Maciej Dakowicz on street photography

“I am rather discrete, so somehow I manage to capture interesting situations without getting into trouble. I am more an observer, I walk around with my camera on the shoulder, look what is going on and, if something captures my attention, I shoot.

“When people notice me they react in a number of ways: start posing, gather for group pictures, ignore me, ask what I am doing or tell me off. I can usually tell what kind of a reaction I might get and if I do not feel comfortable at taking a picture of someone or I think it will cause trouble I simply do not take the photo.

“You need to look like someone knowing what you are doing and not act in a suspicious way. If you are too sneaky they will approach you asking what you are doing or tell the police that there is a strangely behaving guy with a camera. So it is quite tricky to shoot at night, but I still like it.”

via Maciej Dakowicz on street photography – bbc.co.uk

I find street photography fascinating, but I lack the nerve to document scenes like this myself. In fact, if you look through my Paris set on Flickr, you will mostly see a city devoid of life. This is a choice on my part, but one I think I may reconsider.

While I enjoy landscapes, architecture and objects, I realised whilst looking through the pictures of that recent trip to Paris, that the shots with people in – even the tourists that I was trying to avoid – actually added some interest and warmth that my shots usually lack.

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One thought on “Maciej Dakowicz on street photography

  1. I tend to agree with you on this, sometime the people really do help to make the shot.I had the good fortune to go to China with a friend six or seven years ago and she insisted on taking all her shots without anyone in them us (apart from a few with us). China is a busy place and getting all the shots she wanted “human free” consumed most of her time. Time I was happy to spend soaking in what was going on.When we got home and compared images I have to say that a few of hers were awesome in comparison to mine, but in the vast majority of cases I felt that she lost something. There was less sense of scale for a start also the images just didn’t convey the pace of life, the “colour”, the manicness places like Chongqing (over 30 million people).She loves her shots, rightly so as they are mostly very good, and thinks that people free photos are it, but for me I’ve given up trying to eliminate the tourists and the locals in busy spots and decided to try and adjust my picture taking to make the most of the scene, humans and all.

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