IAP 2 exercise 2.2 covert

A couple of years ago when I was doing the EYV module I learned that taking photos of people in lit interiors from the street when it’s dark is an easier way of making covert images of people than doing it in broad daylight, as they’re much less likely to notice you. It also offers opportunities to capture shots that look like stills from a film or play, because the subjects are often engaged in activities and the lighting tends to be more dramatic than daylight.

For this exercise I decided to use the under-cover-of-darkness method again. I now have a small mirrorless camera, a Panasonic Lumix GX9, which is a lot more portable than the Canon ESO 6D Mark II I used previously, and also less conspicuous, so I used that. The images I captured are a bit grainier than the ones I took with my Canon, even though I checked and matched the ISO I’d used previously (800). They’re also lower in resolution and therefore sharpness than I would have liked, which is partly due to the fact that in each case I captured the entire building but subsequently decided to crop quite severely to frame the images more closely around the people. If I were to repeat the exercise again now, I would zoom in from the outset.

Do the images fulfil the exercise brief to shoot portraits of subjects who are unaware of the fact they are being photographed? I’m not really sure that they count as portraits, as they don’t focus on a single individual and are more like narrative scenes than character studies. If my resolution had been higher and the images sharper and less noisy, I might have been able to make them into portraits by cropping still more closely to focus on an individual subject. Nevertheless, I enjoyed making the images and quite like them for what they are.