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Technique: How To Shoot It Ask questions about how to take pics, as well as share your own favorite shooting tips.

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Old 03-29-2012   #51
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjh View Post
I've been asked to stop taking pictures of things!

Tom
That's funny, but actually I got stopped by NYC police last September 11th because I was in a remote area of Queens that was kinda uninhabited carrying a Rolleiflex under the Long Island Expressway.

Was momentarily detained, but was first berated by a police sargent in front of a van load of his men before being released. Indirectly was being called an idiot, when the sargent repeated several times, "What were you thinking?"

I had told the sargent that I on purpose stayed out of Madhattan so the police could better do their job. I repeated several times, "I mean no harm," but he kept on belittling me.

Initially I was asked what I'm doing with a camera in such a remote area and my response was, "I'm trying to capture and photograph the sense of lonelyness and the surrounding abandonement with my camera."

Anyways thanks for the laugh.

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Old 03-29-2012   #52
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I was taking a short cut from where I was staying through an open field into the village when I came across some sheep of a variety I'd never seen being tended by an old woman.I raised my camera to photograph the sheep and not the woman and at that moment she raised her walking stick at me at let out a verbal assault in Serbian which I don't understand .I let the camera rest on the neck strap and raised my hands in surrender and walked away.First time I've ever been confronted like that.
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Old 03-29-2012   #53
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Originally Posted by EdwardKaraa View Post
Cal, you aren't exactly a small guy I'm 5'7" and weight exactly like you
Accually only recently did I put an inch on my cheast by doing mucho push-ups, but in the past I have been often mistaken for a lanky girl from behind because I have narrow shoulders, especially when I wear my hair down.

Its kinda funny catching these guys driving by slow quickly turn their heads real fast when they see my arrogant chin beard and moustache, after they thought I had a really cute butt. LOL.

Anyways since I bought Leicas the extra upper body strength sends out a pretty strong message. Now I don't get mistaken for a girl anymore.

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Old 03-29-2012   #54
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I have a different perspective on eye contact. This is culturally specific.

I know in latin cultures, everybody is always checking each other out. Open the door to a restaurant or subway car and everyone looks up, gives a slight nod (or not), and goes back to their business. It is a way of saying "I'm here; everything's cool". In the US (white?) people may glance at a stranger, but it is more furtive, almost like "I don't want to connect." Or weirdly guilty.

In addition, the comfortable distance is different for different cultures. I walk by a crowd of mexican construction workers. There is a certain distance, closer than my culture, where you catch their eye, give a nod, and you always get nods back. It's got to be really strange for someone from Latin America in the US: what a cold, aloof, unaware culture.
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Old 03-29-2012   #55
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Originally Posted by randolph45 View Post
I was taking a short cut from where I was staying through an open field into the village when I came across some sheep of a variety I'd never seen being tended by an old woman.I raised my camera to photograph the sheep and not the woman and at that moment she raised her walking stick at me at let out a verbal assault in Serbian which I don't understand .I let the camera rest on the neck strap and raised my hands in surrender and walked away.First time I've ever been confronted like that.
Been shooting a lot in the South Bronx, never alone. We really avoid confrontation by not shooting people. When someone is going to walk into my shot I point my camera down and respectfully wait for them to pass.

Because in these areas we stand out as outsiders who don't belong, there have been many-many times where strangers approach us in very friendly manners, giving us insights to the area, telling stories, or even asking us to take their pictures.

We also get lots of odd looks though because people wonder *** are we doing.

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Old 03-29-2012   #56
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In real life John's a kinda big guy though. Funny thing is that he likes small cameras, rarely shoots with a hood, and loves tiny lenses. Go figure.
Yes, I'm 6' 11" tall, 400lbs, and only use minox cameras... Ok, maybe not.
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Old 03-29-2012   #57
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Yes, I'm 6' 11" tall, 400lbs, and only use minox cameras... Ok, maybe not.
John and I make fun of each other and ourselves all the time. Mostly we laugh a lot, but mostly at ourselves. LOL.

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Old 03-29-2012   #58
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The biggest a-holes I run into are some of the older musicians in the subway. Raise a camera and you hear "no no no, not until you pay". Got that this morning and the funny thing is I always give these guys a little dough, not this tool.
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Old 03-29-2012   #59
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Act like a foreigner that doesn't speak English and say a phrase in a different langauge that seems to work.
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Old 03-29-2012   #60
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Originally Posted by tstermitz View Post
I have a different perspective on eye contact. This is culturally specific.

I know in latin cultures, everybody is always checking each other out. Open the door to a restaurant or subway car and everyone looks up, gives a slight nod (or not), and goes back to their business. It is a way of saying "I'm here; everything's cool". In the US (white?) people may glance at a stranger, but it is more furtive, almost like "I don't want to connect." Or weirdly guilty.

In addition, the comfortable distance is different for different cultures. I walk by a crowd of mexican construction workers. There is a certain distance, closer than my culture, where you catch their eye, give a nod, and you always get nods back. It's got to be really strange for someone from Latin America in the US: what a cold, aloof, unaware culture.
Try walking around getting everyone's eye in south Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, or come to think of it, with locals in Hawaii. Heaven forbid in Juarez or somewhere close to the border. Good way to get in a fight, or shot at, as many of my friends learned when we were younger. Western culture doesn't stare someone down in the US, France, or the UK because it's polite not to. Neither is it in Japan. In other words, you give people some space and let them have some privacy. The latin culture is based on machismo, and that involves sizing everyone up. Among men that is. The women in these cultures are even more coy than anglo women, and no matter how hard you try, you're not going to catch their eye walking down the street. What you take as friendly eye contact and a nod might just be a check that you aren't going to open fire or be fired upon right then. A truce.
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Old 03-29-2012   #61
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Act like a foreigner that doesn't speak English and say a phrase in a different langauge that seems to work.
Ha! Not a bad idea!!
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Old 03-29-2012   #62
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The biggest a-holes I run into are some of the older musicians in the subway. Raise a camera and you hear "no no no, not until you pay". Got that this morning and the funny thing is I always give these guys a little dough, not this tool.
Lol... I can imagine a skit where the musician says, "no no no, not until you pay," and the photographer says, " No, you sing song, maybe I pay you. Photo not free. You pay me for photo. You pay for photo now."
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Old 03-30-2012   #63
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the foreigner bit does work, i live in tokyo and while i'm fluent in japanese most people assume i can't speak japanese.

if they want to scold me for photographing them i just play dumb and use broken japanese to get them off my back. works great. have even been bothered by police a few times and used this to good effect. people just leave you alone when they think you're a harmless tourist.

to the OP sounds like you handled it OK. you might want to work on your discreet shooting technique though. adjust your camera when the person you're intending to photograph isn't looking and hold it in a way that doesn't allow someone to see you're pressing the shutter. maybe he saw you move your finger from the side of the camera to the top of the shutter button, that kind of thing.
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Old 04-27-2012   #64
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I was outside a bookstore that had a table offering rescue greyhounds. As I was walking in I snapped a shot of the dogs. 5 minutes later a lady walked up and asked if I shot of picture of her and her kid. I said no, just testing the camera. Then she explained the kid was autistic, and that it was against some "rule" for her to allow photographs. I told her not to worry, my wife works with autism, and such. After a few minutes it was clear she was just trying to do her job, as a caregiver, she was not the parent. Anyway, sometimes subterfuge and discussion isn't a bad thing. And another point, if you see a crazy looking guy, or a cop, or a hells angel, do you Really want to take that picture and risk trouble?
"...against some rules..." Oh c'mon ...
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Old 04-27-2012   #65
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Sometimes a simple #@&% off works too...
Ha. New Yorker for sure.

I just pretend I'm a German tourist. Works every time.
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Old 04-27-2012   #66
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Try walking around getting everyone's eye in south Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, or come to think of it, with locals in Hawaii. Heaven forbid in Juarez or somewhere close to the border. Good way to get in a fight, or shot at, as many of my friends learned when we were younger. Western culture doesn't stare someone down in the US, France, or the UK because it's polite not to. Neither is it in Japan. In other words, you give people some space and let them have some privacy. The latin culture is based on machismo, and that involves sizing everyone up. Among men that is. The women in these cultures are even more coy than anglo women, and no matter how hard you try, you're not going to catch their eye walking down the street. What you take as friendly eye contact and a nod might just be a check that you aren't going to open fire or be fired upon right then. A truce.
Calling bull**** on this. I live and photograph in all the southwest areas you mentioned. Give people respect and look them in the eye. Look as long as they look, smile, say hello as you pass. Just nod, whatever. You belong there just as much as anyone else does. Playing submissive is only asking for trouble in one of the only ways you're going to find it most of the time.

I get sick of hearing people talk about how "you couldn't photograph like that where I live" like they live in a ****ing camp full of Nigerian warlords.
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Old 04-27-2012   #67
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I've never had a problem shooting anyone. Must be because I look like some Asian tourist. Another reason would be because most people can clearly see that the cameras I use are old film cameras. In fact, I've had a handful of encounters in which people would approach me to have their photo shot by my old cameras.
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Old 04-27-2012   #68
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Its perfectly within peoples' rights to politely say that they would prefer if you did not take their photo - even in a public space. If people say this to me I always respect it even though strictly speaking I may be "within my rights". We dont know why people do not want their picture made but we should be inclined to respect a politely made request.

I recall vividly one such case where I was in a park / playing field taking a photo of the nearby CBD of the city. The image would have captured in the foreground, a man and a woman who were close by and if not intimate were obviously involved in very close and private conversation. The lady in question asked me to not take their picture. My impression is that they may have been secret lovers. Who would not respect someone's request in such as situation?

On the other hand if some fruitcake starts ranting about terrorism and photography being against the law and so forth I am much more inclined to call them on it.

Your case sounds to me like the former - not that latter and I would not characterise it as harrassment of a photographer.
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Old 04-27-2012   #69
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i ALWAYS look people in the eye, and if a glance is returned, i nod. i have never had any issues because of that. i am not well-traveled, but have not found this to be an issue in mexico, guatemala, NYC, or anywhere in the southern or western USA, no matter the color or circumstances of anyone with whom i have made eye contact. and i am not a friendly looking fellow, but perhaps not belligerent looking, either.
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Old 04-27-2012   #70
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I've been confronted twice, once in China by an old monk. I took three or four pictures of him and was not even trying to be discreet... he called me on it and I quickly walked away.

The other time was in Turkey, saw this couple making out by a river and I thought the lighting had made the scene perfect. Before I could focus my camera they spotted me and came over asked me something in Turkish, which I obviously didn't understand. They were very friendly but did not speak English, and when they found out I had a film camera with me they walk away.

Most of the time when my subject catch me photographing them I just simply smile and nod, and more often than not I will get a smile in return. I think being Asian helps, an Asian dude with a camera around his neck just screams "tourist".
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Old 04-27-2012   #71
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Last weekend I was shooting in Brisbane with a flash. I walked down the street, shot the odd photo or two, and had just shot a photo of a lady wearing a big, floral hat, when a man came right up to my face and say "If you take my photo, I'll break your camera". Easiest way I've been able to diffuse a situation like this is to just keep it short and simple, don't kiss their behind, but don't go on about your rights. I just say "Fair enough" or "Alright" and walk off. Most stories I've heard that are similar to this, the photographer over-explains themselves and gets themselve into a mess.
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Old 04-28-2012   #72
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nice little spyderco ...
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Old 04-28-2012   #73
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It's sad to live in a world where people's treatment of others is defined as proper if merely "within the law", without considering others' feelings at all.
I hate the fact that public photography has become anathema as "hurting other peoples feelings" and yet so much else gets to slide. Just because other people don't like it or don't get it doesn't mean they have the right to stop you from doing it. That's what living in a society MEANS, we make up a set of rules that we all follow, and you don't get the right to bitch about people living their lives within those rules. I don't like crying babies on the bus, dogs that bark all day, people that walk and text not watching where they're going, people that use their iphones speakers in public instead of headphones and a million other things people do every day, and I'm sure I do a bunch that annoys other people as well. But the point is none of those things are against the law, so I wouldn't dream of telling anyone doing them to stop... if I find it annoying I remove myself.

If none of us could do anything that annoyed anyone, we'd never be able to go out in public and the world would be a pretty boring place. You can't please all the people all the time, but what we can do is learn some tolerance of others. Don't get me wrong, it goes both ways... if confronted a photographer should be tolerant of the other persons annoyance and do his best to calmly, rationally and politely diffuse the situation without resorting to "I have the right, so #@$@$# off". I'm just sick of people arguing that public photography is some kind of deviant criminal activity.
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Old 04-28-2012   #74
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...and I thought all this time Leica's were suposed to be the stealth camera of the ages. You got busted shooting from the hip with a Leica...too funny!!

BTW just put the camera up to your eye, compose, shoot, & tell them your an artist & to bug off. Keep on shooting brother!
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Old 04-28-2012   #75
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I just remembered the last time i was out shooting trains (with a camera) some guy came up & asked me if I was with google earth. I said no, just a train nut! What about these "Google Earth cars" that photograph your house & put it on the internet? Why don't people get upset over that crap? I'd like to see a reality show where people run out of their houses throwing stuff at google earth cars as they pass by.

So perhaps the next time some one ask what you are doing tell them your with google earth.
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