People and all aspects of their daily lives are always interesting photo themes. The interesting factors can be triggered by the touching atmosphere of the scenes. These epic scenes may be of a cultural activity or a seemingly mundane day-to-day ritual.
For photographers with a keen eye in observing social issues, these human activity and behaviors will make for an interesting and eye-catching works of photography. And the production of these photos will feel natural and easy to do.
These works of photography centering on human activity and behavior are usually referred to as “human-interest photographs.” The problem is, human-interest photography might not be as easy as it seems. There are many constraints in the field that we have to go through when we photograph a subject. For example, when the scene is ready to be photographed, suddenly the objects notice the camera, disrupting their natural state, making the photograph seem forced or unnatural.
For those interested in delving into the world of human-interest photography, the following tips may assist in getting started:
1. Always prepare a telephoto lens.
Usually, when photographers photograph human interest and their activities, most use the candid technique or photographing done in stealth mode so as not to capture the attention of the subjects. These are usually done to get the most natural, spontaneous photo possible.
For that, an 80-200 mm or 70-300 mm will definitely come in handy. But if possible, using an extra camera mounted with a 28-85 mm lens would be best. This ensures the best possible shots from any distance, near or far.
2. Approach and socialize with the subjects.
For those lacking a telephoto lens, it may be best to approach and get close to the subjects. By approaching the subject, it’ll surely be more polite and the poses can be adjusted more freely to ensure the best human-interest photograph.
There are times however, when there is a down side to approaching the subjects. Some people may not be able to act natural in front of a camera, making the photograph seem forced and unspontaneous. To avoid this, the photographer must know how to adjust to the environment, making the subjects feel comfortable.
3. Use ISO as is necessary.
Usually, when photographing human interests, ISO set at 100 is adequate for capturing outdoor activities during morning, noon, and afternoon times. But when the activities being recorded are centered on constant movement, a rather high ISO setting (ISO 400) is necessary. The objectives of course to ensure sharpness and clarity and eliminate and shakes.
4. Conduct multiple shots.
Candid photos usually happen quickly in split seconds, and the moments are often unpredictable and fleeting. Therefore, it is a good idea to set the camera mode to the multiple/continuous shots so multiple shots can be taken with one long press of the trigger button. Selection can later be made as to which frame captured the moment best. Better yet, you may even end up with a story-telling collage.
5. Photograph in unique angles.
When photographing, use point of views and angles that perfectly and uniquely capture a picturesque moment. Do not rush pushing the trigger button. Take a little bit of time to consider the best angles possible to get that perfect shot. Take note of the surroundings that you can incorporate into the photograph to add the unique factor to your result. For example, consider photographing from the point of view of a reflection of a puddle of water. Or, consider taking photographs of the subjects’ shadows. The simplicity of color in contrast to the intricacy of the silhouette may make for an extraordinary photograph.