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Street Shooting With a 75-300mm

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by gryphon1911, May 23, 2016.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    537
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Olympus PEN-F and Oly 75-300/4.8-6.7 II
    Post processing done in Lightroom and onOne Effects 10.5

    Every now and again I like to shoot street with an "nontraditional" set of focal lengths.
    I actually like doing this because I prefer my subjects to be going about their business and not be aware of me, I feel I get much more honest responses people that way.

    This way is no better or worse, just what I prefer to do and how I like to work.
    1. Waiting
    05-22-2016_PENF_sunday_P5220051-Edit (1).
    2. Watching for the bus
    05-22-2016_PENF_sunday_P5220071-Edit.

    3. Trying to make it legal
    05-22-2016_PENF_sunday_P5220072-Edit.

    4. at the corner
    05-22-2016_PENF_sunday_P5220077-Edit.

    5. 3 seniors
    05-22-2016_PENF_sunday_P5220062-Edit.
     
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  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    It's a very different look, from the usual frentic pace shown in most 35-50 mm street photos.
     
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  3. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
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  4. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    I personally much prefer this to the usual "wide-ish angle, random people walking in the opposite direction than I am / random people standing still as I walk by" shots, as it allows more time for actual observation of your subject, and allows you to pick out a moment.* My favourite street shooter is Saul Leiter, and I think he usually shot at 90mm. The first shot in the first post, and the boy with a box in the second post are the ones I like most here.

    *Don't get me wrong, I loooove wide angle and the involvement in the scene that can create, but the wider angle places greater demands on the composition, and the run-and-gun style shooting usually doesn't leave much time to consider composition. Major props to the people who consistently manage to pull off good wide angle compositions in an instant, but the vast majority of street shooters - including me, whenever I do try it - hardly ever manage to pull that off. So then I often prefer the result of using a longer focal length, with the simplified compositions and increased observation that usually brings.
     
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  5. bluzcity

    bluzcity SC Veteran

    311
    Jul 30, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Brent
    Andrew, each picture has interesting content and I enjoyed them very much.
     
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  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    537
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Here is another that I didn't get to in the first pass:
    05-22-2016_PENF_sunday_P5220050.
     
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  7. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Love the dress blending into the background, leaving only her head and hands to stand out, almost floating!
     
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  8. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Veteran

    307
    Jan 19, 2015
    For 1) physical size, 2) focal reach and 3) "IQ", the Olympus 75mm on m43 is just wonderful for this type of photography, I don't think there's anything comparable on any other format that combines to tick all 3 boxes so well.
     
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  9. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    Some people freak out when you say you want to use a telephoto lens on the street. Yes its a bit creepy it just depend how you use it, here are some known examples of what I believe excellent telephoto street and fine art photography:

    William Klein shot with 90 up to 135mm tele lenses on the street.
    Saul Leiter is quite famous for his tele shots --> personally he is one of my favorite
    Renato D'agostin a young fine art photographer uses a 70-200 with film

    hope those serve you as inspiration for your tele street shots :thumbup:
     
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  10. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    I really, really dont get the whole "tele is creepy / inappropriate / unethical" argument. So long as your goal is to make photos of people you dont know without them noticing, what the hell is the difference between tele and wide angle?

    Thanks for those links Chris, I didn't know the last.
     
  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    537
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I don't get it either. I think too many people are caught up in a news story here or there or some pedo or pervert getting pictures of people for lewd purposes. Those are not as wide spread as the news would have you believe, but do they make for great headlines!

    As a society, we need to assume the best in people unless they give us reason to doubt otherwise.
     
  12. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Thanks for these links Chris. Not being steeped in the street shoot tradition I had not looked at Saul Leiters shots before. I am blown away by them. Simply riveting stuff which provoked an emotion in me that is so hard to even begin to describe.
     
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  13. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
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  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As usual, there are no rules. A good image is a good image and it's down to how you can best get what you're after AND how much you enjoy the process. I've done a bit of longer lens street shooting, a good bit with the 75mm when I had an Oly system, and some with longer lenses yet. I liked the images just fine (not as much as the wider stuff I do, but nearly so, and if I'd done it more I'd have probably gotten better at it), but I more or less stopped doing it because I just never enjoyed the process as much. I felt too isolated from what I was shooting and found I enjoyed it more when I was right in the midst of the action. So I don't do much of this kind of thing anymore, but that's just down to the enjoyment of the process rather than any judgement on the results... There are some really fine shots in this thread...

    -Ray
     
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  15. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    Well I really dont want to open that can of worms, as it is. But, I will reply to Bart saying that the difference between tele and wide angle shots, has to do with perspective compression. Telephoto lenses will compress the background and subject, whereas the wide angle you need to get closer to fill the frame (in the case of street/documentary/photojournalism/etc) and gives the viewer the feeling of being there, IN the action. Plus, it is believed that wide/normal lenses is how humans see, roughly. And that is not the case with Telephotos.

    Now for the 'to do or not to do street with tele lenses or not' doesn't really matter. Do whatever help your vision and what you want to communicate.
    Here's a couple more 'master' photographers who have used telephoto lenses on the streets and general work

    Trent Parke - Even though he is known for its use of the 28mm FOV he has used telephoto lenses a lot specially on his latest work, The Camera is God
    Ralph Gibson - He is known to have used 50 and 90mm lenses for decades and lately he is shooting 135mm lenses.

    Pete, Luke, yes, Saul is something else. His photos are 'different' from anything I've seen, and I would like to seriously recommend you to watch the following movie about him. He was such a character, sadly he passed away at the end of 2013.

    In No Great Hurry

    :2thumbs:
     
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  16. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Chris: thanks for those links, I particularly like Trent Parke's work, both wide angle and tele.

    As for the wide perspective: I agree, it's awesome, as I said in my first post here. I shoot wide angle 90+ percent of the time. It's just that a lot of street shooters on the interwebz have made comments along the lines of 'street shooting with a tele lens is for creeps / is dishonorable / isn't real street photography.' That's what my comment was about.
     
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  17. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    I hope this adds to the discussion. I get the idea that the "being there" depends on several factors. For maximum compression I'd guess the background is important, the sensor size and aperture also important etc. My example here is 75 yards distant from the subject, with a much more distant background compared to the subject. I can see in my mind some comparable cityscapes, and some where the compression would be a bother.

    image.
     
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  18. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    Oh man, dont worry about the internet. The internet is also full of those that have a 'need' for 100megapixel cameras and 10k video as well (sarcasm). Enjoy shooting the streets or your garden with whatever you find suiting to your vision. Dont forget that Bresson shot with a 'fast' f3,5 50mm lens, Rene Burri shot some of his famous photos with a 180mm, Saul Leiter shot with everything, specially with telephotos, and on the other hand Daido Moriyama shoots with a zoom point and shoot compact Nikon S9500...and like them or not, I trust those photographers/artists than the internet kind.

    Don't forget to have fun along the way :2thumbs:

    PS: I also shoot with telephoto lenses, heres one with the olympus 75mm (150mm equivalent)

    16508229902_e39f576cff_b. . by Chris Leskovsek, on Flickr
     
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  19. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    537
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Here are some more street scenes with the 75-300:
    02-28-2016_EM1_street_P2280896. 05-03-2015_EM1_colzoo_P5030112-Edit. 05-08-2015_EM1_flystuff_P5080245-Edit. 08-15-2014_em5_reyn_tomfest_P8150052-Edit. 08-15-2014_em5_reyn_tomfest_P8150058-Edit. 09-19-2014_EM5_reyn_strike_P9190002-Edit. 09-19-2014_EM5_reyn_strike_P9190018-Edit. 09-19-2014_EM5_reyn_strike_P9190021-Edit. 12-26-2014_EM1_col_zoo_PC260016-Edit-3.
     
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  20. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    I think the problem here is that people are much more aware of cameras than they ever used to be. If I walk along my home town high street with a camera, eyes are on me straight away.....looking at the camera, sizing me up.

    People are paranoid due to unwarranted reporting by the newshounds, verging on rabidly hysterical. I know from law enforcement experience that the vulnerable (i.e. children) are most at risk from those close to them.

    I walked through a street market recently with my Ricoh GR Digital. 2 stall holders shouted out "Paedo". The conversation I had with them is not for publication......but it was short, pithy and to the point.

    Using a long lens for street shooting? I think users put pressure on themselves, make themselves feel guilty or creepy because that is how other (ignorant) people view it.
     
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