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    • rtwPaul

      A stranger in a crowd, maybe in a foriegn land who to themselves maybe hates their appearance in a photograph (don't we all) but to you has a certain something and you want to capture their image.

      To me, sniping is my way, I'll sit in an area for a while to try and blend in, then from a distance take a shot with a long lens, my target unawares as I want to get them as candid as possible.

      How do you go about it?

    • Awais

      I mostly approach person and ask for a click. If he or she permits i take the photo. Sometimes if they are busy in their work i just click it without permission (they know i am clicking)

    • Awais

      no specific, just a smile or sometimes grab their attention by shooting something else and turn to them and ask them if they want me to take a pic of them.. or sometimes discuss about them, their business or activity they are busy in, makes them comfortable.

    • rtwPaul

      interesting, I looked at your website and its obvious you engage the people very well, amazing images from areas I'm yet to travel to.

      Off topic, would love to know your gear list, didn't see it on your site

    • Chris

      I want to be like Awais because I feel like I’m pretty good with a smile and asking if I can take their photo. I try to do it in a complementary way, genuinely, because I often want to take their photo because I like the way they look.

      It works pretty well for me at places like ComicCon or Maker Faire because people are proud of how they look and it shows in the photos. They offer up dramatic poses. I often do it for guests at a wedding or event because they light up in the moment you ask them to put their arms around each other or get close.

      Where I don’t seem to get much success is under the circumstances Paul shoots in. I usually don’t speak their language and I don’t prefer the looks they give me on camera. With Awais in Pakistan I wonder if he’s successful at it because he’s so nice or it’s a cultural thing and people feel comfortable around him.

      So I do what Paul does and snipe with my long lens. I like that the expressions are so candid. But honestly, every time I see either of your photos, I admire them more than my own, so I should be quiet and focus on how you do it.

    • Awais

      Thanks! on my website you will mostly see photos shot with Canon 5D Mark II my current cam, Canon 400D and some shots with Canon 7D (i didnt keep 7D for long and upgraded to Full frame).

      Lenses include Canon 17-40L, 70-200 2.8L IS II and 50mm 1.4 Art Sigma.

    • Lauren

      I like taking candid-style photos on the streets; I’m always fascinated by the little moments of raw expression that often go unnoticed. 

      My three favourite lenses for this style of photography are 18mm, 23mm, and 35mm (on a 1.5x cropped sensor). Robert Capa once said:

      "If your pictures aren't good enough, you’re not close enough."

      I like to try and be in the middle of what’s going on and I often felt telephoto lenses detached me from the story—but it’s all relative. I prefer to shoot with prime lenses; they keep me thinking and allow me to shoot with a shallow depth of field. Just like Ernst Haas once said:

      "The best zoom lens is your legs... Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward and look for the ah-ha."

      Regardless of technique, there’s something amazing about the unfiltered expression of candid portraits, right?

      Your photo is great by the way - love the colours 👌🏼.

    • Lauren

      I think this is great, I’ve never had he bravery to start up a conversation like this. The “Humans of New York” series is quite fascinating for this reason.

    • Awais

      Indeed HNY is an inspiration. i never faced any issue while shooting stranger except female, i never had courage to discuss a photo opp with a female, except at one place i was visiting known for colorful wardrobe of women. Family gave me access to their home after i had very good discussion about their life in desert. Women was so shy and got very confused due to my presence then i just clicked what i could.

    • Lauren

      Wow, great photo—that light is so stunning.

      That’s interesting to hear and I often wonder if, as a female, this is a genre of candid photography is one we can “get away with” more. I feel like I should explain that a little...

      I went on a street photography walk once and when we were “caught” taking someone’s photo, it seemed like the females got more of the “laugh-offs” than the males. The male photographers were left trying to justify their reasonings for taking the photo, while the females got a smile or a laugh. I found that quite interesting and wonder if that plays a part in what you wrote about photographing women. 🤔.

    • Awais

      I agree women seems comfortable with a women, may be its a natural phenomena with some cultural and security issues as well.

    • rtwPaul

      I love to shoot with primes but as space is limited as i travel I only carry one, 35-2.8 and for me getting that close I often lose the moment, so to speak, people in foriegn lands tend to have 'personal space' feeling in another way. You'd be amazed how many imtes I've heard, you stole my spirit in latin cultures.

    • rtwPaul

      I could put something together very similar, 'strangers in the crowd, Latin America', it might be unique to me, but I often take the shot then go and talk to them afterwards, this way I have something to speak about but my opening line is not, "I just took your photo".

      More of a general conversation with the camera hidden, then I might bring up the subject of taking their photo if it seems right, then I get a candid shot and a shot of how they feel they should be seen.

    • rtwPaul

      you could try my line that has woked so well in the past, I tell them I shoot for major magazines and felt their natural image should be seen by more people...with a corny tag line of "you are very beautiful/ handsome". If they are still not happy I show them the photo first and if they still object I delete it in front of their eyes

      This lady was objecting until she saw her own image then she walked away giggling like a little girl, and said thank you

    • vegasphotog

      Mostly.....I don't have the time to engage unless I do. So, I like to shoot like a voyeur mostly because it does not require a model release. BUT, rtwP, your photos capture 10000% more by capture the face and mostly the eyes.

    • Lauren

      I didn’t even think of the cultural differences. I do actually notice it in some places even close to home. Street photography is so easy in Edinburgh, for example, because it’s so touristy and no one bothers about what you’re doing. But in Glasgow, things are a little different, people seem more aware of you and what you’re doing. And those cities are only 25/30 miles apart. So that makes sense, for sure.

      Great photos though, I’m kinda envious 🙂.

    • Chris

      Wow, that's a beautiful photo, Paul. Everything works—the light on her face, her expression, the colors, depth of field. She looks very pretty and happy. No wonder she went away giggling.

    • wx

      This subject came up on another forum and the people who responded -- all of them male, I believe -- were angry and confrontational about being photographed without their permission. I think they assumed that the shooter would be a male. It would be very interesting to see how they responded to a female phoographer.

    • wx

      When I first got a camera and shot a movie theater exterior in Sacramento, a homeless person was in the vicinity (but not in the shot.) He came over and wanted money. So there's that possibility too. lol (Back in the film days it was hard to convince somone you hadn't taken their picture. He was angry.)

    • rtwPaul

      I struggled to find anyone with a scotish accent in Edinburgh, I had to call a friend who lives near the forth bridge to convince me there were some locals left

    • rtwPaul

      she had a secret and loved that she knew how to escape and the kids didn't, she was selling finger traps she makes for a couple of dollars, I watched her catch out a few adults too

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