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Street Shooting — and ‘Home Shooting’!

December 24th, 2012 No Comments

If you’ve got into the groove of ‘street shooting’, it’s no big deal to you.  But if you haven’t, the idea of pointing your lens at strangers may seem a little intimidating. 

In The Ethics of Photographing Random Strangers on the Street, Ming Thein provides, not only a sketch of the ethical issues involved, but, tips and techniques as to how to go about doing something that, according to him, “requires balls.”

The idea behind street shooting is to document a ‘slice of life’; to capture the unguarded moment.  For this reason, stealth is important; as Thein puts it, “the more subtle issue of ‘quantum mechanics’ . . . if you become a participant in the image, then the reaction you provoke from your subjects will necessarily disrupt whatever it was you initially wanted to capture.”

And that is the heart and soul of authentic street shooting.  The article lays out a few ‘hows’ and Thein explains what works for him.  To his tips one may add: either remain still or be constantly on the move, do not follow anybody, ensure that flash is off, wear clothes that make you invisible, and don’t look like a photographer – look like a darn tourist!

If street shooting’s not your cup of tea and Thein fails to convince you to take the plunge, let John Gravett show you how you don’t even have to stray from home to capture some amazing images in Photographing Household Objects.

Gravett’s imaginative techniques allow you to create fascinating, abstract, images without using anything more specialized than a sheet of polarizing gel or macro lens!

Shooting plastic cutlery through a polarizer introduces a delightful effect of interlacing colours.  (Note how Gravett arranged the cutlery and composed his shot.)  How about giving the same treatment to a textured or embossed plastic bottle?

The techniques Gravett brings to bear on a paperweight and a Slinky are nice but the pick of the bunch has to be his experiment with water, oil, colour paper and angled flash.  Not only are the forms, colours and ‘scene’ quite arresting, the final image makes for quite a pretty artwork that NASA may like to post on its website, if only to befuddle an astronomer or two!

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

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