Does anyone else feel paranoid or apprehensive?

playak47

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I have only gotten into photography recently. Last weekend I was out around my complex taking random pictures of flower and structures. But I got the feeling like people were watching or what they might think. I was wondering if anyone else felt this way when they started photography. I wonder if there is photography etiquette.
 

BBW

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My guess is that the more you're "out there", as in anywhere taking pictures, that the act of photographing will become more natural for you. Soon you'll be so involved that you won't notice other people.:wink:

That said, I can understand your feeling self conscious if you're new to it all. You might find it more comfortable to branch out to other parts of town, farther afield from where you live just to become more at ease.

We have a very good thread about photographing children that might be helpful to take a look at when it comes to 'etiquette', and I think there's another on Street Photography that you might find interesting to read as well. However, when it comes to flowers and landscapes, I'd like to believe that anything is fair game.

I'll take a look for those threads and post back here when I find them for you.

The more you are out there doing your thing with your camera and your vision, the more comfortable you're sure to become.:thumbup:

P.S. Here is a thread that I think will be of interest: https://www.mu-43.com/f35/some-qs-about-pictures-people-3483/ See what you think and please don't hesitate to add your thoughts on that thread if you'd like, or right here.
 

starlabs

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playak47, you're not alone. I just started too and I TOTALLY know how you feel! :tongue:

In fact my paranoia was borne out last weekend when building security came by to warn me about taking pictures of their building (but wildlife or self-pics were ok...). Odds are buildings and security are more paranoid than you are. :rolleyes:
 

pjohngren

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I got yelled at by a farmer taking a picture of his farm - not sure what he thought I was going to do, and also years ago when I went up to a log home factory to get logs for a shed. They seemed to think I was either getting pictures of some proprietary process they had, or perhaps the fact that they were using some sort of chemical to treat the logs which maybe wasn't legal.

It maybe that the people you think are looking at you funny are actually the ones who are paranoid. I would be real interested in the article on both kids and street photography.

I find that a real long lens - like the 400mm equivalent - helps my paranoia a lot. I can then take truly candid shots from a safe distance.
 

playak47

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Wow very interesting read...I dont know to feel confident or be scared to take random photos.
 

Streetshooter

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........... Administration Break............

This could be a very interesting conversation. There are many members here that have issues to discuss on this subject. Please feel free to do so ....BUTT.... Keep the politics out of the conversation PLEASE!.
Thanks all.....

You are now returned to your regular scheduled programming.......
shooter out.........
 

Streetshooter

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Are you refering to the fact that the gun-toting mamma grizzlies are taking over the country and we are in for a long winter of human rights infringements?
What I'm talking about is that this is a photography forum. It's hard for us to separate the politics and such from image making. The problem is ... I can do it. So when a discussion arises that challenges the guidelines that the forum adheres to, it makes my job harder. I don't mind the work and I don't care if people get pissed at me for doing my job.

It's my job to keep the peace and maintain a respect level for every member.
We are all aware of the politics and crap that imposes itself on our rights as photographers. That's great discussion on another forum but not around here.

I hope you get where I'm at on this.
Thanks.... Don
 

pjohngren

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Sorry Don - was just being a wise-ass. Unfortunately I didn't delete the comment in time.
 

stanleyk

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I'm in total agreement on the politics issue. Besides in my experience is everyone has pretty much drawn a line in the sand and not much is going to change their opinions. I can do with Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman on a photo forum.

As a person who has moved around a lot in life, I think some of it depends on where you are. When I lived in Boston and Miami nobody paid any attention. In Dallas, it's been a bit of a different experience.

I don't think you can be stopped for taking pictures of a building unless you are actually on the property. So you are probably safe on the sidewalk. I have been asked by security people to stop taking pictures of a building though. I had a cop in Dallas on time ask me to stop taking pictures too. He wasn't very nice and when I asked for his badge number he got really mad at me. I wasn't breaking any law.

Again, I think it sort of depends on where you are and what you are shooting.
 

Streetshooter

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No apology needed kind sir!
I like playing sheriff sometimes. It's just that this is such a nice group that I never get to practice using the big guns.....thanks....
 

demiro

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I had been shooting with a full-sized DSLR for about a year before buying my E-PL1. One very big difference I notice with the Oly is that people are not at all intimidated by it. When I lift my much more obvious Canon up to my face, with a big black lens on it, I can definitely sense that some people are put off. That was not one of the reasons I got in to :43:, but definitely a nice advantage to this format.
 

nolaSafari

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Older is better, people pay less attention to us old guys. Clothing which basically is frumpy helps also. Baggy pants, ball cap, old wind breaker, you know the look.
 

playak47

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I agree with the look and the setting you are in. If I am at tourist area I can take picture of anyone they will hardly care. But if you are in your town and trying to shoot people they will be offended. Some photographers come off with genuinely nice personality while others might come off a little cold but of course not intentionally. I would probably be in the latter category just because I am not too interactive with total strangers without cause.

I really dont have philosophy yet but I am sure if someone is upset, I'll just delete the pictures. I posed my question to start this thread about being more self conscious about shooting photos rather than who I was shooting.
 

pjohngren

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Older is better, people pay less attention to us old guys. Clothing which basically is frumpy helps also. Baggy pants, ball cap, old wind breaker, you know the look.
That's me! I also agree that the smaller the camera the better. The more it looks like a point and shoot, the more you are just another tourist. This summer we went to a Justin Bieber concert - the oldest geezers there (biebergeezers) - and everyone was taking pictures with their cell phones and point and shoots. No one cared - no security searches of cameras like in the old days with a Jackson Browne concert.
 

Bill

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Welcome

Playak47

I think I know exactly what you are saying: At first it seems a bit presumptuous to present yourself as “a photographer.” But, if you’re hoping to capture something with a camera – something more than just snaps – then you’re not just passing through.

Annie Leibovitz wrote about when she first started into photography. She felt that having that camera was her license to be there and to be observing the scene. I liked that sentiment.

So how do you get to be a photographer? By having a camera and taking pictures.

Welcome.
 

phigmov

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I have to admit the furtive street shot is tough to do - I tend to feel very self-conscious. My favorite for that kind of thing is still the Pen EE - its so discrete and retro I think people can't believe the thing in your hand is a real camera :)

I find friends parties to be a great way to practice portrait techniques although catching an unguarded moment is difficult with everyone so prepared to play-up or pose for the near ubiquitous camera-phone.

The least discrete cameras I have are the RB67 and Rolleiflex TLR - lovely cameras but they always attract attention (almost entirely positive).

The EP1 definitely falls into the EE territory particularly with the 17mm or 20mm pancake. I probably need to spend more time sitting outside a cafe and shooting more street scenes to get over "the fear".
 

Gwendal

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I have to admit the furtive street shot is tough to do - I tend to feel very self-conscious. My favorite for that kind of thing is still the Pen EE - its so discrete and retro I think people can't believe the thing in your hand is a real camera :)

I find friends parties to be a great way to practice portrait techniques although catching an unguarded moment is difficult with everyone so prepared to play-up or pose for the near ubiquitous camera-phone.

The least discrete cameras I have are the RB67 and Rolleiflex TLR - lovely cameras but they always attract attention (almost entirely positive).

The EP1 definitely falls into the EE territory particularly with the 17mm or 20mm pancake. I probably need to spend more time sitting outside a cafe and shooting more street scenes to get over "the fear".
Love that thread - I feel a lot like the OP. As for parties with friends, I find that a good way to go is do it in two steps - first you get the camera out, have people pose, play with it etc, then some time later, when they're not aware of it anymore, when the camera's became part of the environment, that's when you can catch them more or less "unaware".

Will also explore longer focal lengths (currently looking at the 85mm), in order, as someone said to be "at a safe distance" - but I suppose some other shooters will oppose that on the contrary, you need to be "part of the scene"...
 

grebeman

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It's a great many years since I set out to photograph people. I keep promising myself to have a go again, these days it would take me over 90 minutes to travel to the centre of my nearest large city. I would already feel apprehensive just being in that environment, let alone the pressures of photographing people on top of that, so I keep finding excuses to put it off. I guess feeling comfortable in the environment you're working in goes some way to helping you settle to the photographic task in hand.
I might have the opportunity tomorrow to take some photographs of volunteers working on the nature reserve where I also volunteer, unless of course I'm too busy working as well. We have a former BBC news cameraman amongst us, so perhaps some tips from him. I remember he recently expressed surprise at how much more he needed a tripod for natural history type photography, he was renown in his film days for steady hand holding, but I digress.

Barrie
 
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