Photo by myself around 34th Street and Sixth Avenue, in Midtown.
On one of the busiest street corners in New York, the setting sun cast a flattering glow on everyone in sight.
Just near Macy's are several entrances to the 34th Street subway. Bajillions of pedestrians cross the streets here every day.
That's just my estimate, not scientific fact. ;-)
While on the street Tuesday, I was thinking of some helpful hints about taking candids. I am not at all the expert about candid photography, and I encourage you to survey many street photography blogs for tips. But I did have a few words of advice.
1. Comfy shoes.
I know, I know, this tip falls under Practical Knowledge 101, but there is truth to it.
Don't try out your new platform sandals while attempting to take candids. Sidewalks are uneven and it's easy to get caught up fiddling around with your camera settings.
The last thing you need is to crash to the ground. Wear sensible shoes you're familiar with. If you feel confident on the street, it will show in your body language and in your photos.
2. Know your camera really well.
It just takes a little practice. Know how to adjust your aperture, shutter speed and ISO without needing the manual. Be able to manipulate one setting really quickly.
Candids aren't like landscapes or portraits. You're taking a photo on the fly of people who are moving. Best case scenario, you take multiple shots of any one scene so you can select the best image later.
If you plan on taking candids and you're shopping for a camera, test the cameras out first for ease in making adjustments.
3. Be subtle.
If you don't want to draw attention to yourself, try this trick: Focus your camera in a completely different direction from your subject. Then swing around and quickly take a shot of the scene you want.
Also, if your camera is black, it helps to wear a dark colored top.
4. Bring your camera everywhere you go.
Everywhere. Every day.
5. Don't be shy.
I think many photographers are more the retiring sort. We're watchful, we notice things. It might not be your nature to take candids, which might seem intrusive.
Take baby steps. Pretend you're taking photos of something going on behind the person you have in mind.
Remember that half of your face is hidden by the camera! And remember that the worst thing that could happen is someone asking you to delete a photo.
Related posts: On Street Photos in Midtown and Online, On the Times and the People and On Street Photography and Grand Central Station.