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.