A long time ago when I was serving my national service
at Basic Military Training, one of the lessons was the art of
camouflaging. And I could still vividly remember that we
were given five minutes to camouflage ourself. At the end
of that five minutes, we all look like some Disney characters
except for maybe one of two recruit. Instead of blending in
the forest; we truly stand out. In some way I guess we didn’t
do a good job but if there were a section of hostile enemies
in the distant, they would died of laugher just looking at us.
Fast forward to today. Many street photographers would have
chosen the black version of X100F over the uber chic silver
version. Do we really need to dress in dark clothing to
camouflage the camera in order to get the shot? If you own
a silver X100F I guess a white T-shirt will be a better bet?
In some ways this do help. Getting your shot actually requires
a lot more work than being stealth. Street Photography requires
the photographer to be Street Smart.
First would be knowing how your camera work and behave.
This is fundamental and it will make or break that winning
shot for you. Knowing how to change the camera setting in
the quickest possible time as the scene requires is critical.
I would think for street photography there is 2 ways to shoot it.
Steal a shot or take a shot. For stealing a shot; you need to be
quick, know your camera literally by your finger tips and you need
be a brave heart. Just incase you were “caught” in the act! If you
are caught; one need to engage your street smart gears. Act
innocent, look beyond, hold your stand and after a little while,
slowly walk away. Here is a series of photo that I have shot that I
was “caught” in the photography act. Sometime it’s actually
quite nice having your subject looking into the camera. What do
When the scene is crowed; its easy to blend in and take
your shot. If you are the only one there; then its a lot more
trickier. I would suggest you take your time in that environment.
Try not to steal the shot. In the mean time try shooting
everything else except your intend. If its person and either
he or she has their eyes lock on you; I guess its best to
just be brave and walk to the person and have a chat first.
Or you could just act innocent and ask for directions as if
it was your first time at the location. And at this point you
could roughly figure out this person is an enemy or friendly
If the chat work out good and hopefully opens up a door for you
to ask if you could take a portrait of him or her. It’s never easy;
you gonna get a lots of heart breaking NOs. Keep practicing
and eventually sooner than later you will get your first yes and
you could take your shot. If you do own a SP-1 or SP-2 it’s also
good to print copy or 2 for them.
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