People on the Streets

by Alan Godfrey March. 26, 2021 110 views

It sounds obvious, but I love to take my camera with me when I travel, for multiple reasons. Mostly I intend on using it to document the trip, create some record shots that I'll be able to look back on in future to jog my memory - perhaps some nice family photos for an album or to share.

Privately, I always hold out a hope that I'll be able to take a wonderful - competition-worthy shot (or at least, something to hang on the wall) on the dubious assumption that where I am travelling will be abundant with interesting, exotic vistas around every corner ...

Finally, somewhat in between, I'd like to be able to return with a collection of images that do some justice to the place that I've visited. Slightly more artistic than a selfie in the hotel lobby, but nothing too grand ... maybe some images that could adorn a travel guide for someone else visiting.

Here, I love to take photos of the people that we see when travelling. They bring a flavour - and life - to a collection of images, to compliment images of buildings and objects.

Central Park Buskers, Oct 2017

Central Park Buskers, Oct 2017

The point is not necessarily to take any single shot that would stand by itself, but to come home with a collection of shots of human life that fills out the story of the place that we've been to.

Taking photos of people is fraught with issues - and many words have been written on the subject, that I don't intend on repeating - but for now I know that I would not have enough confidence to ask someone if I could take their portrait; and wouldn't feel comfortable sticking a lens in someone's face and snapping away.

So, I look to take images with a longer lens, allowing me to be further away. This also allows me to avoid disturbing the scene at all, taking a snapshot of the natural situation.

Central Park, Oct 2017

Central Park, Oct 2017

The images in this post were all taken on a trip to New York, October 2017. As mentioned in the last post, this was one of the first holidays where I brought a camera with me specifically to enjoy it as a hobby.

With the exception of the first image - the others were taken from an Open Top Bus! I can highly recommend this. In general the bus stopped often enough that having to take shots while moving wasn't an issue and you were actually in a more stable position sitting down and leaning on the side-railing.

Images could be taken largely unobserved, and from a moderately high viewpoint that gave an opportunity for isolated subjects, and not having to shoot through crowds.

The Eyes Have It, Central Park, Oct 2017

The Eyes Have It, Central Park, Oct 2017

Looking through the settings used for these images, shows a wide variety. Bear in mind the bottom four were all likely taken within a short period of time from each other...

  1. 1/160 sec at f/6.3, ISO 2000 @ 105mm
  2. 1/200 sec at f/4.0, ISO 400 @ 105mm
  3. 1/200 sec at f/4.5, ISO 200 @ 105mm
  4. 1/200 sec at f/4.0, ISO 500 @ 58mm
  5. 1/200 sec at f/4.5, ISO 640 @ 105mm

Lens, EF 24 - 105mm f/4L

I can guess from this that I was largely running in Tv mode, probably most concerned about camera shake, and subject motion.

Taking a break, Central Park, Oct 2017

Taking a break, Central Park, Oct 2017

I'm actually pleased with the sharpness of these images, so I think that the call to use Tv mode and manually select a shutter speed that worked was a good one.

I can see the aperture and ISO moving around, as the camera is left to make it's own decisions here. Maybe a minor development point would have been to lock the aperture to f/4.0 and then either ride auto-ISO to not have to worry about exposure; or take more direct control of the ISO myself. Minor adjustments can always be made in post-production, so no need to seek perfection on every shot.

Street Corner, New York, Oct 2017

Street Corner, New York, Oct 2017

The lens is a great one for travel. While most are taken at the longest focal length (and cropped a bit further), at least one needed me to roll-back to 58mm, so the flexibility of the zoom range was invaluable.

I've recently purchased a super-zoom, which will go from 24mm to 240mm, while still being relatively compact. I am excited to get an opportunity at some point to try this out for these kind of shots!

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Rachele Schneekloth 2 weeks, 2 days ago

These are great! I love candid street photography. These are wonderful windows into the moment and place.

2 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Alan Godfrey Replied to Rachele Schneekloth 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thank you!

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Benny Law 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I love street photography. #4 is my favourite from this batch. Well done!

2 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Alan Godfrey Replied to Benny Law 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thank you :)

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
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