PetaPixel

Ambushing Strangers in Hollywood with a Canon 5D and Handheld Flash

Street photographer Bruce Gilden has a pretty distinct style of getting into strangers’ faces and firing off a flash held in his other hand. Eric Kim — who recently started doing street photography full-time — created this behind-the-scenes video showing himself employing Gilden’s trademark style, though instead of a Leica he uses a Canon 5D. The lens he’s using is a Canon 24mm f/2.8, and the flash is a YN-560.


 
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  • http://twitter.com/andyjscott Andy J. Scott

    This is just annoying to the people and not one of the photos was interesting.

  • http://twitter.com/andyjscott Andy J. Scott

    This is just annoying to the people and not one of the photos was interesting.

  • http://twitter.com/andyjscott Andy J. Scott

    This is just annoying to the people and not one of the photos was interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tatyana-Skymyrka/723478596 Tatyana Skymyrka

    youTube original Gilden’s video, by the very least it has commentary.  this video is nothing special, just a copy of the process

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tatyana-Skymyrka/723478596 Tatyana Skymyrka

    youTube original Gilden’s video, by the very least it has commentary.  this video is nothing special, just a copy of the process

  • Fatso

    yeah…. I don’t like this approach. First of all, you are taking strangers, without asking permission, and using their faces to make money/reputation/whatever. Just because you smile afterwards, and say oh I like your hat, it doesn’t make it ok. It is quite irritating watching him, as his “cocky” attitude adds to the hate. Personal space/bubble.

  • Like-a-Leica

    When Bruce did it I thought it was new and interesting, then Charlie did it and it was cute that he was trying it to but now this jumping people with no rhyme or reason is getting old fast.

    I used to dig Eric Kim but when he took his street photography from simple people watching to shameless ambushing I lost some serious respect for him.    Street photography in my eyes is capturing a specific moment in time involving interesting subjects not just any random schmuck.     

  • Ryan S

    Loved it. Admittedly a lot of the angles were very much alike, but I like the result nonetheless. I need to try street with a flash.

    I also think he’s a pushover for deleting that image.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SP4KF54GR53SO2XLIX3PZ3D52I ogo

    very dangerous and foolhardy

    it just takes one photo of the wrong person and your camera is burnt toast or your nose and jaw are headed for the emergency room

    yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s legal.  tell that to the doctor who is fitting you for false teeth after you lose your real teeth in an instant.

    it doesn’t even take a low life drug addict.  any dad seeing his child being photographed will act emotionally and you and your camera are history.

    discretion is the better part of valor.  stop provoking people or you just might end up with more than you bargained for.

    By the way, this was filmed on Hollywood Blvd., where in addition to midwestern elderly tourists, you will find equal numbers of east l.a. cholos and gangbangers.

    You’ve been warned.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SP4KF54GR53SO2XLIX3PZ3D52I ogo

    very dangerous and foolhardy

    it just takes one photo of the wrong person and your camera is burnt toast or your nose and jaw are headed for the emergency room

    yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s legal.  tell that to the doctor who is fitting you for false teeth after you lose your real teeth in an instant.

    it doesn’t even take a low life drug addict.  any dad seeing his child being photographed will act emotionally and you and your camera are history.

    discretion is the better part of valor.  stop provoking people or you just might end up with more than you bargained for.

    By the way, this was filmed on Hollywood Blvd., where in addition to midwestern elderly tourists, you will find equal numbers of east l.a. cholos and gangbangers.

    You’ve been warned.

  • southcoast

    how is he not getting beat up?

  • southcoast

    how is he not getting beat up?

  • Neiljoonrad

    black and white is so old fashioned.  

  • Neiljoonrad

    black and white is so old fashioned.  

  • Michael

    I enjoy street photography and I also enjoy Eric’s blog but this video really disturbs me.  I would be hell annoyed if someone just ambush me especially with a flash.  I got a question for you Eric, don’t you care for people being annoyed and surprised?  Like the girl with the phone was calling out to you after you took a shot but you just kept walking away ignoring her call, don’t you think that’s  1. being rude and 2. being disrespectful of the people you shoot while you publish them on your blog?  I can see it will become an entirely different photography if you were to ask people for their permission but at least I think you should show some manners (‘I like your shirt’ is not the way ‘Yeah!’).

  • Anonymous

    I like the photos, but not the methods, if it’s really not staged. It’s pretty douchey to get in someone’s face, pop a flash and a picture and walk away.

  • pcp

    What an asshole! No respect whatsoever… id bust his camera on his face a few times, and I am a professional photographer.

  • http://twitter.com/shankdub shankdub

    I don’t see how the pictures are any better than having asked the subject first, 90% say yes anyways or go ‘huh?’. Do it with your camera to your eye already and them in focus. I usually take a picture and before they say yes just pop one off…then go OOOPS my bad and if they were gonna say no I just offer to delete it to which they are like …oh f it since by then its over. His spontaneity doesn’t get him any more natural/better pics than the ‘ask first then shoot’. Maybe a girl here or there who will get bashful but, whatever…no shortage of street photos. They’re all looking in his lens ANYWAY…

  • Michael

    One more thing Eric, here’s my tip to you: http://youtu.be/e5NgG5koPZU
    This guy is amazing, not only he asks people but he makes their day as well.  Look how much respect he’s got with the people in the streets already knowing about his photography and his blog.  This is like street photography to a whole new level, plus he doesn’t use flash :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.herbon Andy Herbon

    Shoot from the hip.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.herbon Andy Herbon

    Shoot from the hip.

  • http://twitter.com/21TonGiant Aaron Stidwell

    Or pop on a telephoto and shoot from a distance. People won’t know what you are shooting.

  • http://twitter.com/21TonGiant Aaron Stidwell

    Or pop on a telephoto and shoot from a distance. People won’t know what you are shooting.

  • http://twitter.com/BrianPCarey Brian Carey

    If he gets a kick in the nuts I’d have to say he earned it. (Has he gotten kicked yet?)

  • Ryan S

    Yall are making WAY too big a deal out of this. I do the sale thing without a flash, and while there is the odd encounter, it’s not “dangerous” like you people make it out to be.

    Judge for yourself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/throughpaintedeyes/

  • Ryan S

    Yall are making WAY too big a deal out of this. I do the sale thing without a flash, and while there is the odd encounter, it’s not “dangerous” like you people make it out to be.

    Judge for yourself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/throughpaintedeyes/

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EZVLTTP6B2FQDTG5ITY3TNEWDE Velma Mcfadden

    I just paid $22.85 for an iPhone 4-32GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $674 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentHub.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570832408 Stefan Heymanns

    Thanks for the link… best video I have watched all week.

  • Typeinmichael

    No problem, it’s my pleasure sharing something inspirational.

  • Ken

    Display of hubris
    Disrespecting the subject
    Behavior uncool.

  • Like-a-Leica

    It’s not even so much the danger aspect of it.   I think this sort of behavior is what ruins street photography and photography itself for the rest of us.  If people see this sort of shit they are going to get defensive the moment the catch an eye shot of a camera anywhere in public and we will be painted as more then just terrorists in the long run. 

  • Ryan S

    humbug.

  • Ryan S

    humbug.

  • Ryan S

    humbug.

  • Ryan S

    humbug.

  • Ryan S

    humbug.

  • Ryan S

    humbug.

  • Typeinmichael

    Word

  • http://profiles.google.com/drfealko Daniel Fealko

    Here’s the difference:
    Scott Schumann is class and Eric Kim is crass.

  • http://profiles.google.com/drfealko Daniel Fealko

    Here’s the difference:
    Scott Schumann is class and Eric Kim is crass.

  • http://twitter.com/StyleQuotient Melo

    Not only is this style extremely intrusive, but yes, even as a photographer I find it annoying.  There would be some redemption if the photos were any good, but it seems to be 90% random dirty looks and mediocre shots at best.

    Just because it’s ‘street’ photography, doesn’t mean you can’t interact with your subjects and make it comfortable for them.

    If I were with a child, his last frame would be of the bottom of my shoe.

  • http://twitter.com/StyleQuotient Melo

    Not only is this style extremely intrusive, but yes, even as a photographer I find it annoying.  There would be some redemption if the photos were any good, but it seems to be 90% random dirty looks and mediocre shots at best.

    Just because it’s ‘street’ photography, doesn’t mean you can’t interact with your subjects and make it comfortable for them.

    If I were with a child, his last frame would be of the bottom of my shoe.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree it’s just rude. Even as a photographer, knowing how much his equipment cost, I would be tempted to grab it out of his hand if he stck it in my face like that. You don’t have to ask to photograph someone in a public place but use some common sense and courtesy. If your close enough to touch someone your in their personal space.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree it’s just rude. Even as a photographer, knowing how much his equipment cost, I would be tempted to grab it out of his hand if he stck it in my face like that. You don’t have to ask to photograph someone in a public place but use some common sense and courtesy. If your close enough to touch someone your in their personal space.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree it’s just rude. Even as a photographer, knowing how much his equipment cost, I would be tempted to grab it out of his hand if he stck it in my face like that. You don’t have to ask to photograph someone in a public place but use some common sense and courtesy. If your close enough to touch someone your in their personal space.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree it’s just rude. Even as a photographer, knowing how much his equipment cost, I would be tempted to grab it out of his hand if he stck it in my face like that. You don’t have to ask to photograph someone in a public place but use some common sense and courtesy. If your close enough to touch someone your in their personal space.

  • C H Paquette

    Another self important D-Bag with a fancy camera… I’ve had some interesting discussions about this disturbing trend over on my blog…

    http://photoartsmagazine.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-streetsploitation.html

  • C H Paquette

    Another self important D-Bag with a fancy camera… I’ve had some interesting discussions about this disturbing trend over on my blog…

    http://photoartsmagazine.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-streetsploitation.html

  • Dave G.

    Before you attempt this technique, consider the following: 
    a) you are guaranteed to anger a lot of people for your own personal gain
    b) you are selfishly contributing to a negative stereotype about photographers in generalc) this is Bruce Gilden’s technique – a very person style he developed as an outgrowth of his personality. Can you contribute something new to the genre instead of copying him?

  • http://brandontauszik.com Brandon

    Please don’t compare this guy to Bruce Gilden anymore.