Teresa Pilcher Photography

On Becoming Invisible

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” ― Jonathan Swift

If there was one superpower I could choose, it would be to become invisible. There are many times I wished I had an invisibility cloak just like Harry Potter, to wander the streets with my camera unobserved.

So how do we become invisible at Street? There are a few strategies to help you achieve this. To take the image quickly without disturbing your subject and then move on before your subject observes you. To shoot from the hip without bringing your camera to your eye. To sit or stand in one position, like in a cafe and let the subjects come to you.  Valerie Jardin does a great 3 min video on How to be Invisible at Street. Using a silent shutter and a mobile phone are both great strategies. But what if you shoot with a DSLR, don’t use a smart phone or have a loud shutter?

This image was taken outside a cafe on the Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter in Paris. The man in the window adds another dimension as an observer that I enjoy.

This final strategy will work if you have the patience to wait. Most people will notice you, then eventually they go back to doing what they were doing. Then you can take your shot. In this situation my patience and perseverance paid off. Valerie and I had been taking images of people silhouetted as they walked down a passageway.  (You can see this image On Creating Emphasis). At first the man watched me with interest and good humour as he saw me take my images from various angles. After about 5-10 mins he eventually went back to his smoking and writing, then when I was unobserved, I took my shot. This was shot from the hip and I used my tilt screen on my camera to focus and compose my image.


Do you have any other strategies to remain invisible at Street?

Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography

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