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Photo copyright © 2020 by Gerry O’Brien


Gerry, I’ve mentioned this before, but I marvel at your style of photography. As I said in a previous comment, I’ve attempted street scene photography, and was verbally assaulted by people who accused me of violating their privacy. I use telephoto and don’t invade personal space, but I suppose people in the big city are conditioned with a different sensibility. Public space does not afford a person the right of privacy, but people out in the wide open West still expect it.

David, thanks for the kind words. One tip that has helped me innumerable times with street photography is using a lens like my 24-105 or 28-300, or my 14mm, and holding it at my side and tilting it up while pressing the shutter (or using the battery grip’s vertical shutter). I’ve gotten to the point that I can shoot people close to me, or 30 feet away, and they have no idea — because people often freeze up when they realize they are being photographed. Also, some cameras have a menu option to reduce the noise of the shutter click. The goal is to capture moments in time that are unaffected by the Hawthorne effect.

That’s even more amazing. I’ve got to look through the viewfinder, fiddle with the settings … it’s more obvious, especially with a digital camera. Cell phone photos are more discreet. If someone is holding up their cell phone, they could be checking their messages, or snapping a picture. I wouldn’t know the difference. Are you allowed to get out on the street these days?

There’s enough leeway when getting daily exercise or traveling to and from the grocery stores and supermarkets to get a few shots, especially in nearby Prospect Park. Subways are still running on a limited schedule, with ridership down almost 90%. Luckily, I have enough ‘Subway Scenes’ photos to post two a week for another year.

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