Using a wide lens, the only way to capture a person or a group of people is to walk toward them. I know you can play a few deceptive tricks by acting you’re shooting the background and whatnot. The problem is, many things happen fast in Hong Kong. It doesn’t matter how fast you’re. When a person walked by you on a packed busy street then he/she is gone, it just happened I walked by a TV celebrity Natalie Tong and had no time to react.
There’s a way which I often use. It’s not anything that special. Approaching your subjects from the side with normal pace, have your camera ready and clickkkk. In most cases, the person won’t even realize as it’s happening so fast. And there’re just too many passer-bys on the street to get noticed. The downside is we would only get the side profile of the person. It can be quite two dimensional in the picture sometimes.
What I like about this approach, it’s not because I could comfortably get a shot. It’s because it doesn’t consequently change anything the subjects are doing. It’s what candid photography with wide lens is all about. If you could do it from the hip, go for it. I frame my photos with OVF. Many good shots are just too good to be missed.
Today I found an even quicker way to snap with X100 without the systematic lag. Many of you who uses X100 knows there’s a delay/lag when going from LCD to eye sensored OVF. By switching off the LCD screen and maintaining indications on OVF would clears out the delay/lag. It would help eliminating the eye sensor delay.
This man above was on Nathan Road, packed with so many people. It was so magical that I was able to isolate everybody else.
If I duck and shoot, those two men would look for sure. To keep it low key and not to have them realized. Hip shot had to be done.
Of course, i also encourage you to do photos that have the person look at you. That look and stare can produce a powerful effect on a photo too. If you’re in a desserted area, you can just go up and ask politely for the shot. I actually had done a photo at night with a father and boy chilling at a dirty market. However, what I say above would change the nature of the photography. You have to know what type of photography you’re onto.
I’m learning photography in my own way by doing field shooting. It’s hard to get anything wrong if i got things done. Plus, as you know there’s not really a right or wrong, only better or worse. The accumulation of experience would help equip us better as I go along. Every photo equals tiny bit of experience. Every failure, reminds me to not to repeat again. Shoot more, try more!