Finding my way to perfect photo

Life of pi: teachings on street photography

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is an interesting book. It has been on book shelves for years (not mine). I randomly started reading it at friend’s place. It is addictive. What stuck me, apart from how fictious seems real, is the mention of comfort zones.

Author mentions this in context of zoo keeping. “At least in a well-kept zoo, an animal’s comfort zone is protected and all of its needs are satisfied”. Also if these comfort zones are trespassed often, it can have adverse effect on the animal health. Interestingly it compares this environment to the human zoo as well.

How far is it from truth? Practicing street photography, will provide quite similar insight. There are comfort zones beyond which people feel perturbed by your presence more so with your camera. Getting a great frame is to go as close as possible without invoking feeling of trespassing. The moment that feeling is created, you have lost your chance.

Few tips on how to make this possible:

  • Dress to look inconspicuous: Dress simple. Try local dressing if you have similar skin tonality as local.
  • Carry 200 mm lens at minimum: Although it depends on your body language and how comfortable people can be around you. But while walking off the street and clicking a candid shot. This is the kind of distance required for capturing that moment in true sense.
  • Pay in kindness: Never pay money for taking a shot. It sets a bad precedent. Talk to the person you have trying to capture. Tell them why and what do you want to photograph. Asked them if they would like to photographed and how. It also weaves a story in your head. What is the point of a picture without a story?
  • Try to get as close as possible: There is nothing like too closely framed portrait. Point above is important for this to happen

Leaving it with a shot:
Rabangla Tibeten settlement, Sikkim, India


May 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment