A couple of friends and I decided to go street shooting in London back in July 2011. Not only is the city itself a great place to visit, but it also threw it´s first London Street Photography Festival that summer. It was a great opportunity to experience some exhibitions by the great street photographers and an offer we just couldn´t refuse.
Anyhow. One morning we got up early as my friend wanted to shoot some stock photos of the Big Ben. I wanted a shot of it as well, but had set up my mind to do it as a street photography rather than as a architectural photo. The plan was to lurk around and keep my eye out for anything interesting that included human presence.
After a couple of hours later i had still not found what I was looking for, I moved towards the Big Ben on the Westminister bridge. I suddenly noticed a strange figure in strong red colors, moving towards me on the opposite of the road. I almost got run over by a car while crossing the street, preparing my camera as I moved. I knew I only would have one shot to nail it and – realizing the possible religious implications taking pictures of this woman – so I went for a hip shot. Well, actually I put the camera strap over my neck and held it at chest level, pre-focused at 2 meters, turned the autofocus on, moved the focus point from center to the left and waited for her to walk into focus.
I never looked at her when I made the exposure – instead I had my eyes on the distance scale on my lens. As soon as the lens started to lock focus on 2.5 meter I knew I had her in focus. The Big Ben in the background was just a bonus, but as the saying goes: Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.
Great timing, love the story
Thanks, Ella! :)
:) you shoot from the hip to be unobtrusive? comfort? or both? it’s an issue I have with a big dlsr it’s very hard to take those candid shots.
Well, in this case it was all about being unobtrusive, but I also use hip shots to get interesting angles and when I just don´t have the time to raise the camera to eye level:
Quick draw from the hip: https://gatufoto.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/101124_imgp0614.jpg
Low angle: https://gatufoto.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/110822_imgp68502.jpg
I do use other techniques as well, as candid or in-your-face:
I think you can shoot street with just about any kind of camera as long as you feel comfortable using it. I have never felt confident using huge zoom lenses, but have friends that have no problem at all with that. I´m a prime dude :)
Thanks for sharing. In-your-face it is most certainly! :) I shall have to practice my hip shooting then, or maybe chest shooting as I am quite short… or maybe I can make the midriff the new head.
Awesome shot! The story is pretty good, too. I can almost visualize the whole scene as you rush to get into position and to get your camera ready :-)
When I got close enough to actually se what the red cloth was all about I got pretty excited. Not to mention the little details, as her beeing pregnant. “New life – old cultures” ;)
Thanks for watching, Icastel! :)