Saturday, January 08, 2011

"Back at Ya" - SOLD


This is another one I did while I was in Germany. I took the photo years ago in Fredericksburg, TX (near where I grew up). I really love the idea of doing a whole series of people walking around an area like this. One problem though, especially with an SLR camera like I have (where you have to hold it up in front of your eye) is it becomes very obvious what you're doing and who you're photographing. Then people tend to look at you, ruining the shot. So I had the idea of walking around with a video camera (the kind that you can hold down - with the little flip-up viewer) and then being able to choose the exact frame I want to use afterwards. But I haven't done it yet. Has anyone tried this?

26 comments:

patti mollica said...

Carol, I have the same predicament, i like to take shots of people in an unasuming stealth way, - esp on the subway and in public places. There is a camera that has a flip up screen that may be good for this, that i am considering, its the Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 Inch Wide LCD. Another one I'm considering (and leaning towards) takes great shots in low light conditions (restaurants, subways, etc) and thats the Canon Powershot S95. hope this helps... Patti

ujwala said...

i did have the same idea and took some video of life along the roads on my last trip to Mumbai. Unfortunately it was a v.camera with a tape and not one of the new digital ones and I havent got it converted as yet!! And I do think it's a great idea.

Mitzi Easley said...

Haven't tried a video but Karin J advocates the digital cameras with the flip-out screen. You can actually be looking down at the camera/ground while taking a photo of people in front of you. Neato. Great composition Carol.

Austin Maloney said...

That's a great idea. I thought of getting an iphone for the same reason.

Angie said...

Hi Carol,
I found you through Patti Mollica, I just added your blog to mine, not that you need it. You are too good. I love your stuff.
Angie

Zehava Power said...

I have done this successfuly. I found when you freeze a frame it's quite pixleated and there's not much detail, but I was mainly after the gesture and my work isn't about high realism. It does solves the problem of people being aware they're photographed.
We must ask Karin Jurick how she goes about all her people's shots :)

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Have not tried that, Carol. I just got a digital with the longest zoom lens available. The people I photo rarely know it is happening as I am too far away from them.

Neiley Harris said...

I have tried holding the camera lower with the flip viewer and have found that people sort of notice that too, athough not as much. I always thought that would be a good question for Karin Jurick, her poses seem so natural even at the art galleries. I find that it is even harder at the beach because people are extra sensitive to cameras when they are in their swim suits. Maybe a camera phone doesn't seem so obvious because you can make like you are checking messages. Then you have quality issues? It's worth the struggle to come up with these extra interesting paintings.
I love your painting!

James M. Coulter said...

Yes Carol, I've used that video technique in Europe...walking down the corridors of Venice with the little outdoor cafe's, etc. You can sit at a table having coffee with you vido on the table recording the people around you without it being obvious. Make sue you get a fairly high quality video camera so when you make your images into stills they will have good resolution. Also get one of the newer ones with memory, not the older ones with tape.

DSM said...

Some figure-painting-bloggers I follow do warm up sketches or late-night sketching by stopping dvd's they're watching. The historic costume drawings are fun.
Carol-filbertina, check out David Parks figure painting (Bay Area 1950's) in ALL your spare time. Best to you...

Bobbi Heath said...

Love this one, Carol, especially the shirt and the background people.

I do the constant camera thing with my regular digital snap camera, especially on the beach or other tourist location. If you have the camera constantly in front of your face, panning around, no one knows when you are taking the shot, they assume you are shooting the landmark/natural beauty and they pretty much ignore you.

Pamela Gatens said...

Painting the backs of people can be good too - the way they hold their shoulders, the angle of the head, the way their clothing hangs - still very interesting. I like this one very much!

patti mollica said...

Does anyone know which camera Karin J uses?

cissy said...

Hi Carol I know several artists who use video cameras for their work, one of the things I have vowed to try this year, too. This painting works well. Love the figures in the distance.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carol, I use my Flip Ultra HD video and then edit some stills for reference. Its quite discreet. Love your daily paintings, I look each day and really enjoy. Good wishes from Anne in Lincoln, England.

Marla Karimipour said...

My husband is a photographer and is constantly photographing people on the sly. He usually sets his SLR camera focus to a certain distance (ex- 5 feet) and then everything within that distance will be in focus. That way he can just hold the camera out and snap away. Most people don't notice..

Pam Scola said...

I have a Sony with a 3" flip-up and tilting LCD viewer (c $300 two years ago). I hold it at around waist height in front of me but I aim the camera either to my left or right, not at what is directly in front of me. People assume I'm shooting something in front of me, but in reality, I have them framed! ;-) I get some great shots that way.

The other thing I do is pretend I'm cleaning or tinkering with the camera rather than actually taking photos. No one is ever the wiser.

Hope this is clear and I hope it helps.

Shelby Dillon said...

Wow, everyone has such great ideas! So far I've just tried to have a camera with lots of zoom. The only thing is that it is almost like people can feel that you are looking at them, and turn around, or look away. It is one of those eerie things when you feel that tingle at the nape of your neck, isn't it?

manu said...

Very beautiful

tracywall said...

Ditto Neiley in that I've used my phone, and people think I'm doing something terribly important (I am! taking pics of people!) on it.

Love how you are exploring your versatility!

Roxy with the Moxy said...

Without YOU, I wouldn't be doing a daily painting. You and your work and blog were my primary inspiration... I'm on day 120 now, and have no end in sight... thank you, Carol Marine. You are incredible, and I can't thank you enough for sharing your work and knowledge and passion in such a generous way !!! -Sandy Haynes

EILEEN D. MCCOY said...

It's funny how people are about cameras. I can sit and draw people in public and no one seems to mind, but the minute you pull out that camera-it is intimidating. When possible, try taking the shots further away, because you can always crop them later. I guess the best solution, of course, is a zoom lens.
As always, your paintings are a pleasure! Enjoy, Eileen

drawtheline said...

funny thing is that even the animals know that you're about take a pic and you find them looking away!!! one of the subjects that i'm trying to build a collection of refs of is cows but I havent got many of them looking into the camera despite the zoom! definitely need to upgrade my video cam and explore that option further : ) the flip cams sound like a light, easy option. thanks for raising the subject. love your work!

drawtheline said...

funny thing is that even the animals know that you're about take a pic and you find them looking away!!! one of the subjects that i'm trying to build a collection of refs of is cows but I havent got many of them looking into the camera despite the zoom! definitely need to upgrade my video cam and explore that option further : ) the flip cams sound like a light, easy option. thanks for raising the subject. love your work!

Robin Neudorfer said...

I certainly don't use cameras a lot, though when I do, I just keep the camera up to my face for quite a while before actually taking the photo. This allows people to glance at what I am doing and then get back to focus on where they are headed. A tripod with remote or timer might also be useful.
Love the new series.

patti mollica said...

I've gone so far as to put my camera in a black bag with only the lens sticking thru. since the lense is dark, its pretty stealth. this works ok when sitting across from people in the subway or in restaurants. Lately, tho, i've just been using my Iphone. the resolution is pretty good.Since 9/11 we are not allowed to take photos in the subway anymore so its a gamble ( I don't want my camera confiscated or get hauled off to jail!)