The technique is the same in both cases. All that is
important is for the pictures not to appear posed. The
they are simply being themselves and behaving as
though the photographer is not there.
interchangeable lenses, TTL metering, and large film
capacities make candid photography one of the most
rewarding areas of our profession. A long-focal-length
lens is also a good choice for this type of photography.
The long lens lets you maintain distance between
presence, they will not be as self-conscious. If you are
taking "real" candid shots, a long lens is a necessity.
camera watching them. Only then, can you get a truly
candid picture. When the person notices what you are
doing, ask their permission before you shoot. People
usually will not object, particularly if you are polite and
used to seeing you with the camera, and you will be on
your way to some good candid pictures.
attention to the camera. Estimate the likely subject
distance, set it on the lens focus scale, and stop down for
greater depth of field. Camera handling must be fast and
smooth. Time does not allow for fumbling with camera
controls, flash equipment, exposure meters, and film
cheap. You will miss enough good pictures by the very
nature of your subjects-people-and being tight-fisted
with film does not increase your chances for getting
setting. You may tell them, "please do not look at the
camera." Try to capture the details of their environment
in your pictures. This adds interest to what they are
doing. And finally, make your candid pictures reflect the
people and events around you.
still produce interesting people pictures by using the
meaningful to the subject or assignment.
shoulder. If the person is a Boatswain Mate, get him or
her on deck actually working on the job. Put the Navy
instructor near a blackboard or the pilot in an aircraft.
The frame approach works with people working in all
types of environments and ratings, such as Machinist's
Mates, Airman, Fireman, Personnelman, Opticalman,
and so forth. It works with just about everybody. It is
easy. Your subject is usually more relaxed in his or her
own environment, and props to work with are already
what you want.
environment. What could be worse than arriving at an
assignment and finding your "just average" Personnel-
man is really six-foot-four, completely bald, and
wearing thick bifocals. It might help to know that even
though you find the person in a "closet" called an office,
most of the work is done in the computer room down
the hall-the one with the banks of computers and tape
racks that make wonderful "frames."
foremost is to exaggerate. Be sure to really have a frame
for your subject. If your subject is a legal officer, make
sure there is no mistaking that this person works in the
courts or with books and papers. If your chemist is at a
blackboard, make sure that there is something on it and
that the test tubes are not hidden or too few. Again,
meaningful picture of a person, not just an identification
shot. Vary your setup-get in tighter-back off
some-change camera angles-and keep the subject
personality of your subject, the picture should at least be
personable. This can be done by making the person a
prominent part of the picture. Photograph the person in
a meaningful environment, one that gives a sense of who
the subject is, and what he does, rather than leaving the
Basic Photography Course