Posed versus Candid Street Photography – Da Nang is great for both!

I remember a recent discussion on Twitter regarding posed versus un posed pictures on the street. I do both and enjoy people that hail me down or ask here in Vietnam to have their picture taken. Usually there is laughter and smiles and waving and its a mutually enjoyable moment. The people know they will not get the shot. Take this one.

I really liked the smiles and the fact only two of the three wonderful ladies looked back at me as I took the picture. It lends some mystery to the third person. It also lets the three participate in the shot.

Then there are the candid photographs one finds. For some reason, I enjoy black and white for those. These are the unplanned and unposed photographs that are found as I prowl the streets. People are more themselves and are engaged in their behaviors. Check out this one.

This brings another element of a person and a paper fully engaged in his life. Its a moment of a stranger’s life that I will never know or participate in yet I have him reading. I think of him as a day worker taking a break to consider the news on a day. The paper may have good or bad or both kinds of news but he is engrossed in the act.

Both of these were shot with the Fujifilm XT2 camera and both have a certain core value to me. Shooting pictures of people whether candid or posed introduces you and them to a scene unfolding. The camera and the photographer are unknown for the street photography. Its a life of a person captured at just a moment.

The posed picture shows three beautiful women yet one is not looking. It creates the sense of mystery but the smiles illuminate the moment completely and you get a sense that these three are workers too; perhaps taking a lunch break and talking.

Of course, one is in color and one is in black and white. I shoot in both but the black and white photography seems more intense to me. It introduces a mood either sombre or joyful or shadowy.

Oftentimes for either you only have a moment to decide on what you want to do. No time to fiddle with a telephoto lens, change lens, adjust this and that. Its you and the people or person and its a moment. The XT2 and Fuji cameras in general make you a master of the moment. No intrusive lens sticking out more than a foot. You can set the camera to f5.6 or f8 and be on aperture priority and also auto ISO and you can grab the moments. I never want to be fiddling with different camera settings because you may lose the moment and curse yourself. The women may get bored or the man may get up and see you. For one picture, the women are key and the smiles important. For the other, its the candid moment of the man, the paper, his cigarette.

What do you think?

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.