For a viewer, candid can be an educated taste.
In an age with TV, the internet, when everything is being photographed with cell phones, most people are saturated with images and don’t see the finer qualities, so don’t expect your audience to see or feel what you saw and felt.
A photo should communicate something more than simply “I was there” but to do that you have to see more than is sometimes obvious.
The point here is that this is one type of photography where you won’t get many oohs and aahs, but occasionally you may be very pleased to discover your photo communicated exactly what you hoped it would.
Being In The Scene Versus Disappearing Into The Background
You can go at this two ways:
Unobtrusive – this means you sneak up on the scene, or more accurately you saunter up to it, try to be un-noticeable, spot what you think will make a good shot and get into position without knocking over anything or treading on someone’s toes.
Some candid shots can be taken with tele-zoom lenses where you sit back away from the subject, focus in and wait for the right moment. If you have multiple exposure options you can shoot three or four frames at a time.
Of course the tough part of candid is that you often only get one bite at the apple before your presence is noticed or the scene collapses. So cheat by shooting several frames if you can.
Obtrusive – this can work too. A photo where the subject is looking out of the scene directly at the viewer can be very arresting. This means having the subject noticing and looking right into the camera.
Some Candid Photos
The trick here is speed.
If you have to stand and focus and frame for a couple of minutes you lose any spontaneity there might be in the scene.
Even in the first moments when the subject sees you there is a brief window when the expression on the face is interested, surprised, delighted, affronted – but that window closes very quickly and you get the stolid, barely patient expression of someone waiting for you to find the shutter button.
Candid can be the most rewarding form of photography. The result is rarely “pretty” but it can be engrossing, informing, arresting and startling – and most of all it enhances one’s appreciation of the world around us, both from the viewpoint of the photographer and the viewer.
If you really want to learn how to take great photos, candid or otherwise, and get good at this stuff we highly recommend Expert Rating Photography Course as resource.
It covers everything you need to know from beginner to pro in an interactive format you can study or refer to at your own pace and at your level of experience.