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12-31-2011, 05:32 PM   #106
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Also, remember that in five seconds, the people who are walking past you looking at you taking a picture will forever disappear from your life (most likely)...

12-31-2011, 05:55 PM   #107
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Be Proud!

Perhaps I'm just a contrarian, but I feel completely the opposite; Most people aren't intimidated by the camera and gear, they're jealous. They are admiring you and your hobby/vocation.
How many times have (or, will) folks mention that they "used to have an SLR", generally in their younger days, a film camera? It's happened to me many times, today again in fact.
And you have the dedication to continue with photography, learn new techniques, new equipment.
They've gone on with their lives but the desire is still there. They admire you and most likely have several versions of smaller/less capable cameras themselves. Cellphone cameras, point + shoots, some image-making devices.
The dedication required to haul around a camera bag, lenses and support equipment (read; Tripod!) is no small thing. Learning to use it properly and taking the time required to assemble/operate everything takes skill and patience.
Those aren't looks of suspicion, they're admiring glances.
You can prove it to yourself. Go to a busy place, set up a tripod, mount your camera, take off the lens cap and stand there. Don't take photos, just wait and watch. Very soon one of the passers-by will look in the direction of your lens, obviously trying to see WHAT you're seeing. Others will ask you what you're photographing. They're interested, not scared.
Try it!
Ron
12-31-2011, 06:08 PM   #108
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Looking to see what a camera is pointed at is simple human nature. Reading into it an assumption of admiration and jealousy is a level of conceit I am incapable of reaching.

My friend and I as a prank once caused a near stampede at the very crowded Ueno Zoo in Tokyo when I suggested to him we point our cameras at a raccoon enclosure that had no animals in it. It was the only pen in the zoo not so swamped by people that you had a chance of getting anywhere near it....it was empty, everybody knew it, and there were zero people there. We pointed our cameras into it for a few seconds and it is a miracle we didn't get trampled to death by the people who swarmed the pen. I don't think a single one came to admire us or our cameras.

Not everybody who looks at you using your camera or toting gear around admires you and wishes they were you. Most couldn't care less and some will think you odd.
12-31-2011, 09:01 PM   #109
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Nope

Sorry, Mike, you and I disagree, and it's not conceit, it's self-respect.
You're right that not everyone cares what we're doing, and I don't think the OP was talking about those folks anyway. Do you?
But you're flat-out wrong if you think many people don't admire good camera gear, preparation and commitment. Perhaps your opinion of the non-photographers who openly notice us is so low you dismiss them. I don't.
I will take photographs when and where I choose, within the limits of the law and normal moral boundries. I don't expect applause for doing so, but neither do I expect fear, suspicion or harrassment.
This is not conceit or ego, it's my right and I choose to use it.
My self-esteem and respect for others is not so dismal that I can't believe people (at least, some) admire my effort and dedication. Including the many who have taken interest and expressed exactly those feelings.
Knowledge is power.
Ron

12-31-2011, 09:21 PM   #110
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Like the original poster I was self conscious at first. I found after the first few times that I was stopped by security for walking someplace 'that I wasn't supposed to' in a public park despite no signs/warnings of any kind or things of that nature that I totally stopped caring about what other people thought about what I was doing to get my latest shot.

BTW Mr Cash, I loved seeing your setups for those wonderful photographs
01-01-2012, 12:42 AM   #111
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A couple ways to consider this:

I might be a bit odd, but I don't really care what's on other peoples minds. Done.

If you are sitting at home and asking yourself "Do I want to sit and watch another sitcom?" or "go out shooting some pics?" you quickly see that photography will be the more enjoyable and enriching activity. As soon as you decide to go that route, commit to that decision without thinking twice. Go out there, do it proper, enjoy.

Consider the root of these feelings in a kinda freudian way (unless you are taking pics of small children, 'cause adding freud to that might get WEIRD, lol). Some people will set up their gear with real confidence: the result can often be people viewing such a person as a professional. With this viewpoint you are proud of your decision and strut. The lack of confidence when displaying your photography so openly is possibly an extension of a lack of confidence in what you are doing. Perhaps you are thinking you are too amateur for a display of such seriousness [in other peoples eyes]. In that case, forget it, they will see you as Ansel Addams if you are confident [and truthfully, they have no clue what your portfolio looks like.]

A friend of mine was taking a couple photos of her friend while she was in Japan. Next thing she knew, some people started lining up behind her to take the same shot with their friends. They concluded she was on to something good...

About a week ago I got approached by a couple of "cougars" asking if I was taking shots of them. They got offended when I kinda brushed them off by saying (honestly) that I was shooting the cityscape. Maybe I missed something good there... I dunno and didn't care at the time, I was very focused.

Happy hunting,
Dave
01-01-2012, 06:58 AM   #112
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A lot have changed since I started this thread. I was much more self-conscious then but have improve since. It's not that it's completely gone but I have an easier time picking up my camera to snap some shots and it feels great to do so, because I'm now generally more relaxed about it too. The first 2-3 shot's can still be tricky though, and if I'm at a place with too few people, then odds are I'll still pass on a good shooting opportunity.

But I can feel I'm improving and that's the important part along with the matter of keeping shooting.
01-02-2012, 02:16 AM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by betamax Quote
When I started I got the same thing, and to an extent I still do, but some time shortly after starting I saw this video and it sort of changed my perspective.

YouTube - ‪WNYC Street Shots Bruce Gilden‬‏

I mean, I am not invasive at all (nor as good) as Bruce Gilden is but it put things on perspective, and this might be silly but whenever I am feeling self-conscious I sort of remember the video, chuckle and just continue what I was doing.
Well i'd never do anything as invasive of that to people :P

Not so much the fact that he's taking picture's, I couldn't realy care less about that, it's the fact that he's using a flash that close to people without warning. That'd be sure to give me a migraine, and what if your epileptic?

01-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Woj Quote
Well i'd never do anything as invasive of that to people :P
"If your pictures aren't good enough it's because you're not close enough," etc. I've actually shot that close and closer, a lot, in crowds, but not with flash.

QuoteQuote:
That'd be sure to give me a migraine, and what if your epileptic?
If he doesn't leave a trail of twitching moaning victims, everything must be OK, right?
01-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
A lot have changed since I started this thread. I was much more self-conscious then but have improve since. It's not that it's completely gone but I have an easier time picking up my camera to snap some shots and it feels great to do so, because I'm now generally more relaxed about it too. The first 2-3 shot's can still be tricky though, and if I'm at a place with too few people, then odds are I'll still pass on a good shooting opportunity.

But I can feel I'm improving and that's the important part along with the matter of keeping shooting.
Well, that's really good.

I was probably back there on this thread or similar ones talking about how it's about performativity and interaction, you just need to find your way to interact. Some may think it's about ego or gear, (Or people somehow having any idea what the gear actually is, "biggish and looks like it's been around' was always a good way once upon a time to overcome the 'What's a girl doing here,' factor, ...now everyone's waving Iphones. ) But it's really about how you wear it and get photos. If you're relaxed about it, chances are your subjects will be, too.


You sound like you're being social about it to an extent, though: people feel safer being photographed when in crowds, too. Getting on the shutter helps there, too, though. Just for your headspace and all.



(Incidentally, for epileptics, the problem is strobing lights, not a single flash unit. )
01-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #116
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I am very sorry you feel self-concious. Perhaps your confidence will increase with practice. Creativity does not happen over-night, but rather comes with much repetition. Remember what HCB said: Your worse photographs are your first 10,000 . . .
01-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Some may think it's about ego or gear.
It was about gear in the first couple of months after I got the camera. The K-x is so small compared to some Canons or Nikons, especially if they have a battery grip on. But it went away quick and I rarely think about it these days - I've also learned lots of people buy expensive stuff to compensate for talent and this boosted my self-confidence as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
If you're relaxed about it, chances are your subjects will be, too.

...

You sound like you're being social about it to an extent, though
Indeed, and I'm trying to be myself and sometimes it's easier than others, but it's all heading the right direction.

@dmc: It's an ironic thing because I wasn't always self-conscious. In fact I used to be very little but then stuff happened in the late teen ages
01-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
stuff happened in the late teen ages
stuff happens to everybody in the late teen ages!
01-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
stuff happens to everybody in the late teen ages!
01-02-2012, 04:51 PM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
It was about gear in the first couple of months after I got the camera. The K-x is so small compared to some Canons or Nikons, especially if they have a battery grip on. But it went away quick and I rarely think about it these days - I've also learned lots of people buy expensive stuff to compensate for talent and this boosted my self-confidence as well.
*yoda-like hrrrm.* Think my size means much?

You try being a gal with chrome bodied cameras back when that was like the 'Mark Of Shame.' I have one of my favorite little moments about some dude among photogs when I was reloading for something, being like, 'You can't use that for this, honey!' Me: pointing off into crowd: " That's not what *he* says." *clapping back closed and *gone* while he looks around for such dude. (Cause, yeah, once upon a time loading film was a job skill. ) *

The thing there is, there's always been status stuff: 'Big' means something a while, then maybe 'small' does, the real thing is carrying yourself like you know what you're doing and not being a liar.



QuoteQuote:
Indeed, and I'm trying to be myself and sometimes it's easier than others, but it's all heading the right direction.

@dmc: It's an ironic thing because I wasn't always self-conscious. In fact I used to be very little but then stuff happened in the late teen ages

Well, then, this is no time to be worried about the size of your kit. 'No bigger than it needs to be' has always been the real ideal.

I'm *still* self-conscious. Always have been. (Just not always in a shy way.) That's part of what I can do good photography with. People you'd like to point a camera at are very often that, too.
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