All the header photos are also by me.

Equipment for candid photography

Forget big lensed SLRs, of course you can stand miles away and take pictures of people but you will lose some quality and somehow it looses the intimacy and spontaneity of being close to someone. Often a potential subject can just come round the corner of a street quite unexpectedly, or you are stood on a street crossing and on the other side there is an interesting person, you are sat at a cafe table and on the next table there is an old man with a careworn face full of life’s happenings. Traveling on the Tube in London see a beautifully dressed good looking woman you want to photograph. You can’t do these with a 300 mm lens.

So get a top quality black bodied compact, being black and compact it is far less noticeable, being compact you can turn the sound off. SLRs are big and always noisy.

Also with an SLR you look like a professional photographer or a private detective, with a compact you look like a tourist, much less threatening, you can blend with the crowd better.

Lastly, and this is a serious point, with a compact you are more likely to slip it in to your pocket or bag, With an SLR you have to make more effort to take it. If you are going to work you will not take a large SLR with a 28 ~ 300 zoom on it. Therefore with a small top quality compact to hand you have a much greater chance of getting that special picture.

The next article will cover how I take pictures of people.

4 responses

  1. Admire your bravery, candid photography freaks me out, since I don’t want to be looked upon as weird if getting caught 😉

    February 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    • As i said, use a compact, turn off the sound and choose your subject carefully. I have been seen many times, most people are not sure so they don’t say anything. I have never had any one turn nasty, and only a couple have ever asked me why I took their picture.
      Go on give it a try.
      All the best
      Mike

      February 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm

  2. I do a lot of candid “street” photography and I find my big SLR to be an advantage. If you use on of these you become a “professional” photographer and nobody pays any attention to you. If you are using a compact and trying to hide it… that’s when people are bothered.

    Just my two cents’ worth.

    August 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    • Humm,
      Bill. I see your point, I must admit I don’t use my SLR enough for candid photography. I will give it a go and see how I get on.
      My compact only goes to 75 mm so a lot is very close, sometimes down to a few feet. What I really like is the silence of a compact.
      I will look over your photos, thanks for your thoughts.
      Mike

      August 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

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