Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 23

“Alright, Mr Draco. I’m ready for my close-up”

Sydney January – August 2015 (7 photos)

When I’m out on the streets, my camera is always on, the lens cap is always off, and the manual focus of my prime lens is set at about 3 metres; I usually shoot in the range of 2 – 5 metres with a 50mm lens. You never know what scene you will encounter, and the scene can change substantially between spotting it and getting ready to get the shot in. And who wants to miss that shot for not being ready or not being close enough?

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 25

“Enjoying the view from the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge”

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 21

“Let your fingers do the walking”

I like to just wander around and photograph simple candid moments. There can be so much to appreciate in that one simple moment that might otherwise have passed unnoticed.

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 22

“Where am I? Let me check Google Maps”

Candid photography is all the more easier these days for the introduction of mobile technology. Most people these days have a mobile phone. It constantly takes their attention and time. In turn, this lets me get in close and undetected.

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 26

“Candid photography is like a box of chocolates”

The mobile phone keeps them connected, but at the same time disconnected from their immediate environment.

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 24

“Lessons in how to be alone in a crowd”

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates 20

“Modern conversations”

Daughter on phone: Hi Mum. It was good seeing you. We should catch-up more often.
Mother on phone: Yes it was. Same time next week? Gotta go now. My battery’s dying.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera, Sony Etcetera

Candid photography is like a box of chocolates #5


93 thoughts on “Candid photography is like a box of chocolates #5

  1. KG says:

    Even before I read the caption, those were my exact thoughts as soon I saw that photograph in my reader 🙂
    “Alright, Mr Draco. I’m ready for my close-up”

    Connected and yet Disconnected – nice one!

  2. mickey2travel says:

    Wonderful photographs and excellent points on how “technology” has totally pulled us toward another direction, that many times we do not appreciate our current surroundings or people interaction anymore. Thank you for sharing!

  3. “…everything to do with the way you see them.” So very true. That last photo is a classic portrait of our era. A scene so familiar. You, young man, know how to use technology to your advantage.

    • Everything’s open to interpretation which is what I like about street photography.

      I saw those two just sitting and talking, not even looking at one another. A great way to “connect”.

    • We need to exercise control over our use of the smartphone. People texting and talking on their phone whilst driving just make me shake my head.
      Thanks for the visit, Sophie. Have a great Friday and weekend ahead.

  4. Nelson says:

    I like the last one, the two women sitting at the same table each talking on the phone. This behavior is such a normality right now.

  5. Do you shoot in black and white or colour and then convert? The contrast is so good in your images. This post brings to mind the lyrics

    “It’s so funny
    How we don’t talk anymore
    It’s so funny
    Why we don’t talk anymore
    But I ain’t losing sleep
    And I ain’t counting sheep
    It’s so funny
    How we don’t talk anymore”

    but then I’d have to admit to knowing a Cliff Richard song….

    • I shoot in raw colour. I then process the photo to the best of my ability in full colour, as if that were the final step. After that, I convert to B&W and make additional adjustments as needed. So B&W processing actually takes me longer because of the extra steps.

      Yes, we all know a Cliff Richard song or three. I even did a post based on one of his songs previously. 🙂

  6. I do like the second photo. The outward man taking photos and aware of every thing around him and the inward man totally transfixed on his phone. I think I can guess who will enjoy and remember their day most…

  7. I absolutely hate it when you are out with friends and their phone rings. They naturally take their call and end up talk for ages and forget all about our get together. Is f8 your mate?

  8. fabulous shots, woody dragon, the last photo truly drives home the point.
    in years to come, we will look back at the mobile phone as the most useful and abused invention of the 21st century.
    have a good weekend.
    best regards, ken

  9. I’d never thought about the mobile phone as a photographer’s friend in that sense but it’s certainly stood you in good stead here! Love that shot of the stylish lady. I look like that in my dreams 🙂

  10. Good captures, depressing reality. I visited a high school last spring and thought a group of girls were having a prayer circle at a table in front of the building. When I got closer, I realized every single one had her head bowed over her phone.

    Don’t you sometimes feel as though you could abandon all the stealthiness and just walk right up and take your shots?

    • It’s so common. Maybe we should presume that if someone has their head down, they’re on their phone?

      Abandon stealth? Not yet. People will still look if they notice sudden movements in front of them. 🙂

  11. I love the quote by Elliott Erwitt “I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” That’s so true, in photography, art and writing too. And the sunlight on that girl with the phone is really beautiful! 🙂

    I’ve been messing around with my camera on my new phone (Samsung S4 mini) and discovered it reproduces contrasting light and darks quite perfectly. Always good for really a striking picture. It’s amazing what those little phones can do.

    Been meaning to ask you recently what camera you mainly use? Both my brother and I want to buy new cameras some time next year and for me at least it seems I don’t know where to start. I really like your crisp clarity in your images, although I guess a lot of that is also down to the lens you use as well as the camera? I like the idea of a DSLR as many years ago I had an SLR. I’m probably not thinking of spending a huge amount of money as I’m not likely to use it all of the time, possibly about £500 maybe a little more. Any suggestions? Especially on the make of camera and also the ones to avoid.

    • I agree, that quote is very true in many aspects of life.

      I use a Leica and a Sony A7, neither of which would fall into the price range you want, unfortunately. For DSLR, Canon and Nikon are the brands to stick to and they have a wide range of camera bodies. Maybe a smaller camera might suit you? Let me give this a bit more thought and I’ll get back to you.

      • Interesting you should suggest Canon and Nikon, as they were the two I had in the back of my mind. I’ve been using a little Canon (PowerShot A610) that my brother passed on to me about three years ago, and you’ve seen the pictures it takes on my post about the seaside town. It’s not too bad for a point and shoot camera, and has a lot more features on it than I’ve ever bothered to get into (getting lazy!). My brother bought himself a Fuji camera to replace that Canon, and as much as I used adore Fuji film when I was young (never used anything else) I don’t really like quality of his pictures. Some look brilliant, but others look artificially sharp – almost crispy if that makes sense? And it hasn’t lasted well, there are a few things on it that no longer function, where as the Canon is twice the age and still taking quite good pictures, without me even trying hard. So yes, I may well go for another Canon. I’d love to have a camera that’s flattering to faces as well as scenes using the same lens, but not sure if that’s possible. In the 80’s I had a Praktica, bought it brand new, and I knew a lot of photographers frowned at the mere thought of Praktica, but it was all I could afford at the time. It served me well and I took some impressive portraits of some beautiful friends of mine with the standard lens, and the wide angle lens took very good views. But that’s all history now, I shall probably donate it to museum one day – if anyone will take it!! 😀

        So thanks for that bit of advice, gives me a better idea of what make I should narrow down my search for.

        • Hi Suzy, sorry for the delay. For dSLR stick with the market leaders, Canon and Nikon, as you will also want a quality prime or zoom lens and they have a wide range for all budgets. I’d suggest taking an SD card and doing a few test shots in store to get an idea of what the camera/lens can do. And also to get an appreciation of the weight of the gear.

          Smaller gear such as the micro 4/3 format has matured to such a level as to rival dslr quality for many people. Brands here to consider are Olympus and Panasonic. Again, their range is wide and they allow interchangeable lenses. There are even some zoom lenses too. Their big benefit is reduction in weight due to their smaller sensor size.

          Another option is the compact zoom. A single non-changeable lens but with an optical zoom capacity. Most manufacturers have one. Panasonic Lumix is one commonly suggested model.

          I guess it all depends on the budget and what you want to use the camera for. These days modern sensors produce very sharp images at megapixel resolution. A common side effect of new camera gear is needing more computer storage space, so be aware of that.

  12. Love your photos – so true to life with everyone holding a cell phone not paying attention. When I see Mom’s with little children on a playground talking or texting it makes me sad. Especially when the little one is pulling at their leg begging for them to play. Wonder what those little children will be like when they become parents or when they become teenagers. To sit at dinner with someone chatting on the phone can be irritating – especially when you are in mid conversation and they begin to speak on their phone. Love that you are capturing this and hope people will take the time to check in with themselves on how often they are oblivious to the world around them.

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