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02-08-2011, 08:48 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Ashamed of taking my camera for a walk through town...

For those who want to critique my pictures and see how they turned out please look at this thread, I'd really love some input.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photo-critique/133438-other-my-walk-through-town.html

Update: I started another one with pictures from today:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photo-critique/133558-other-student-tales...verything.html

Yes I am. Last time I went out with a camera and not looking like a tourist someone called the cops and they had a chat with me about taking pictures of women until they realised that I only had pictures of objects on my memory card. Still it was embarrassing and humiliating. Today is a nice day so I'd like to go out but what will people think if I walk through campus with a huge lens and camera? Is someone going to call the cops again? I know I am the silent and serious type but why do they brand me as a pervert because I carry a camera?


Last edited by Student; 02-17-2011 at 11:14 AM.
02-08-2011, 09:03 AM   #2
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yikes where do you live?

I've never been stopped and asked anything by cops or campus security and i walk through a couple of campus' taking pics regularly
02-08-2011, 09:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
...I walk through campus with a huge lens and camera?
How big is that lens?

People have all sorts of perceptions of people with cameras. It only takes one person to think "huge lens = invasion of privacy" and they can call the cops.

Then again, are you obviously taking pictures of people without asking permission (street photography)? While legal, it may not be accepted. Perhaps a less obvious camera is the answer.

Just saying...
02-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #4
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If you shave your creepy beard and get rid of the dark trenchcoat you may have better luck...Seriously though, smile it can go a long way with making people feel comfortable. If I see some strange person with a seroius scowl shooting photos I might wonder too. I am going to bring my camera on campus(University Of New Mexico) this thursday with a wide angle lens just so I have no choice but to be close and see what kind of responses I get. I promise to only photograph people and I will post the results in the critique forum. Just in case I get questioned by security I will limit my photos to beatiful women and outrageous looking people so I can show them what I am up to. If I don't post them by Thursday night it means I was either beat up or had my camera stolen, or both.

02-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
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who cares?

you are in a public space (i'm assuming you are?) , you have a right to be there with your camera.

Here in new haven recently, the cops tried to arrest someone and take their video camera away because they were video taping the cops commiting wrong-doing - guess who the public and gov't sided with? cops didn't stand a chance.

anyways my point is - you are free to be there, it's your right.

if someone has a problem with it that's there problem; not yours.

I am the silent and serious type too, but I also walk around knowing no one can really stop me; so i tune out anyone trying to bother me.

again, you shouldn't feel humiliated or sorry for your actions; you've done nothing wrong...


then again...my wife and I make it a point of her breatfeeding our baby in public because we know that a: it's her right to do so and b: we also know we infuriate people who can't handle what a breast looks like...

i also walk in a crosswalk when i see cars driving wrecklessly too fast - and they get pissed at me as if i'm the one being the jerk. well i might be, but you shouldn't be driving so fast you can't stop for a legal pedestrian.
02-08-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
who cares?

you are in a public space (i'm assuming you are?) , you have a right to be there with your camera.

Here in new haven recently, the cops tried to arrest someone and take their video camera away because they were video taping the cops commiting wrong-doing - guess who the public and gov't sided with? cops didn't stand a chance.

anyways my point is - you are free to be there, it's your right.

if someone has a problem with it that's there problem; not yours.

I am the silent and serious type too, but I also walk around knowing no one can really stop me; so i tune out anyone trying to bother me.

again, you shouldn't feel humiliated or sorry for your actions; you've done nothing wrong...


then again...my wife and I make it a point of her breatfeeding our baby in public because we know that a: it's her right to do so and b: we also know we infuriate people who can't handle what a breast looks like...

i also walk in a crosswalk when i see cars driving wrecklessly too fast - and they get pissed at me as if i'm the one being the jerk. well i might be, but you shouldn't be driving so fast you can't stop for a legal pedestrian.

Capslock 118, well put and I like your style. My wife and I feel the same way about breast feeding.
02-08-2011, 10:05 AM   #7
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That happened to me before at the playground at the mall before. As soon as I took my D700 w/grip and Nikkor 70-200mm/2.8 VR II lens out of my bag, I saw a dad stood up and left right there, then I had a mall security guard came to me and told me that I need to take pictures of my own child. I told the security guard it was ridiculous, and if they want to check my memory card, they are more than welcome to look through......

Some people out there are ridiculous...... I do admit, there are creepy people out there too though....

02-08-2011, 10:13 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
Yes I am. Last time I went out with a camera and not looking like a tourist someone called the cops and they had a chat with me about taking pictures of women until they realised that I only had pictures of objects on my memory card. Still it was embarrassing and humiliating. Today is a nice day so I'd like to go out but what will people think if I walk through campus with a huge lens and camera? Is someone going to call the cops again? I know I am the silent and serious type but why do they brand me as a pervert because I carry a camera?
So its a little embarassing the first time, but you'll get over it. Try to find a photography club in your area and join it. invite the members to go on a field trip thru the college campus that you'll lead. You'll find out there is strength in numbers and it'll give you a lot more confidence.

I live close to a ferry terminal and its close to a Navy base. The ferry folks have been warned to check out anyone taking pictures in the direction of the Navy base. I worked there for 34 years and retired from there :-) Anyway, a ticket taker warned me because i was taking pictures of a bicycle rack in that direction. she was embarassed about warning me. Another night i took pictures of 2 buses in the pickup lot at night that had funny signs on their route listing - i think the bus driver called me into the police as they gave me a burp on their siren and looked at me as they passed me later on while i was carrying my tripod and camera.

I continued to carry my camera around in the evening and the same cops passed me later on and didn't say anything. Over several months i continue to carry my camera around the ferry terminal and take pictures. They seem to have gotten used to me and my big terrifying camera, my K20 Its still on my list to go and have a talk with the police in my town and show them pictures of the alleys in town. They got alleys around the downtown that you won't find in a any modern development anymore. Actually the police have done a fine job in keeping the alleys safe since i don't find anybody in them at night except myself When i worked in the base, there used to be stories of workers mugged in the area. So its not all bad news.

Go take an art class in your school and continue to carry your camera around the campus. Then go introduce yourself to the campus police and tell them you are an art student and glad to meet them. When you get to be an old fart like me, you don't give a s__t about this BS. Don't give up, just keep carrying that camera and you'll get over the concern. Its part of living life IMO.

I don't have time now but i'll post one of my alley pictures - fun to take. best wishes
02-08-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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i was thinking this yesterday and contemplated on making a post about it. i enrolled in a photography class at my college (montclair state university) and i have weekly shooting assignments. i usually take out my point and shoot instead of my dslr because i don't want to attract any attention and i'm still fearful of some random campus cop walking up to me and asking what i'm doing.
i really think it's based on appearance and intent unfortunately. if you see some guy with a large camera you think he's up to no good when in all honesty he's taking picture of a doorway because it looks cool. same goes for cell phone cameras... you whip your cell phone out, snap a shot, and even though it looks somewhat inconspicuous there's usually one person saying to themselves or to you that you're taking some picture of a woman so you can put her head in a porn...
02-08-2011, 10:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
Yes I am. Last time I went out with a camera and not looking like a tourist someone called the cops and they had a chat with me about taking pictures of women until they realised that I only had pictures of objects on my memory card. Still it was embarrassing and humiliating. Today is a nice day so I'd like to go out but what will people think if I walk through campus with a huge lens and camera? Is someone going to call the cops again? I know I am the silent and serious type but why do they brand me as a pervert because I carry a camera?
It is surprising that one is made to feel this way. I don't feel ashamed but under the radar.

I live in a small rural community where apparently taking pictures is seen as suspicious by many. It gets tiresome to see people staring at you, driving by slowly or even being questioned for taking a pix of a river scene. It seems to happen less in bigger towns but you still get that feeling that you are doing something wrong. That's why I like metro areas but I guess the grass always seems greener on the other side.

Yeah, I smile, am polite and try to ingratiate myself with folks when approached; I am mindful of not stepping on private property without consent or doing much "street" shots if it's too obvious. This usually does the trick but man are some folks suspicious. I just continue going out and taking pix, ain't doing nothing wrong.
02-08-2011, 10:33 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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It must be a US thing, I haven't been there in a long while now
I've shot in a lot of europe and shoot daily here in toronto and it's never been an issue (i do get some dirty looks when street shooting but damn if your gonna wear that silly hat someone is going to take your picture) I just go on doing what i'm doing


02-08-2011, 10:38 AM   #12
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I just came back and ended up taking only four good shots. I went into a historical site near the university and as I moved through I just held my camera not shooting anything until I shot a door (I will include the picture later on) and suddenly a pretty girl with an Olympus () walks towards me and asks "Hi, you haven't taken a single picture of the Church but now you're taking pictures of this old door like crazy, why?" Well, I thought it was the only thing in here worth shooting because it was the only thing nobody else would shoot. Any way, she asked me about my Pentax and how she had never heard about them and how she was an art student at another university and was here working on a project. Unfortunately her 'girlfriend' then arrived and she left. I will post my shots in a bit in the picture rating section of the forum.
02-08-2011, 10:40 AM   #13
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In some parts of the U.S. it is 100% legal to walk around with a pistol strapped to your hip in plain site.

Some people choose to do that just because they can.

Others will choose to conceal the weapon rather than spend their time discussing the law with those who feel it "just ain't right".

You pay your money and take your chances.
02-08-2011, 10:50 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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Sadly, we live in a society that has been encouraged to be paranoid past the point of common sense.

How many terrorists or perverts are going to be blatently OBVIOUS with a "huge" camera lens and "large" SLR? I mean, if you were planned something secret and subversive, why would you attract attention to yourself like that? Doh!

There are tons of tiny little cameras that can be slipped out of a pocket, a photo snapped, and the photographer slip away without anyone taking notice.

So, why do the paranoid idiots always think that the OBVIOUS person is the terrorist/perv/stalker/whatever? Because they've been panicked past all common sense.

How many thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of people across the USA have been enormously inconvenienced by a "suspicious package" that closes an airport terminal, a bus station, a transit center, a sports stadium, an office tower.???

And everytime, it is a briefcase left behind, a backpack set down and forgotten, a sack of hardware from Home Depot... left in plain site.

Well, Hello!??? If a terrorist wanted to blow up the concession stand in your office building, it would be all too easy just to slip the b0mb into the trash can or under a plant shelf or wherever HIDDEN place so it WON'T be discovered until the dirty deed occurs. They don't go around just tossing a b0mb-laden backpack into the hallway in plain site on the floor where it is OBVIOUSLY out of place and ANYONE can NOTICE it. And, besides, what makes them think their office building concession stand is such a special terrorist target anyway?

We've lost all common sense whatsoever and just become rampantly neurotic and fearful. My prescription is a great big dose of courage, determination and stiff upper lip. This duct tape and plastic sheet mentality has gone way overboard.

Anyway, back to the question, I would just drop into the campus police headquarters, let them know you'll be taking photos on campus, that it is a public space and people are allowed in America to take photos in a public space and perhaps they ought to make sure they're on firm legal ground before they hassle anyone. Ok, you may want to soften up that last phrase, but you get my point.

It is up to each one of us to reassert some liberty into our free country. And if not more freedom, at least we ought to point out to the terrified tremblers that anyone who is OBVIOUSLY taking photos especially over extended periods of time is the least likely to be the problem person.

Last edited by yucatanPentax; 02-08-2011 at 10:56 AM.
02-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Student Quote
Yes I am. Last time I went out with a camera and not looking like a tourist someone called the cops and they had a chat with me about taking pictures of women until they realised that I only had pictures of objects on my memory card. Still it was embarrassing and humiliating. Today is a nice day so I'd like to go out but what will people think if I walk through campus with a huge lens and camera? Is someone going to call the cops again? I know I am the silent and serious type but why do they brand me as a pervert because I carry a camera?
If I was in the same situation as you, I would politely answer questions from police but decline to show them photos on my memory card. I would not let the police browse through emails on my Blackberry without a warrant. Laws might be different where you live, though.

It is generally not illegal to take pictures in public regardless of whether the photographic subjects are buildings, other inanimate objects, or women. Unfortunately, some people overreact. The police are forced to respond when called.

I have yet to be confronted by law enforcement for committing photography but I did have a minor run-in with a train conductor earlier this year. My train was late so I was taking pictures after a big snowstorm. As I boarded the train still holding my camera, the conductor halted me. "Hey, bub, what's with the camera?" His tone was definitely confrontational; he was not merely curious. "It's for taking photos" was my reply. I felt no obligation to justify my artistic decisions. If he was less nasty about it I would have entered into a normal conversation, asking him if he does photography, and if necessary educating him that terrorism and DSLRs are unrelated.
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