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11-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #16
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I guess this is why we have so many "hung juries" (at least in the U.S.) It's just so hard to determine "intent".
This is what I was thinking when viewing Exhibits A & B and the first view of Exhibit C. However... the words below the second view show that sometimes a broad interpretation of intent is fairly easy. And, broadly speaking, that couple was just being RUDE, unless they were exhibitionists!

11-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamarley Quote
I guess this is why we have so many "hung juries" (at least in the U.S.) It's just so hard to determine "intent".
This is what I was thinking when viewing Exhibits A & B and the first view of Exhibit C. However... the words below the second view show that sometimes a broad interpretation of intent is fairly easy. And, broadly speaking, that couple was just being RUDE, unless they were exhibitionists!
Yep, and I think the Photo-Bombers know that there is no way to prove intent. Kinda like "Me? In your Shot? Well, I was just walking along, the nerve of you to suggest that I am doing this on purpose!"

In the "denial" and "feigned ignorance" these Photo-Bombers forget that as a photographer, we see the same behavior over and over.

I'd love to see/hear about how others have "documented" these incidents!
11-29-2012, 11:27 AM   #18
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With all the cell phone cameras out there, I think some people have become somewhat conditioned to ignore cameras even when pointed in their general vicinity and to just try to go about their business. It seems that in the old film days, people were more sensitive to this and would often duck and stop and/or apologize for screwing up a shot.

I have another theory, that maybe they didn't realize that you were intending to take a wide landscape photo? Just having a "pro" camera and tripod might mean you are taking some telephoto shots. After all, aren't all pro photographers usually accompanied by an assistant to help control the scene?

The fact that pointing a camera right at some of your unintended guests often causes them to give you the evil eye must mean that they didn't really want to be part of the shot. Those that smile back are probably just playing along with the above cell phone-inspired culture, I don't know.
11-29-2012, 11:34 AM   #19
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I have another interpretation of "photo bombing" from the other side of the lens: When at least one annoying person (could be a beloved well-meaning family member) decides to "shadow" a professional photographer (maybe the one you hired for your own wedding) like a lamprey eel, causing at least one person in the group portrait to be looking in the wrong direction in every photo.

11-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
I have another interpretation of "photo bombing" from the other side of the lens: When at least one annoying person (could be a beloved well-meaning family member) decides to "shadow" a professional photographer (maybe the one you hired for your own wedding) like a lamprey eel, causing at least one person in the group portrait to be looking in the wrong direction in every photo.
True!
11-30-2012, 12:57 AM - 3 Likes   #21
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The height of arrogance is going to a public place and expecting people to bend to your will so you can get your hobbying on and expecting them to not get theirs on while you do so.

Unless you physically ask (and THEN the people deliberately act rude), getting bent out of shape because the public is going to a public place and doing things publicly while you're trying to do things privately (and shooting with the intent to exclude the people there means you ARE doing something private) is flat out silly.

Unless you say "Hey, I need five minutes if you don't mind" or something similar, expecting people to know what you're doing is kind of expecting a lot. For all they know you're shooting one of the windows, or rocks, or that their presence isn't a problem.

You basically flat out stated your approach was standing there and making 'I AM ANNOYED. YOU ARE ANNOYING ME.' faces. That approach is probably one of the biggest ways of cheesing people off if they pick up on that.

Try to see it from the other peoples' point of view. "I just rode my bike five miles up this hillside so I can have lunch on the steps of the ruins. Oh, look, there's a photographer here. Well I'm hungry and tired and they aren't saying anything so I'm going to go have my meal. There's a ton of other stuff around here they can shoot while I enjoy myself so if its really important they'll come over and say something to me. I'm not going to stand around with my thumb up my butt for 30 minutes while they take a bunch of pictures."

People don't have ESP, they can't tell what your intentions are (whether its a quick shot or your hogging the scene for a half hour), and they can't be expected to not go about their business simply because you're there. The only way to get around this is this scary thing called 'communication' which involves this thing called a 'conversation' as opposed to standing off in the corner passive-aggressively making faces at them and fiddling with your gear.
11-30-2012, 01:56 AM - 7 Likes   #22
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Did someone say photobomb?

11-30-2012, 07:07 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
The height of arrogance is going to a public place and expecting people to bend to your will so you can get your hobbying on and expecting them to not get theirs on while you do so.

Unless you physically ask (and THEN the people deliberately act rude), getting bent out of shape because the public is going to a public place and doing things publicly while you're trying to do things privately (and shooting with the intent to exclude the people there means you ARE doing something private) is flat out silly.

Unless you say "Hey, I need five minutes if you don't mind" or something similar, expecting people to know what you're doing is kind of expecting a lot. For all they know you're shooting one of the windows, or rocks, or that their presence isn't a problem.

You basically flat out stated your approach was standing there and making 'I AM ANNOYED. YOU ARE ANNOYING ME.' faces. That approach is probably one of the biggest ways of cheesing people off if they pick up on that.

Try to see it from the other peoples' point of view. "I just rode my bike five miles up this hillside so I can have lunch on the steps of the ruins. Oh, look, there's a photographer here. Well I'm hungry and tired and they aren't saying anything so I'm going to go have my meal. There's a ton of other stuff around here they can shoot while I enjoy myself so if its really important they'll come over and say something to me. I'm not going to stand around with my thumb up my butt for 30 minutes while they take a bunch of pictures."

People don't have ESP, they can't tell what your intentions are (whether its a quick shot or your hogging the scene for a half hour), and they can't be expected to not go about their business simply because you're there. The only way to get around this is this scary thing called 'communication' which involves this thing called a 'conversation' as opposed to standing off in the corner passive-aggressively making faces at them and fiddling with your gear.
Obviously, you've missed the point. Regardless of the many times I attempt to remain "invisible", people notice me there, and my presence influences their actions to enter or remain in my "shot". That's the point. The psychology of people doing what is called "photo-bombing".

When I am out and about photographing, I go for the "Be Invisible" as a general rule.

To think that I can reasonably expect a casual conversation with someone moving at my request is simplistic-Pollyanna - and has not borne out with personal experience.
Asking people when they are entitled to be somewhere is always a recipe for "Cheesing off" as you say.

"The height of arrogance", expecting people to bend to my will?
Ironic that your solution is to actually ASK for the person to bend to my will?

I fail to understand how me being subtle - or passive aggressive as you say - is worse than trying to have them bend to my will via a conversation in a public space where they are technically in their "rights" to remain?

Again, the issue here is people in a public space, after SEEING me with my gear, being influenced to remain or enter into my shot. Then, depending on my interest, either leave or remain.

Never in my wildest dreams would I ever expect someone to move AFTER I enter a scene and they are in their entitled public space.

11-30-2012, 07:50 AM - 1 Like   #24
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Hi Lauren,
Without getting into the passive/aggressive or "Bending to my will" issue, I believe the problem is, your expectation of other people's concern (for you and your intentions) is WAY too high.
They don't really care, unless you give them a reason to. You're there first. So what? As far as I know, the site doesn't have a numbering, ranking, first-come first-serve policy like priority seating. It's an open, public venue. As long as they don't come to you and knock you off your space, they are free to go wherever they want. And, as you've seen, they will.
The only folks I've EVER seen who won't willing walk into a shot, are other photographers or fugitives from justice. Why? Because they understand the photographic process.
You and your camera are no more (or less) important to their intentions than a dog walking by or a bird in the sky.
Oh, there may be a few idiots who simply want to ruin your day. It happens. But mostly, THEY DON'T CARE. You're not on their radar.
Stressing out over something you can't control is an exercise in futility. Photography is about timing, You know that, they don't.
Use your knowledge to overcome their lack of. Wait for a better time, go earlier, later, off-days. Adjust.
JMO
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11-30-2012, 08:08 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Did someone say photobomb?
Hilarious!

Lauren, I agree with all the stuff about people in public spaces that everyone is posting. However, I think they're missing the subtlety of what your asking. If I'm reading you correctly, you're not saying that your right to photograph a scene is more important than their right to lunch there. What you're asking about is what motivates people to apparently deviate from their plans based on your presence. While we can never know if the people in your examples were truly impacted by you at all, and therefore we'll never know whether they had genuine intent or were purely oblivious. I suspect they mattered more to you than you did to them. However, I'll play along and offer that some people naturally gravitate to where the action is. One of my sons is like that. He will immediately drop what he's doing to investigate or become part of the action in whatever environment he's in. In your case, he'd probably be fascinated with you photographing rather than wanting to become part of your scene, however, I can absolutely see other people stumbling upon your scene, noticing the camera, and subconsciously drifting to the exact spot the lens is pointed because that's the "hot spot" in the environment. They probably don't even do it on purpose. As for the psychology, I haven't a clue, some people are just drawn to excitement or drama and naturally gravitate into the spotlight whatever their given environment. You and your camera and your "be invisible" attitude were just being nice enough to show their subconscious where they needed to be.
11-30-2012, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hi Lauren,
Without getting into the passive/aggressive or "Bending to my will" issue, I believe the problem is, your expectation of other people's concern (for you and your intentions) is WAY too high.
They don't really care, unless you give them a reason to. You're there first. So what? As far as I know, the site doesn't have a numbering, ranking, first-come first-serve policy like priority seating. It's an open, public venue. As long as they don't come to you and knock you off your space, they are free to go wherever they want. And, as you've seen, they will.
The only folks I've EVER seen who won't willing walk into a shot, are other photographers or fugitives from justice. Why? Because they understand the photographic process.
You and your camera are no more (or less) important to their intentions than a dog walking by or a bird in the sky.
Oh, there may be a few idiots who simply want to ruin your day. It happens. But mostly, THEY DON'T CARE. You're not on their radar.
Stressing out over something you can't control is an exercise in futility. Photography is about timing, You know that, they don't.
Use your knowledge to overcome their lack of. Wait for a better time, go earlier, later, off-days. Adjust.
JMO
Ron
Fair enough. The whole point of this thread is the tongue-in-cheek observation of these bombers. It's frustrating when these folks transgress from not seeing me, to knowing full well I am there taking pictures and reacting to remain or enter into the photograph. That is the point. That is what separates "photo-bombers" from just "people" in a public space.

Are there people who can walk past, see cameras and a photographer and not know what is going on? Are there people so unaware?

It's possible that my expectations are too high if those people exist.
11-30-2012, 08:11 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by HockeyDad Quote
Hilarious!

Lauren, I agree with all the stuff about people in public spaces that everyone is posting. However, I think they're missing the subtlety of what your asking. If I'm reading you correctly, you're not saying that your right to photograph a scene is more important than their right to lunch there. What you're asking about is what motivates people to apparently deviate from their plans based on your presence. While we can never know if the people in your examples were truly impacted by you at all, and therefore we'll never know whether they had genuine intent or were purely oblivious. I suspect they mattered more to you than you did to them. However, I'll play along and offer that some people naturally gravitate to where the action is. One of my sons is like that. He will immediately drop what he's doing to investigate or become part of the action in whatever environment he's in. In your case, he'd probably be fascinated with you photographing rather than wanting to become part of your scene, however, I can absolutely see other people stumbling upon your scene, noticing the camera, and subconsciously drifting to the exact spot the lens is pointed because that's the "hot spot" in the environment. They probably don't even do it on purpose. As for the psychology, I haven't a clue, some people are just drawn to excitement or drama and naturally gravitate into the spotlight whatever their given environment. You and your camera and your "be invisible" attitude were just being nice enough to show their subconscious where they needed to be.
Exactly! You understand!

"I can absolutely see other people stumbling upon your scene, noticing the camera, and subconsciously drifting to the exact spot the lens is pointed because that's the "hot spot" in the environment."

I think you might have nailed it!
11-30-2012, 09:39 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I can't count anymore how many people "Photo-bomb" me when I am in a good location. I would love to know what goes through people's minds when I patiently wait for them to transit out of my images.

I have some theories.

People think *they* make my picture better.
People think they are entitled to stand where ever they want to - and of course they are.
People see a *photographer* and want to see what I see.
People are aware they are photo-bombing.

When people do what they do, I play a game where I point the camera away, or I start taking pictures of them in the scene - and make it obvious. If they like getting their picture taken, I turn away. If they don't like their picture taken, they either move on or give me a "look". If I get the look, I just shrug because they made the choice to be a statue at that precise location. A location they feel is the perfect spot to stand.

The psychology of people at locations is an interesting topic.

I've decided to start a thread to highlight this trend or observation.

Exhibit A. Castlerigg in the Lake District of the UK. This is considered the 'Second Stone Henge' in the UK, and attracts a ton of visitors. It's rare when you can get there when the weather cooperates and there are few people. The image below was taken after I waited over an hour.



I waited because, these two walkers saw me, and decided to have lunch on the stones I was setting up to photograph. As in, they saw me, and walked to the stones. It was a misty/rainy/overcast day and there were other places to sit that were off camera. Why they chose those stones when they saw me doing my thing? Photo-bombers. When I started taking their pictures, the woman didn't like it, and hastend her lunch. They finally moved off after an hour.



Exhibit B. Easby Abbey in Richmond, UK. Here is another ruined Abbey that has tons of low stones that are perfect to sit on. There is nothing exceptional about the steps that appear in this image. Immediately behind me, is a path, and to get to the Abbey, you have to enter a gate just off camera to the left of this image. As I was setting up for this shot- tripod/slider/microphone -, a couple, who was walking their dog, decided that those steps were the best place to sit for an hour and break out their maps. I was setup. I was ready to go and they saw me. They looked at my gear and made a direct line for those steps. They ignored other low stones that would have made just as good a spot to plan their adventure. Photo-Bombers.



Yes. These steps are the perfect place to sit for an hour and map the conquest of England and beyond. As they were talking, the woman kept looking up and over at me. She'd look up, smile and look back down. The man kept turning over the map looking for details or looking for "something". Again, those steps are directly in my shot. There are other places to sit.



Are people not aware? There is an air of purpose when these folks did what they did. When someone makes the "mistake", I often get an "Ooops..sorry I'm in your shot". In the case of the folks above, it is deliberate.

Any one else with their "Photo-Bomber" story?
You've said it in the phrase "attracts a ton of visitors". England is often a very crowded place and finding somewhere without people is sometimes quite hard. Arrive early or late or something - but at the right/wrong time there are bound to be folks around most places, especially a local attraction. I think there is an unspoken code by which either side acts as though the other were not there - thus respecting another's privacy - which when you have a camera can mean the other side sitting right in your picture even though they are ignoring you. It's a cultural thing. Personally I work around it, stop and return later, airbrush them out or make an effort to work them into the picture. In the right circumstances, a human figure can add scale or introduce a feeling of isolation, for example. Asking someone to move, for a moment, is fine occasionally, imho, provided one is careful to be polite and friendly though I wouldn't do it if it looked as if the request would cause a lot of inconvenience. The worst they can do is say "no" and since most people are friendly most people won't say "no".
11-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Did someone say photobomb?
Today's prize.

Actually around Michigan ( old car shows etc) it seems to be that most people politely get out of the way when I raise the camera.
11-30-2012, 11:40 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
You and your camera are no more (or less) important to their intentions than a dog walking by or a bird in the sky.
Funny, when I'm walking the dog (vainly trying to take pictures at the same time!) I'm so aware of where he (the dog) is, in order NOT to be in someone else's way, that I miss a TON of good shots. And I always leave the bird at home in his cage.

And, how did I learn this behavior? Part is my upbringing (can't control that) and part is what I've learned over the years simply by trying to be cognizant of more than just my own space. It doesn't always come easy, but it helps to look for the life-lessons even in frustrating moments. I remember one incident many years ago when I was dog-walking near a lake in a local park. A woman was tossing pieces of bread to a flock of geese at the water's edge. As we approached, my dog barked and the geese took off, precipitating a barrage of criticism, plus a few choice expletives from the "lady". In defense of my dog, I shouted back "you want a piece of me - come on he's just doing what any dog would do". Nothing more came of it, but as we continued on our way, I felt embarrassed that I acted so angrily and immaturely. I see that woman often in the same park, our eyes averting each other. But, I've often noticed a scowl on her face, a kind of her against the world look. I have tried looking her way from time to time; to try to break the ice and make amends, all to no avail. So I continue to steer clear of her and always, always watch where the dog is as we walk.
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