Inconspicuosity Tip #2 : Angles

How little people notice can be quite amazing. Photo ninja skillz do not involve things like stealthy camera bags with lens holes or 90 degree angle mirror attachments. Actively “hiding” when out with your camera is a tad on the childish side. The less you are noticed, the less you will contaminate or interfere with the scene.

How can you avoid being noticed?

1. Stay Still.

The human eye is attracted to movement. If you remain still and keep your movements smooth and to a minimum, you can just sink into the background of whatever scene you are a part of. This is particularly effective if there is a considerable amount of movement going on around you. Step back towards the edge of a crowd, in a place where you are not going to interrupt the natural flow of human traffic.

2. High Contrast Shadows

The human eye struggles to shift from areas of high contrast – light areas to dark. When you walk into a dark cinema, it takes a little while for your eyes to adjust and be able to see again. If you stand in a shaded area that has significant contrast to the prevailing light conditions, people will find it more difficult to pick up what exactly is in the shadows. Stay in the shadow areas, don’t fidget, and you are less likely to be noticed by people walking by.

3. Stay Out of Field of View

The easiest way to avoid being noticed is to move outside of a person’s natural field of view. Move off to the left or right, or move above or below your subject.

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4. Alcoves

Look for doorways, entrances, and other places to remove you from the natural field of people’s vision. Even better, if the spot delivers some shadows. Look for natural architectural cover and compose your shots through gaps, with or without showing framing.

 5. Colour

Wear colours that do not contrast with the environment. I usually wear plain jeans and grey or other dark coloured hoody. When the weather warms up, just a plain, dark coloured polo shirt. Avoid red, yellow, and other colours that catch the eye. This includes your bag and camera strap. Change out the manufacturer strap with Nikon Yellow or Canon Red with a plain black strap. These straps just scream for attention…

Check out some more tips on remaining inconspicuous here.


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