beware the wandering iPad

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Michael in China, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Michael in China

    Michael in China Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2012
    Zhuhai China
    Hint: when you are making that definitive photo to show all your friends how intrepid, adventurous and incisive yet sensitive a photographer you are, capturing images of quaint indigenous people doing quaint indigenous things, do make sure you scan the background for blonde tourists doing the same thing with everyone's favourite brand of tablet. Otherwise, your friends will catch on that the previously isolated locale in which you stayed is now a tourist trap which attracts 10 million visitors per annum.

    14mm Lumix on an E-M5.


    On a serious note, while I found the elderly minority women of Yunnan Province (these women are Naxi) incredibly photogenic, I also question why this is so. By taking yet another photo of a timeworn indigenous septuagenarian rather than her trendily dressed granddaughter, am I just trying to convince myself that the noble savage still exists, living a way of life which I am, truth be told, working hard to avoid?

    By the same token, as someone who is visibly foreign in the country I choose to live in, I'm occasionally (it is happening less often these days) asked to pose for photos with total strangers who will throw their arm around me as if we're bosom buddies. I do so willingly in the name of diplomacy, but I can understand why locals might get weary (and be wary) of camera-toting tourists.

    Sorry for the confused rant in a photo-sharing forum, please feel free to chip in with guidence or personal experience or random thoughts on the topic.

    More actual photos from Yunnan to come...
    • Like Like x 4
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  2. OMG... I think you just captured one of the new concept cameras Apple is beta testing and rumored to a have a 48mp large format digital back capable of emailing 17 stops of dynamic range sweetness to your family or posting your masterpiece directly to Facebook. It is magical, no doubt.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. AerialFilm1

    AerialFilm1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    Wekiva, Florida
    • Like Like x 1
  4. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 15, 2010
    To me it's really odd seeing people with those enormous tablets taking photos in the streets. A cell phone can take the same kind of photos but it's much more discreet.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Two words.

    Photo. Bombed.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. danimal

    danimal Mu-43 Supporter

    Dec 31, 2012
    Oakland, California
    As I learned recently from someone that uses an iPad to take photos they got an iPad and only have an old flip-style cell phone with no camera. You use what you've got, right? I’m not a fan of the iPad being held up like that, but everyone has the right to capture the memory and photo for themselves.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
  8. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Reminds me of [ame=""]this[/ame].
    • Like Like x 1
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Haha... and of course, there you are photo bombing her in return. She probably posted it on Facebook complaining about that silly, blurry guy with his point and shoot right in the middle of her shot.

    I have heard people gripe about iPads, but this past August was the first time I experienced it for myself. I guess now that iPads have been out a couple generations they're common enough that tablets are just ubiquitous. I was shocked how many people were using them as their primary camera, carrying it in hand all day and everything. I must have half a dozen photos from various points on our trip with someone using an iPad to snap a photo, even one *in* the water while we were soaking in the the hot springs. I kept envisioning them dropping it, heh. The best had to be the time we stopped for some bighorn rams to cross the road and a car zoomed past everyone, swerved onto the shoulder, and a woman popped out of the sunroof to snipe some photos... with an iPad. Craziness.

    On your more serious note... I think you/we find these types of people photogenic for 3 basic and valid reasons:

    1) Age often equates to character; we always seem to think of older people as having a story whereas younger subjects lead us to look at beauty first.

    2) We imagine (rightly or not) that there's a simpler way of life there, and pretty much of all of us in the modern world sometimes yearn for the simple and straightforward.

    3) They're different, so they're interesting :)
  10. Michael in China

    Michael in China Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2012
    Zhuhai China
    Thanks for the pertinent comments. I've been reviewing the work and comments of two of my photographic heros, Ans Westra and Marti Friedlander, both of whom migrated to my native New Zealand and began, as concious outsiders, photographing people there.

    As an aside, when photographing people (like in the image above) I often flip up the screen and use my E-M5 like a TLR. Westra makes an interesting arguement for this approach:
    Westra’s subject matter and style have altered little throughout her career. She works almost exclusively in black and white, and has used the same twin lens Rolleiflex camera for the past thirty years. ‘It’s a waist-level don’t put it up to your eyes, so you don’t obscure your own vision. People are not nearly so aware of a little box at waist level, so you don’t interrupt your own interaction with the scene, and I interact as little as possible.... people seem to forget about me really.​

    It might seem odd, but I'd love a digital with the boxy form factor of an old 6x6, say about Rollei size or maybe (weird) a Great Wall, like a downsized Hassy. I know its not going to happen, but there is more to street and casual portrait shooting than the Leica 35mm form factor. Like Westra, I sometimes like to have the camera away from my face so that I can interact more directly with the scene/subject.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. muzee

    muzee Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2011
    This is my favourite -

    The elephant looks better in the water than on screen :)


    ipad_view by muzpix, on Flickr
  12. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    The iPad is a sweet little device (even if I returned mine for a Surface RT), and puts out decent quality pictures (which the RT does not), but it really is not a very discreet street camera. However, as a previous poster said, you use what you've got, the very reason I almost never leave the house without a --shall I say it? -- real camera.
  13. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Classic photo bomb!
  14. Michael in China

    Michael in China Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2012
    Zhuhai China
  15. AllanG

    AllanG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 26, 2014
    Brisbane, Australia
    Photoshop can be your friend
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