How I take candid photos of people.
If you intend to take covert pictures of people, my No 1 rule is check whose picture you are taking, if it is a man with muscles like popeye and mean looking with his very good looking girlfriend, walk on, if he catches you there might be serious trouble because he thinks you are taking pictures of his girl.
No 2 rule never to make eye contact.
If some one thinks that you might have taken their picture if you look at them they will guess that you have taken their picture. Take your picture look around, pretend to take a picture of some other part of the scene then walk off. No eye contact.
Many compacts can take video, pretend you are taking a video of the area, hold your camera up to one side of your target and slowly move it around, when you get to your subject, pause, press the shutter and carry on around, then look at the camera screen as though you are examining the result and walk away, No eye contact.
Pretend you are a tourist taking a picture of something behind them, they do not know you have zoomed in on them or what you are focusing on.
Get practiced pointing the camera in the right direction while holding it at waist level, get practiced at holding the camera away from you, say you are sat on a bench, put your arm along the bench back with your camera in your hand pointing at your subject. When you think it is aimed correctly right look the other way and press the shutter.
People expect you to look through your camera viewfinder or at the screen to take a picture, if you are not you are not taking a picture, so they think.
Remember to turn off the sound.
I have taken pictures with my camera behind my back, ok often you completely miss your subject, but now and again you will get it spot on.
If you are sitting on the Tube in London, for example, hold your camera on your knee, look the other way or talk to your companion and quietly press the shutter button.
Generally they do not like you taking pictures in art galleries and the like, try the tricks above or simply be brazen and take it, You will be asked to stop, smile, apologise and put your camera away, you have your picture.
I have turned on the camera self timer, pressed the shutter, put the camera down pointing at the subject to get out my wallet and pay for something, meanwhile a few seconds later the camera takes the picture and you were not even holding it, who could be suspicious?
Be inventive, prepare for failures.
Next article, Asking people if you can take their photo.