When it comes to street photography and achieving candid pictures, the most important thing is stealth. As professional photographer and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Thomas Hurst puts it, “When people stop seeing the camera, you really begin to see them.” In essence, this means that when your subjects are aware of you pointing a camera at them, they will immediately change their behavior. What candid photography is all about, though, is capturing scenes of everyday life, with people behaving as naturally as possible.
Even though a smartphone is much less obtrusive than a proper camera, the sight of a phone raised to an eye-level position will immediately give away the user’s intention of taking a photograph. So Hurst set out to find a solution to this conundrum, and what he came up with is the Covr iPhone case that lets you shoot stealthily – though some might argue creepily – from your waist.
The Covr iPhone case comes with a built-in, slidable angle prism which, when positioned over the iPhone camera, makes it possible to take pictures from a waist-level perspective. Thanks to the prism, the phone can be held with the screen facing upward, the same way you would when reading an email or typing a text message. When the prism is retracted, the camera works normally, as it would without the case attached.
The makers of Covr, Hurst and Steve Vincent, argue that the case helps you with capturing candid moments that would be impossible or at least difficult to photograph in a regular, more obvious manner. These moments can be anything from candid street shots to family gatherings. However, some might argue that the stealthy nature of the Covr case will support creepy behavior, as the people photographed might not be aware that their picture is being taken.
The Covr case for iPhone 5 and 5S currently seeks $80,000 in funding over on Kickstarter, $20,000 of which have already been pledged for. If you like the idea of the Covr case and could see yourself using it for non-creepy candid photography, then you can secure your own copy for $55 out of the first batch, which is $15 less than the final retail price of $70. The Covr iPhone case’s Kickstarter campaign continues through May 6, 2014.