Wednesday, June 15, 2011

People Watching


I'm not much of a street photographer - too afraid to ask people if I can take their photo.  But I spent Sunday along the waterfront in Lausanne and managed to grab a couple of shots I couldn't resist sharing.

It was a beautiful day, perfect temperature and it felt as if half the city had the same idea I had and were hanging out along the water too.  Lausanne (and much of Switzerland) shuts down on Sundays.  The shops are all closed, with the exception of a cafe or two, and people just rest.  Even public transport cuts down to the bare minimum.  I think I could kind of get into that lifestyle, and I may follow their example the rest of my trip, work M-F, play Saturday and relax on Sunday.

If I'd been anywhere else, I might have thought this was a homeless person, but she was covered up with a nice blanket and good sweater so I think she must have just been cold or trying to get some sun without getting burned.

The woman in the cream slacks grabbed my attention right away.  Not only did she have the chic European look, she was so expressive.  I happened to be sitting on a bench and watched them walking down the path.  I attempted to "shoot from the hip" to get these shots.  Turned out better than I expected!

How do you feel about street photography?  Are you brave enough to walk up and ask someone if you can take their photo?  Or do you just attempt the "shoot from the hip" method?

I have been on a Ryan Bingham kick for the past couple of weeks.  I just can't seem to get enough of his gravelly voice.

Ryan Bingham - Don't Wait For Me
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34 comments:

Corinne said...

I love that first shot especially! What a lovely spot to sit and take in life...

Ashley Sisk said...

I completely know what you mean about street photography - I'm a scardy cat so I love the shooting from the hip technique.

Hyacynth said...

Oh, great captures! I just love the second photo. {Also, I am putting your starbucks card in the mail tomorrow! I'm so sorry I've delayed. I've been carrying it in my purse for about two weeks now.}

Maegan Beishline said...

These are wonderful, Jamie, and I'm always so grateful when you share travel pics so that I can live vicareously! I am so scared to take pictures of strangers...but it's something I'd love to work on! You did great!

DecorandtheDog said...

Lausanne looks amazing!! I like that they rest on Sundays. We used to..not sure what happened to that. I should bring it back.

I love to people watch but I'd never be brave enough to ask someone if I could photograph them. Your photos turned out great!

Courtney said...

I'm like you, I don't have the nerve to ask strangers if I can take their picture. But I like the idea. I could definitely live by their lifestyle! Sounds wonderful!

i.ikeda said...

I love the pictures! I have to learn how to shoot from the hip, because like you I could not go up to someone and just strike up a conversation in order to ask to take their photo. Oof. One day I'll get the nerve.

Caroline said...

Well, you know I love taking photos of strangers! Does take some courage...but after a while, you don't get so nervous. Great shots!

krissilugbill said...

people watching is the best! love that second shot you got...awesome

tinajo said...

Great and interesting pics - love the one with the dogs and the woman (and her company)! :-)

Stampmouse said...

i love teh shot of the gal "sunbathing" undercover. I am the same way about street photography afraid to ask.

Carolyn Phillips said...

I love that first shot. I enjoy looking at street photography, and admire those who can do it naturally but am way too scared myself to ask. I even try to be sure I seem to be taking a photograph of a place or a 'thing' rather than a person just in case anyone sees me!

Angie Willis said...

I'm very much like you when it comes to street photography even though I did a little online course on it recently. I still have problems pointing my camera at people when they can see me. Easier with a long zoom lens though :-)

Clare B said...

I love people watching and street photography but find that I'm so much better at it when I'm visiting somewhere else. Not sure why because living in a big city, noone is likely to know me anyway, but for some reason I find it easier when I'm in "holiday mode"

Lesley said...

Lovely pictures, Lausanne looks beautiful.
I'm a big coward when it comes to photographic strangers, I find myself unable to approach them and ask and shooting with a zoom lens from a distance just makes me feel voyeuristic.

the little things... said...

i do the shoot from the hip method.. but I love street photography. I can people watch all day! I have seen a cool gadget on photojojo, its a lens that lets you take shots of someone and the don't even know it, like spy lens.

Anna said...

What a lovely place to be working and resting in! I really enjoy street photography. I'm into the stealth type mode, as an unobtrusive observer.

Nicole said...

Love the lady under cover!! She looks so relaxed, even though you can't see her. Wish that was me right now!

Alli said...

Your shot of the group turned out great. Good job! I guess I'm not quite brave enough to ask people about taking their picture. I have before (such as of a family at a football game) but usually when it seems more...appropriate. And I usually ask their email so they can get a copy. However, randomly on the street? My town's probably too small to warrant that (vs a beautiful landscape or such).

I just found you through the Bloggy Meet Up. I'm looking forward to learning more about you!

~Kristina said...

People watching is absolutely entertaining. Weclome to a whole new realm of imagination!

The Felix Family said...

I love these pictures. I'm like you I would never dare ask anybody, but I would love to sit and just take pictures of people. I often wonder how many times in my life I have been in the background of someone else's picture and I can only imagine the embarrassing look I have on my face or the weird gesture I am making.

blue elephant photography said...

the doggies are so cute! and yes the first shot is beautiful, the second one i would have thought the same if i was somewhere else lol :) i like street photography and i just shoot sometimes, without asking permission and people seem okay...sometimes i do ask permission...scott thinks i can get away with it coz i'm asian and i will just look like an asian tourist with a camera lol works for me. love hip shots!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Shooting from the hip worked well from you. It's a great angle for that shot. The dogs are so cute. Europeans always have such flare about them!

Cindy said...

street photography is not my strength as i'm shy, too. i do notice that sometimes if you are alert like you were here they magically walk into your shot. i love the last one. so much personality!

Ms. Becky said...

I love them all, but my fave is the second. for the colors against each other and the composition. it's amazing. I'm shy about street photos too, but trying to get over it. there are a number of photos I've taken and after the fact realized that I rushed myself, and had I only taken more time and not felt rushed by the feeling that someone was "watching" me, the photo would have been a lot better.
I'm happy I'm able to see Switzerland through your "eye" Jamie. I hope you're having the time of your life.

Karen said...

Generally I'm too timid to even think about it, but I have gotten a couple of good shots at festivals where it doesn't seem so conspicuous.

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

Awesome shots. And no, I don't have the guts to ask someone permission to take their photograph or to "shoot from the hip". My brother in law almost got punched by someone who caught him doing this!

Shannon@vintagerestyled said...

I am catching back up on your blog and love the lady all covered up. Awesome.
All your shots are fabulous!

lisa said...

Switzerland looks wonderful Jamie!
I truly know how you feel about asking someone for their photograph. I have never been able to bring myself to ask anyone :-(

muminsearch.com said...

I'm never brave enough to ask people to take their photos. Recently I took lots of photos of babies in cloth nappies for my other blog at an expo and then I ended up deleting them all... I couldn't bring myself to put them up without the mothers' permission.

Dagmar said...

Love the street shots..I am not shy to ask people if I can take their photo..they are mostly really pleased to find themselves being in a picture..It makes me and them feel special..but I adore the shoot from the hip..awesome shots randomly taken..
xo

urban muser said...

i never have the courage to ask, but i kind of don't want to b/c it can ruin the candid moments. i'm not a hip shooter either--i bring the camera right up to my eye, snap and move along. so far i haven't had any troubles :) your shots are great!!

Tammy Lee Bradley said...

definitely to chicken to ask. :)

Dorian Susan said...

I've tried 3 times to respond to this post and been interrupted 3 times. Work..grrrr. Can you imagine?
I've been thinking of you in Switz. These photos make it look so inviting. I need to get to that area someday-soon.
As for street photos. I love them when I see them. Normally I don't ask-I just try to be sneaky. It helps when I have a long zoom and can catch them unaware. Candids appeal. You're right about the lady in the cream slacks-she has a charisma that comes through.
Hope all is well.

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