A candid photograph is a photograph that is captured without posing or creating a raised appearance. A candid picture can be taken in many ways but the common techniques are surprising the subject, avoiding prior preparation, etc. Candid photographs are photographs that are being made without the knowledge of the subject. The main factor is the absence of posing. A posed photo is not candid. If the subject doesn’t even expect being photographed and doesn’t know it even after the fact, it is known as “secret photography” and it is a special case of candid photography.
Dr. Erich Salomon is credited as the first person to take a candid photograph. He took a black and white picture of the social elite, politicians, and diplomats in Berlin during 1920s and 1930s. Arthur Fellig was a great photographer who captured the streets of New York too often document life and death. Candid photography is commonly used as a medium to convey or show the truth. To show reality in the rawest possible terms while still achieving beauty is the aim of candid photographers.
In recent years, candid photography has become common. Especially as art forms to depict the surreal nature of reality, or often to show the brutal nature of the reality we live in. Many newspapers have used candid photographs to illustrate the truth about many things. The latest sensational candid picture is of a child in Syria dead on a beach, he along with his family died in the terrorist mayhem surrounding the country. The picture has traveled all over the world, in newspapers, social media networks, through the web, almost everywhere. It has sparked outrage very quickly and has had many people coming to the open to protest such terror wars. Many people have donated money to help such children and many have also urged their government to take up initiatives to help the terror-stricken country.
Such is the power of candid photography. As it depicts reality in the most brutal way, it can make people to emotionally connect to the pictures. No one knew the little boy crying for his family, but with that single photograph, millions of people have tried to do something to improve his condition. A candid photograph has such emotional value and it is one of the reasons why it has been popular throughout the history of photography.
Candid photography is achieved generally using unobtrusive camera equipment often in small size to avoid disturbing the subjects. Candid photography requires available light as flash or studio lighting usually doesn’t make it candid as subjects will be alert to the camera. Flash may startle or surprise some subjects causing them to react to the shot, thereby making them self-aware. Hence, candid photography must be done with available light, and this restriction means that capturing beautiful moments in candid photographs is very tough as there is little to no control over the lighting. Photographers generally rely on certain angles with available light to achieve a good picture but it also requires a lot of imagination, and one must always be alert to capturing the right moments. Candid photographs fetch a lot of money in art houses and are also very hard to get right. Candid photography is sure a profession that interests many photographers as it is challenging and depicts reality without any dishonesty.