For Halloween I thought it would be a great idea to go shoot some night street photography. People would have less inhibitions as they would most likely be inebriated. Their costumes and masks would make them less self conscious. Thus, they would happily unravel themselves in from of my lens. Only thing is, I forgot one factor. My crippling social anxiety. People on the street were indeed outgoing. So much so, that their presence intimidated me. I was hesitant to pull out the camera and do my thing. I saw so many great photographs, but I failed to capture them.
It's not like it was all bad. I learned that I have to practice my zone focusing. In fact, focusing is me biggest caveat. I've been shooting with a f100 for the past year or two, so I've lost the touch. 3\4 of the pictures were out of focus or blurry. I was shooting at around 1/30th ~ 1/60th and at 1.8. Each time I saw a potential photograph, i fumbled to focus in time before the subject saw me. Not because I am scared of their reaction, but because the kind of pictures I desire are of people interacting with each other. Not with me.
Another factor that made it more challenging was having someone filming me. It made me so self conscious, it took me a while to get used to it. This was totally different that shooting with a model, as I didn't have to worry about people around. They could see the videographer coming from a block down the road. Immediately they saw it was pointed at me and started suspecting me. After two or three frames, I asked my friend to hang out a few paces behind. That helped a lot. It gave me room to take my time. At first, I felt obligated to "perform", take pictures of any passerby. I didn't want to do the easy homeless or busker (even though I ended up photographing two) shots. Although, having the videographer along, attracted certain characters, curious about our purpose. This made it easy for me to photograph them.
Props to all the street photographers out there. You need thick skin to photograph people in these conditions. I often photograph random people in the streets during the day. I guess I never realized what seems obvious to me now. People are way more tame in the day. They are sober (for the most part) and won't object to you. The daylight also means being able to shoot at a higher aperture and shutter speed, lowering the chances of blurry\ out of focus shots. Still, it was fun shooting and look forward to do it again.