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05-29-2011, 09:17 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by RXrenesis8 Quote
I'm going to argue that that is because walking downtown in New York gives you an entirely different level of stimulus than taking a walk in the two blocks that constitute a "downtown" in Sitka Alaska. A photographer is a drop in the bucket of a walk in NY, whereas a photographer could be all you talk about that day in Sitka.

You ever lived in a small island town?
@RXrenesis8 You should be used to tourists in town. Every summer don't you get cruise ships dumping 1000 people onto your streets a couple of times a week?
BTW You live in a fascinating and beautiful area.


The city, harbour area & beach suburbs in Sydney are full of tourists so carrying & using a DSLR doesnt feel strange but I still would feel weird jamming a zoom into peoples faces.
I like to use the DA15 because you can shoot people without even pointing at them. A DA70 is discrete for closer shots, its a telephoto that doesnt look like a telephoto.



Cheers
Steve


Last edited by steve1307; 05-29-2011 at 09:28 AM.
05-29-2011, 09:28 AM - 1 Like   #62
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We've gone over some of this in previous threads on street shooting. Various strategies work. Like, disappear by being visible, wearing a uniform or orange vest -- you're just another official, ho hum. Or, be a woman, or at least be WITH a woman, especially if she also carries a camera. In USA, be Oriental, especially in a crowd of other camera-carrying Orientals. Or otherwise be obviously a tourist. Just don't be a single male with no visible reason for being there with a camera.

I am nearing the end of a month in Santa Fe NM, a tourist mecca. On the street, I can get away with almost anything if I wear shorts, a bright shirt, a baseball cap -- just another tourist. Around artsy events, international galleries, etc, I dress all in hipster black (with beret), and can also get away with almost anything, because I look like some artsy hipster, especially if not using a huge lens. And in venues where big.cam photography is frowned upon (and I stash my K20D then), I watch other tourists snapping pix with phones -- so I just whip out a P&S that looks like a phone, and fire away.

I'll put a Noflexar 105/3.5 (alu body with alu hood) onto my Bellowscope -- the shiny mechanism distracts attention from where I'm aiming. In San Francisco CA my favorite street lens is a tiny Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5, smaller than a SuperTak 55/2 -- it just doesn't LOOK like I'm doing headshots. My next-favorite daytime street lens is the little Sakar 500/8 mirror, not much bigger than a kit lens, and able to grab headshots from a safe distance. Lens size DOES matter, to perception.

In Mexico and Central America I'm the white-haired 1.9m-tall gringo who can't possibly pass as a local. When I grow my beard out, little kids point and whisper, "Santa Claus!"; and MANY MANY kids love to have their photos snapped by Santa Claus! Or I'll be driving around, be stopped at a roadwork project, lean out the window with the K20D+DA18-250 -- and workers stop and mug for the camera. But in villages I'm more circumspect, nonchalantly firing a P&S from waist level. Or shooting 'blindly' with an ultrawide on the K20D slung over my shoulder, never raised.

Oh yeah, when cameras are common, other fotogs are suitable subjects, especially with cameras raised. I grin as I shoot. They usually grin back, if they even notice me.
___________________________________________________

I guess it boils down to: It helps to adopt a role, a back-story, to be non-threatening. Either look and act like you belong there, or like you're an outsider who is permitted to be there. Pioneering PJ Alfred Eisenstaedt's role was "I'm just a litle guy with a little camera." Bruce Gilden's role is "I'm a pro and this is what I do." My roles are either "I'm just a tourist" or "I'm artsy and irrelevant." Put on an orange vest and carry a clipboard, and your role is "I'm just doing my job, don't bother me." Whatever works, eh? Just screw up your courage and DO IT!

BTW the only times I've been hassled about shooting were in parking lots, and not by site security. In USA, using a big camera in a parking lot is somehow suspicious. People get real nervous about being photographed around their cars. Go figure.
05-29-2011, 01:07 PM   #63
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I'm continuing to enjoy and be enlightened and encouraged from your posts! Thanks to all.

While I originally brought up street photography, it really doesn't interest me. I just was amazed at how folks who do that work up the courage to do it. So, I guess I have that going for me, because if I had to actually get in people's faces or ask permission to take a photo, I'd never get anything accomplished!

Probably my situation is easier, since I want to focus on quieter areas (unless I happen to be in a touristy spot). The aforementioned field with hay bales or a nice landscape, for example. It's just when you are this lone person there, carrying your gear/tripod through a field with your car on the side of the road, it seems almost like that's perceived as odder to folks than being in a more public place. Or maybe it's just my own lack of self-confidence projecting onto everyone else. I'd like to think they're just thinking about where they're going next and what they have to do, with me as a minor curiosity that goes in and out of their minds in seconds!

Anyway, continue on with the fascinating posts, please! It's been a fun read.
05-29-2011, 01:18 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
@RXrenesis8 You should be used to tourists in town. Every summer don't you get cruise ships dumping 1000 people onto your streets a couple of times a week?
BTW You live in a fascinating and beautiful area.
Oh yeah, when the ships come in I'm completely invisible, it's great! I was talking about the other 95% of the time

05-30-2011, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I'm continuing to enjoy and be enlightened and encouraged from your posts! Thanks to all.

While I originally brought up street photography, it really doesn't interest me. I just was amazed at how folks who do that work up the courage to do it. So, I guess I have that going for me, because if I had to actually get in people's faces or ask permission to take a photo, I'd never get anything accomplished!

Probably my situation is easier, since I want to focus on quieter areas (unless I happen to be in a touristy spot). The aforementioned field with hay bales or a nice landscape, for example. It's just when you are this lone person there, carrying your gear/tripod through a field with your car on the side of the road, it seems almost like that's perceived as odder to folks than being in a more public place. Or maybe it's just my own lack of self-confidence projecting onto everyone else. I'd like to think they're just thinking about where they're going next and what they have to do, with me as a minor curiosity that goes in and out of their minds in seconds!

Anyway, continue on with the fascinating posts, please! It's been a fun read.
For the side of the road stuff i would bet 80% plus of people dont even notice and for the rest you are a brief distraction
Keep shooting
Worst case the farmer stops ypu and asks what you are doing
05-30-2011, 09:03 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Worst case the farmer stops ypu and asks what you are doing
Just don't admit that you're casing the joint for a cow-tipping session.
05-30-2011, 03:51 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Worst case the farmer stops ypu and asks what you are doing
Worst case is bill 1246 comes back in the Florida senate and makes photographing a farm illegal
05-31-2011, 04:26 AM - 3 Likes   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
While I originally brought up street photography, it really doesn't interest me. I just was amazed at how folks who do that work up the courage to do it. So, I guess I have that going for me, because if I had to actually get in people's faces or ask permission to take a photo, I'd never get anything accomplished!
Nothing on earth appeals to me less than the idea of spending my days off wandering the sidewalks taking pictures of people. I do enough of that sort of shooting from my truck. And since I spend my days surrounded by people and their associated noise and hustle-n-bustle, I'd rather spend my time off practically anywhere they ain't.

QuoteQuote:
Probably my situation is easier, since I want to focus on quieter areas (unless I happen to be in a touristy spot). The aforementioned field with hay bales or a nice landscape, for example. It's just when you are this lone person there, carrying your gear/tripod through a field with your car on the side of the road, it seems almost like that's perceived as odder to folks than being in a more public place. Or maybe it's just my own lack of self-confidence projecting onto everyone else. I'd like to think they're just thinking about where they're going next and what they have to do, with me as a minor curiosity that goes in and out of their minds in seconds!
Why give a damn what they may think? I spend a lot of time in cemeteries....some attached to Buddhist temples and some private boneyards along the roadside up in the mountains (and also hunt for centuries-old roadside religious votive statuary....and I go about my shooting like I own the place. I haul in a tripod, umbrella, strobes, etc. Without actually disturbing anything, I set up for shots however I want, and it isn't unusual to find me sprawled out on the ground for a shot, or perhaps moving around and holding up a monopod-mounted umbrella while shooting with the self-timer or remote. I know full well that I look somewhere between "odd" and "suspicious" but I don't let it bother me. Why? Because I know the important thing is the photo I plan to come away with. If it means wading chest deep in a river or climbing up on something or lying down in the dirt or in any number of ways making myself look like a conspicuous jackass, so be it. None of that shows up in the picture. If you spend any time at all worrying about how you look to others while going about getting your pictures, you're going to miss a hell of a lot of nice pictures. May as well just hand your camera to whatever stranger wanders by, because in effect that's exactly what you're doing by letting what anybody else thinks about how you look affect what you do or do not take pictures of.

If you're really worried about what anybody might walk up and say to you regarding your choice of photo subjects, then you might try carrying a few small prints of some of your best shots taken in similar settings so you can say, "This is the sort of thing I'm trying for. And the odd crap you see me doing is what goes into getting something like that." Load some samples onto your phone, that works just as well.

By way of example:

I had no qualms at all about going into a temple and setting up like this:




And then doing everything from climbing on the railings to lying down on the ground....despite the fact the old priest and one of his friends were standing and talking a few feet away and that I looked like a total idiot. Because I knew something they didn't know....that I would come away with these:








Pentax K20D
Auto-Takumar 55/2


And that I couldn't have shot them that way while worrying about what anybody who saw me thought about it.

Same story for not worrying about what anybody thought about me setting up in a seemingly dull and drab scene just a bit off the roadside and then lying down in the pine needles here:








Pentax K-5
S-M-C Takumar 35/2



05-31-2011, 10:42 AM   #69
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Mike, thanks for the inspiring post. And your shots are incredible!

Thanks again to everyone for the encouragement. I did venture out into the field today. Got some shots at some local Civil War battlefields and one at a local cemetery. They are posted in my album at the link below if anyone's interested. Not a soul bothered me or even looked at me funny the whole time, especially at the cemetery.

loco's Album: May 31, 2011 Battlefields/cemetery - PentaxForums.com
06-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #70
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Mike Cash: I wish I could do that

Today was first of a total of 6 cultural days, where we have outdoors parties at multiple locations.

I figured it would be a good opportunity to gain confidence, so I went out. What I've learned so far is that I have much to learn. I came home with lots of crowd photos that didn't really tell any story, but composing with crowds is a different task altogether as well. I had a good number of photos that were good from a technical point of view, but other than that many were just plain and simply not interesting to look at.

Plenty of days left to learn a bit more, or at least get more confident. That's the biggest problem. As a result I rush too much. I've upload a small portion for you to look at. Feel free to comment. But few I'd like to point out as lack-of-confidence and routine shots:

Copenhagen Distortion - Day One

01: Using my voigtlander 58mm. Manual focus lens. Didn't quite nail the focus point.
04: Took me too long to focus. By the time I got it, the guy had turned his head. But I did nail the focusing this time though
10: blah, missed the focus point again. Really bad considering she posed for me (I think).
12: I dont understand this one. Took 2 pics, but with focus on the bike. Sometimes I go "blind" when manually focusing.
15: Had eye contact with these guys and they asked me to photograph them. I still have a bad habit of not using a small enough aperture and the composition is pure crap too
16: No idea what happened here. I might have had the cam set to continuous focusing (Using a Sigma now with AF). This is one shot out of 3 with these girls. All out of focus. Good thing they didn't ask if they could see the pics
19: The only couple I asked if I could photograph them and I blew it. Exposure is bad and I didn't check for it on the LCD. I also only shot once. Well, they asked to see the pic and I just rushed on after showing it. Shame on me.

A slight off-topic question: I shot in the shadow a lot and felt I should have used a flash. Should I? I didn't because I haven't used my Metz often enough when people are involved.

Ps. The pics still need some work in Lightroom. Mostly white balance adjustments. Processing pics takes so long time - cant be buggered any longer today.

Last edited by Zafar Iqbal; 06-01-2011 at 06:42 PM.
06-01-2011, 06:44 PM - 1 Like   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Thanks again to everyone for the encouragement. I did venture out into the field today. Got some shots at some local Civil War battlefields and one at a local cemetery. They are posted in my album at the link below if anyone's interested. Not a soul bothered me or even looked at me funny the whole time, especially at the cemetery.

Some nice shots there. I have a cemetary just next to where I live and I love spending my time there
06-02-2011, 06:56 AM   #72
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You nailed a few great one's there.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Mike Cash: I wish I could do that

Today was first of a total of 6 cultural days, where we have outdoors parties at multiple locations.

You have 3, (10, 18, 21) that I really like. Crowds, to me are hard to shoot. I would go for a shallow DOF and blur the crowd into the background.

#19 would have been a great shot, but I would have shot it more from the side, and got down a little lower just for perspective. By the way, I'm new so don't take my opinions as being expert at all. Your shots help me see what I could do to make the shot fantastic. Thanks for sharing them.

Last edited by glee46; 06-02-2011 at 06:59 AM. Reason: I just like to edit stuff...
06-02-2011, 07:05 AM   #73
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Nice job, Zafar! One good thing about that situation is that people are expecting their photo to be taken. Still, I'd have been more apprehensive. You did a wonderful job capturing the event!
06-02-2011, 09:33 AM   #74
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I ran into a small issue here in South Texas, I was on a 3 week business trip to El Paso and, decided to go to Marfa, and Ft Davis for the weekend. I took Hwy 90 into Marfa and decided to take several pics, of the area, and also of the House that staterted the largest fire in Texas's history. Everytime I stopped, I had a borderpatrol agent stop to see what I was doing. After the 3rd one, I did ask If they bothered to talk to each other on the radio. . Then on the drive home Sunday I was stopped by DPS, and pulled from the vehicle. I was asked just about every question that could be asked. After a pause I told the DPS officer, " I'll take what is really wrong here for 500." I offered the truck up for search, and then it hit me what was wrong. In the bed of the truck was my tripod. It was not set up, but it was in there. In the front seat was my Kx, with a Sigma 135-400, and my K5 with my Tamron 70-200 hanging off the seat for all to see. That is when I said to the DPS trooper, this is what this is about, it is the cameras! Now he had not been to the truck, as he used the PA system to tell me to get out of the truck and walk to the back. We walked up and sure enough, they did look "out of place" I turned to him and said, some trucker called this in didn't he? I had been driving with the windows down, and was passing them and one of them looked down and saw what they thought was a scope, or a gun system. coupled with the tripod...... The tone instantly changed, and the trooper even took a few shots... errr I mean pictures with the K5. He was impressed. So now I know that when traveling, be aware of what you are doing. The area I was in is loaded with all sors of drug runners, and other folks. So lesson learned, and I have adjusted accordingly. In fact I went to the border fence in New Mexico, I made sure to make contact with a Border Patrol agent. He gave me a few tips on where to go, and he even went with me to a particular dangerous area to make sure I stayed safe. I will be coming back here in November, and I will be going to the same areas, just with a different approach. It is a different world now. Just have to adjust some!!!!

Last edited by ggeorge11; 06-04-2011 at 06:58 AM.
06-02-2011, 08:38 PM   #75
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Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

glee46: I don't really like that particular photo. The framing and composition is boring, I'll give you that. It's difficult, when not being used to photograph people - and in public in particular, to think of all the things that needs attention. I need to keep at it. That's the only way I will relax more and take my time to get some good shots.

Regarding shallow DOF - you are right. I primarily used my 28-70 Sigma. It's very very soft wide open.

loco: Yah, indeed. It's much easier to photograph in situations like this. I wouldn't be able to if I were in a park or some random place with limited people and then selecting one out for an up close shot.

ggeorge11: Wow, that sounds like some experience. I find it to be a bit scary when the authority don't seem to know what they are doing or are doing things insufficiently. Even more scary that someone thought you might have a weapon loaded, ready to.. shoot :|


Todays pics: Copenhagen Distortion - Day Two

It went better than yesterday in many regards, but I still have a long way to go. The main problem is of cause that I need much more self confidence and not be so self-conscious. It helped that there were even more people today and that a friend tagged along. I always get a boost when someone i know ell tags along.

11: Uh my, whats that? First time I've seen one out in the open.
13: I was taking pics of the couple up on the trailer when I noticed this girl had noticed me.. uhm
18: Basically same scenario as yesterdays with the cop girls. I remembered to use a flash this time, but I did a second exposure exactly like yesterday.. and It failed the exact same way :P

And as before, these are WIP's. I can't keep up with the post-processing
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