Candid Camera

I love to observe people. What better way to do that than taking a photo right? Candid photography is one of the most enjoyable forms of photography. It’s fun capturing unsuspecting people at their most natural.  Therefore today’s photography theme is all about people.

There is always the debate whether candid photography is an invasion of one’s privacy or worse the photographer being labeled a pervert. Personally I believe that as long as the shots are not of people in embarrassing, unglamorous, upskirt or downblouse situations, it is acceptable by my principals. Or at least has discipline on what is one going to do with the pictures.

To the viewers, candid shots of people taken at the front or side seem to be more acceptable than one taken behind their back. Like the shot above. It gives the impression that the photographer is haunting the subjects. Or rather it’s the fact that being able to see the subject’s face looks more pleasing in photos.


A busy day at Orchard Road. Good place to take pictures of people as there are plenty of them. Love the greenery as well. Lots of trees even in urban areas.


I wish some of them will turn to look at the camera.


Lovely gaijin teenagers. A photo looks great when the subject is looking at the camera. Nice outfit the lady on the extreme right is wearing too.


From my observations, most couples I see on the streets, the girls always dress better than the guys. A guy always want his girl to look presentable when going out so shouldn’t the guys do the same as well? Example is the guy in the foreground and background. though I think the girl in dress can do with better shoes.


A group of samba music performers. Heard from a friend they perform regularly at the same spot.


Attracted quite a crowd.


Recession? What recession? Judging by the Gucci bag this lady has beside her, it’s either some people are doing well despite the bad times or that is just a bag containing random stuffs.


Protesters? Hardly. One needs a permit to protest in Singapore. In fact a lot of things need permit over here. The people in orange are advertising some new movie place.


Children are always a joy to photograph (the other being girls). They are actually dancing to the samba music but being the novice that I am, wasn’t able to capture them at their best.

I find that to capture a good moment of life, technique is not necessary the most important, stealth, a pair of fast hands and sharp eyes are vital. Positioning the camera at eye level might arouse the subject of your presence/intention and the shooting opportunity is lost.

Sometimes, one only get one chance so the first shot must count, subsequent tries to shoot might get the subject suspicious. Shooting at waist level minimizes detection even though the sound of the shutter closing is unavoidable. Tried it myself, works great without being exposed though it is usually the case of trial and error since one can’t aim in this circumstance.


Thank you dude in blue hood for posing. Folks in this pic are having a smoke.


Lovely girl at the counter in a Neo print shop. The one on the right mind you. Not sure is Neo print the correct term to describe machines that takes thumbnail size photos of you and friends. Enlighten me if there’s a better word.

A new romantic comedy starting beautiful people. It puzzles me why characters in romantic movies are always beautiful people? Why can’t normal looking people have a romance on film? Ya I know, audiences pay money to see beautiful people do romantic though most of the times unrealistic things on screen to temporarily escape from the harsh reality of life.


Text message “I’m here already. Where R U?”


Spotted 2 doll collectors carrying their children around Kinokuniya so asked them for a shot.


A Japanese ojou-chan engrossed in her book.


Another ojou-chan.


Mini skirt is love.


Large selection of  Japanese magazines. Only Safe For Work ones.


Must work on shutter speed in future to freeze the people in the background.


Unsung heroes at work. They build the most beautiful roads and buildings but nobody appreciate them nor thank them.


Surprisingly those foreign workers are very friendly when I approached them to take their photo. Locals will just turn you down and walk away.


Lovely girl on the escalator. Her shoulder is all red from carrying the bag. Poor thing.


On the train home.


Playing PSP on the train is a common past time here.


Cute chubby baby. Can’t tell whether is a boy or girl. Most babies tend to make a racket on trains but this one is surprisingly quiet. ^^;

These previous series might interest you.
Random Photo Shoot 5
Random Photo Shoot 4
Random Photo Shoot 3
Random Photo Shoot 2
Random Photo Shoot 1

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About sergeant gordon

TD8316, proud member of the 501st Legion 銀河帝国五〇一軍团。 Loves anime, Sasara, photography and looking for droids, pretty ones.
This entry was posted in Photography, Singapore life. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Candid Camera

  1. Hahalol says:

    I think I see China Square Central, is that where you frequent?

  2. Chappy says:

    Candid is fun to play with, isn’t it. Can capture how people behave in public.

    I love taking photos of kids. Sometimes, i get the very curious look from their parents, but i just smile and go. XD There was once, an old ah pek scolded me when i didn’t even take his photo. =.=”’

    That’s the Kino at orchard ne? Am going to go this coming tues to get Jump.

    And, yeah. Neoprint is the word for it. Very expensive, yet fun. Used to take lotsa them during my secondary days.

    Actually regarding the photo about the shutter, it’s better in this way. Usually for candid, we will have an idea in mind what do we want as our subject. In the particular photo, i believe the subject is the group of youngsters. So, with a ‘blurred’ background, it brings out the subject. Just my thoughts, hope you don’t mind. ^.^

    • gordon says:

      well that’s not the kind of bokeh effect i want. the passers-by in my pics are motion blur, as u can see the background is still clear. usually for me if i am shooting faces, i prefer all of them to be clear. even if they are not my subjects. ^^;

    • Chappy says:

      Guess it’s the preference of photoshoot. ^.^
      Btw, forgot to mention. The baby in the last photo is so so so chubby. Wanna pinch her(?) face so much. XD

  3. Marianto says:

    Unsung Heroes indeed. We sometimes took things for granted in our normal daily lives.

    Hmm..Reminds me..Haven’t been to Orchard for sometime now. Guess I should get out more (“,)

  4. FatB says:

    Text Message: Get here quick. This weird guy is taking photos of me

  5. Kairu Ishimaru says:


    Awww. Someones being shy. 😀

  6. boyy says:

    you took a photo of my friend! haha.

  7. Loba says:

    I like the picture where the baby points upwards.

  8. pus2meong says:

    love the worker picture. They look scary but friendly 😀

  9. konadora says:

    Must be nice to have a camera 😛 I’m saving up for one for my birthday haha.
    I too love to observe people wherever I go, be it on the train ride back home, or on the bus, or on the streets of Orchard Road on my way to Japanese lessons. Always interesting ^^;

  10. yumeno says:

    Just started photography by borrowing Sam’s D40 lol. A candid shot I took during the March holidays (around the neighbourhood): http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j93/Sh1Nn/DSLR/DSC_4519.jpg

    Your photos are splendid, as always.

  11. tj han says:

    Not interested in street photog myself, but glad to see you are. Anyway, I think you can be more daring, in terms of both composition and subject. Most of your pics above look like snapshots ninja-style. I like the construction worker ones though.

    I notice one boyfriend staring at you for taking photos of his girlfriend haha. Watch out for ah bengs, not even the storm trooper armour can prevent ah beng’s sharp combs.

    • demonick_angel says:

      nah there are ways with words to counter… no need to use the force.

    • gordon says:

      hey bro, thanks for the comments, was about to consult u for shooting advices. will keep that in mind.

      the boyfriend with the girl in green next to the poster. don’t worry, he thinks i’m taking shots of the poster. was waiting for the girl to turn around.

      concur on the more daring part. right now only dare to take pics of their backs. will be working on how to take them at the front with their facial expressions.

  12. demonick_angel says:

    oooooo… nice shots. hahaha.

  13. andra says:

    I mostly dont dare to take photos of people especially on the front, kind of scared that people will hit me ^^; but everything changes when I take cosplay photos ^^;

    Now I remembered I saw the free hugs people at orchoad and people really go hug them ^^;

  14. Q says:

    I thought about candid photography before as it captures the everyday life of city people, but it really does require some quick hands and stealth or else one may ended up with people staring at you and thinking “what on earth is that weirdo doing taking photos of us?!” ^^;;

    Ah past times on trains and other transports – that reminds me of a very thoughtful post from a Hong Kong blogger I’ve read one day. Pretty interesting and worth having a look!
    http://shadowzo.mysinablog.com/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=1443907

  15. Hangmen says:

    GAAAAAAAH PANTYSHOTS DO NOT WANT

  16. Blowfish says:

    I think the fewer people are visible on those candid shots the more you seem like a stalker/pervert.Its harder to justify those shots
    I really like the background effect on this one
    Friends

  17. kiriska says:

    This is my favorite kind of street photography, honestly. I only wish I had the guts to do it more often even though I’m pretty sure most New Yorkers wouldn’t give a shit, lol.

  18. MrMayat says:

    Agreed on the daring and frontal pic part. Stealth photography can be infuriating, but it can also be rewarding. My take with a UWA lens. (If you’ve used one, you’ll know how close you have to be to get these shots)

    Showdown in Chinatown
  19. blauereiter says:

    Interesting pictures, thanks for sharing ! Like Kiriska I’m also too shy to take pictures of strangers, which is why I’ll never be too good a photographer, I’m afraid.

  20. marvinryan says:

    I actually like the blurry people walking behind the 4 sitting in the foreground image. makes you feel like so much is happening behind them while they are set in pause. ^^ but if you want a high shutter speed lens, I suggest the 50mm f1.8 or f1.4. the later being the more expensive is better, but the f1.8 being really cheap would probably be a better deal. 🙂

  21. phossil says:

    >> “I wish some of them will turn to look at the camera.”
    If they do that, they will try to pose for the camera, and wouldnt be natural, I think.

  22. Persocom says:

    Lovely pictures, you captured every day life quite well ^^ I agree, why must people in romance movies always be beautiful, it wouldn’t hurt us to see normal people falling in love. You pictures make me want to get over my fears of going out in public and taking pictures of random people/things. I feel weird taking pictures of people without permission. These kind of posts are inspiring ^^

  23. tflops says:

    Looking unto this pictures made me think enough what is daily life on Singapore. Come to think of it, I’d like to decipher your pictures. “Look! Those legs are fantasitic, ain’t it bro?”

  24. aprilius20 says:

    Cineleisure Singapore
    I think they’re called ‘purikura’ machines in Japan. As in ‘Print Club’. They’re pretty expensive over here, how are prices across the causeway?

    Mobile Phone Girl
    Takashimaya, right? Excellent place for waiting;)

    • gordon says:

      thanks for the info. not sure about the price. never been to one.

      Takashimaya yes. great place to observe people. ^^;

      • konadora says:

        I agree, I go to Takashimaya every friday night due to my Japanese classes being in Orchard, and lots of sights and sounds to see there. The Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak (?) couple perform great 😛

  25. optic says:

    As much as I agree ur point of view about candid photography, it’s actually an offense in Australia. The laws was toughen about this act when there was a slight rise of pervs taken pictures of boys and girls and selling them off the net.

    It’s still a big problem in Aus including child molesters which is just sick. T_T

  26. Kona says:

    Great job on the photos, Gordon. :3
    The best thing about the photos is that I could feel the life coming out of them and even though they are pictures of normal people going around places doing simple things, somehow I got to really love them. (Maybe it’s because I am being quite sentimental now for no reason, lol, I don’t know. XD)
    I enjoyed reading your post and your comments about the photos. ^_^

    “Mini skirt is love.” aiya. XD

  27. TP says:

    @gordon:

    With the rise of incest cases around the world (Columbia, Austria and England), there’s a reason why Australia is very adamant about child pornography.

    Back to your pictures,

    In regards to the willingness of people from the developing countries to allow to have their pictures taken, it’s all about education, and with it, affluence: the more you’re informed, the more you’re paranoid about stuff, and the more you would rather not have anyone take your pictures. This is why some photographers enjoy taking pictures of people in a rural community or village.

    But all in all, the pictures you’ve taken are amazingly astounding.

    Now, I’m gonna try digging out this one picture I take where there is this drunken guy singing in Hindustan inside the MRT while stationary at Marina Bay…

  28. you’re having pervy tendencies, huh?

  29. “Not sure is Neo print the correct term to describe machines that takes thumbnail size photos of you and friends”

    I heard they call it print club in japan

  30. soonkiong says:

    lovely pics once more. i notice a sharp increase in shots of lovely eye-candy. good job. XD

  31. Bravo for taking pictures of our unsung heroes. Props mate.

  32. AK says:

    My salutations go to the Indian man who posed in such a respectable manly way for the camera. No sarcasm here.

  33. pipopaz says:

    nice collection of pics you have here, never knew about your blog, i’m deciding to stay ^0^. Haven’t really tried photo walk, might try one day, do you have any tips?

  34. James says:

    I so love random pics like that !

    Thanks for these , i’m surely going to do the same one of these day ^^

    (but in France , people are going to steal my camera after less than 5 minutes … country sux :/)

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  38. Charmaine says:

    I’m inside. LOL.

  39. TS says:

    LOL, the photo you took of a Construction worker holding a breaker, if I am not wrong, was taken along Braddell Road opposite Peck San Teng bus stop.

    From Sato Kyogo or their sub-contractor. 🙂

  40. searchhottrends says:

    Legs! legs!! legs!!! It’s too bright in here. I’m glad that you caught it candid.

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