you want to capture motion.
I saw a recent youtube video where an international street photographer got in a huge argument with a lady that felt her space was violated. He could have mitigated the scene by deleting it. However, he was utilising film and could not do this. I don’t agree with it at all, if someone has a problem with their photo taken then have the respect to delete it or rip the film out.
Hope you enjoy my shutter therapy on the street part one. I am not sure how many parts this will be as this will go be the feedback.
For now have fun, share a comment, a journal and expand this community.