Nice Side-Effect During Metering – Before And After The Photographer Has Been Noticed

In an earlier post I explained how I’m doing my scene investigation and metering before I’m going to shoot bird shows. You can read the post and watch the accompanying video by clicking here.

While I’m doing my metering I also tend to browse through the crowd. If I see some interesting people, situations, faces or both I take a candid shot.

Sometimes it’s interesting to see how people react when they notice (or think) that their photo has been taken. I think the following before and after comparison demonstrates very good how people seemingly change their mood when they are photographed. In the end an image says more than a thousand words. (Warning at the end of this post)


I don’t think the frown of this young lady was in any way related to the fact that I just set my shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second, the aperture to f4 and the ISO to 100.

This one could by the way make a great black and white image.

Anyway, I can tell you that the frown was most likely the result of that the sun was shining into her face.


When some clouds came up I’ve set my ISO to 200 immediately and didn’t even notice that she was looking straight into the lens. I can be some kind of nerdy some times.

I guess, it wasn’t the higher ISO that made her smile but this kind of images are a nice side effect while you are fiddling around with your settings.

We shouldn’t forget here that I did my metering for the birds that still had to arrive at the scene. In my video I explain this in detail. If I would have gone for a portrait at this very moment I would have set my aperture to 2.8 to get the person in the background more blown out.

Oh yes, I promised a warning. Here it is: though I never experienced it personally, not everybody will react that friendly if her/his photo is taken. I think the best tip is first to calculate your chances on survival if it comes to a fight.

If this result in taking the photo you can still remove it if you are asked to do so.

A smile and a thumbs up to the subject that you just took a candid of is always appreciated in my experience. Some will ask for your card, so get them ready.

Have a great day shooting!

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