• Frank

Tips on the Perfect Candids

Award winning street photograph by Frank Perez
This award-winning image was not taken by chance. I noticed the subject looking back and forth waiting for someone to catch up with. The fates fell nicely as the sun dipped behind a cloud at the same time he looked up past me.

It always makes me smile a little when I see or read photos and articles about candid photography.

In most cases the authors always lean towards how simple taking a candid image is.

I guess it's the truth if you are just trying to snap away and capture every moment you can.

You may even get lucky and get that awesome candid shot you're after - maybe.

However, if you're really looking to step up your own level of photography and capture those images that make people go wow then I'm about to bust your little bubble.

Candid Street Photography by Frank Perez
Repeating and leading lines draw the eyes of the viewer to the main subject.

You've got more chance of winning lotto than of capturing that wow moment by just pointing, clicking and hoping for that shot.

Technique and mastery of your camera is a must, regardless of what you read on all those other sites, unless of course, you switch your camera mode to auto...

or as I've heard it called before One D Ten T mode.

The simple truth is that to capture those candid moments you need to be able to dial in the settings on your camera, quickly and quietly so as to not spook your 'prey'.

The most useful tip I can give you in capturing these candid moments is the most basic - have your camera with you! Life is happening all around us, constantly. If you don't have your equipment with you, you won't be able to capture it. Simple!

Another thing to keep in mind is 'photography is light'. Keep your eyes and mind working and reworking on what the available light sources are and how to use them in the best way!

If you're looking to capture those moments as quickly as possible, I suggest you bump up your ISO. I personally try to keep the ISO level at a minimum of 400 for this type of photography.

Why? Modern DSLR's will not increase the noise level at ISO400, you'd have to go much higher to really see any noise. What it does provide you with though, is the ability to set a faster shutter speed and to me, that's a more important factor in candid photography.

The simplest of images, at least from a 'set up' point of view are the ones that will have the most impact.

Opportunities come and go in a split second. When you see one - take it!

The last point I will make is that you have to be ruthless in post-production.

Even if an image has all the perfect elements within the composition does not mean that it is a 'wow' shot.

Perfect lighting, exposure and composition of an image does not make it a perfect shot.

It just means you've captured a technically correct image - nothing more or less.

~ Frank

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