People's response to your camera.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Worker 11811, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Yes, rapport between the photographer and his subjects is important but I noticed that people seem to react differently when the photographer uses a different camera.

    I went for a ride in the car with my wife and her mother. I picked up my 35mm camera as I was going out the door. Then I got a wild hair up my ass and grabbed the Yashica-Mat.

    We stopped the car at a roadside ice cream stand and me my wife, her mom and Mom's dog sat at a picnic table enjoying our evening snack. I left the 35mm in the car and cranked up the Yashica.

    I got several really nice shots with the Yashica but I quickly finished the roll. I didn't really feel like changing the film outdoors in the sun so I put the Yashica away and grabbed the Pentax.

    It was the same people people in the same place, same setting, same everything except the camera.

    I just looked at both sets of negatives. I got four nice photos of people smiling and acting natural on the roll of 120 but I might have got one half-decent shot on the 35mm. People seemed more uptight and less relaxed when I shot them with the 35.

    Do you think people get some kind of "in your face" feeling when you shoot them with a 35mm SLR versus a TLR? You aren't looking directly at people when you use the TLR at waist or chest level like you are when use bring an SLR up to your face to shoot a picture.

    This was only the fourth roll of film I have ever shot with anything other than a traditional looking camera like an SLR or an instamatic.
    I'm going to have to think about this some more. It'll be a good excuse to shoot a few more rolls in the name of science. Don't you think? :wink:

    Regardless, this will affect how I think when I am choosing which camera to use for the day.
     
  2. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    When I have been out and about with the Rolleiflex, I have gotten an increadable number of people that stop to comment about it, and yes, plenty did not even know film was still available. I also have had quite a few people tell me that they have not one but two of them at home from their father or someone like that. The last few times I have been shooting that any people were around, it seems like atleast one person an hour has commented...I am just getting into portraits and I have felt that working with a TLR gives smoother communication with your subject since your face isn't smashed up against the camera most of the time.....
     
  3. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Same response here but with a Rolleicord
     
  4. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    actually it's the waist level finder... I have the same reactions to an RB67
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've had great response with my Yashicamat particularly in Venice, quite a few Italians commented on it.

    But even greater response when shooting LF, from all age groups. Great for getting people talking.

    Ian
     
  6. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    I think that it is two things- the TLR 'cute' factor, and the waist level finder. The TLR box looks benign, no big hunk of glass pointing at you.

    I'd agree with Jeff more, though, about the waist level finder. I think it is because both you and the subject are having a 'common experience' of staring at the same thing. They see you looking at something, not looking at them directly.
     
  7. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    Agree with these comments - currently stomping 'round Europe with Rolleiflex & Wista and have had lots of interest! I've always experienced "warmer" people photos with the Rollei - and they are also (I have inadvertantly discovered) great for dog photos - probably because you're looking down, which is not threatening.

    Marc!
     
  8. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I shoot with a few different cameras all with different results. I get great reactions with my Kodak Stereo camera even thought it is mashed against my face when I shoot, and I use flashbulbs that are just a little dimmer than the surface of the sun, people produce genuine smiles at it. My Kodak Autographic bellows type Brownies gather a lot of looks and comments as well, along with great smiles and lots of questions. My Pentax 6X7 gets a lot of comments, but with it looking like an SLR on steroids I notice a less attention. My Nikon SLR's just get yeah whatever like if I was using a digital pocket point and shoot type of reactions. I think that is why my Kodaks that I regard as simply "snap shot" cameras produce better photos, it has more to do with reaction to the camera than my ability to use it. I don't really notice too much guarded behavior, but I tend to not break out the cameras when there are a lot of children I don't know around, unless it's someplace like Disney World where everyone has a camera of some sort.
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    When I step out of my go-kart with 'Brutus' under my arm, it's always two-steps back and stare, and stare and stare... Is a film camera viewed as threatening? It's just stares. Today a small coastal town's cake shop customers did just that, eyeballing me up and down and craning for a look at the camera (removed from the car for security, not that I was going to use it on the street). I only went in for a donut, not a heap of up-close-and-personal attention. The back of Brutus (EOS1N) is clearly visible and speaks unambiguously of "film": there is of course no digi monitor or cheap plastic dials or "Canon EOS Digital" on the all-black strap. Then a dredlocked surfie pulled up beside me: "You a photographer, mate?". Said "no, just a customer waiting to buy a donut!".

    Got my donut, paid the $2.00, turned around and left, with people still staring at me as I went through the door. If I take a small digi compact in there on the next stopover, will I get the same attention? :rolleyes:

    On a related matter, my clients who have purchased Ilfochromes enjoy seeing the original Velvia trannies on the lightbox. I have trained them to eyeball the trannies with a loupé and take the time to explain what production of an Ilfochrome involves and what happens after printing (matting, wrapping, inspection then framing). So an effective, well-refined rapport with clients, right from the start, is vital. Most clients do not trust digital or have a poor understanding of the relationship between the electronic image, printing and a perception that other printing methods will not last like Ilfochromes. And that's what I am at pains to explain.
     
  10. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    I get the same with old box cameras and folders. When I'm using them, it makes me remember my dad and how he would take us to the park on Sunday afternoons to play, and have our pictures taken. I think these cameras tap into pleasant memories and nostalgia. Whether a D70 or an EOS 1Ds will ever have the same associations, I'm not so sure.
     
  11. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I get the classic question, "Do they still make film for that". I always think to myself, no I'm just pretending to shoot, there is no film in the camera.
     
  12. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    My upscale point and shoot Fuji most people ignore me, unless they mistake it for a DSLR for a second. I bring my Spottie out and everyone smiles and shakes their heads, but they don't ignore me. They ask questions and assume I'm either a photographer by profession or a serious student. In fact I've gotten a lot more respect out of people using my SLR's than I ever did using my P&S. They may not get why I'm still shooting film, but at least they take me seriously.
     
  13. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    My mother in law is old enough to remember when cameras like the Yashica were new. Now that you mention it, I think some of her reaction might have been tied to that.

    I also think you guys are right. The waist level finder has a lot to do with it. You're not staring the other person down when you take their picture. People don't like the feeling of being stared at. Right?

    munz6869,

    I had a hell of a time trying to photograph the dog with the Yashica! It's a little chihuahua. The thing virtually never stands still! By the time you even get the camera pointed at the dog, she's already zipped half way across the yard!... Let alone taking a reading, setting your aperture and shutter then focusing! Yeah, I know. Zone focus. But, damn! I have a hard enough time photographing that little, brown streak with my 35mm!

    :wink: :wink:
     
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  15. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The only way I can photograph my rat terrier is to either catch him asleep, good luck, or use my Nikon F3 and get a motor drive for it. I've thought of an 8X10 portrait of him, but that's going to mean some kind of food treat to draw his attention for an instant. Kind of a carrot and stick approach.
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Another one here with similar responses to a Rolleicord.


    Steve.
     
  17. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have the same respond with my Rolleiflex.

    Jeff
     
  18. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I shoot with a number of old cameras, both 35mm and 120, folders, tlrs and a couple of fixed lens voightlanders, and I always get a great result with any of them, people seem to enjoy being photographed with them and almost always want to talk about them,yet when I used my "Modern" cameras such as my bronica etrs and pentax slrs people were almost always reluctant to be photographed with them, These days I always use the classics as the results of happy and relaxed subjects make better pictures,Richard
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had that question when I went into a camera shop !!!! I only wanted to look at their 12x10 camera with TP shutter and Cooke portrait lens.

    Admittedly the shop was on Samos, and was also a thriving portrait studio & social/commercial photography business.

    Ian
     
  20. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Me too! It's really nice I think.
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    "Ach! Die gibt's noch?!"
    Last week. An elderly gentleman.

    I once was out and about with a brand new model, and got compliments for the "nice old camera" i had.
    That was before the Digiwave, though.
     
  22. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I had Mom hold the dog.
    [​IMG]

    Even then, I only had 0.68 seconds to make the shot. It came out sharp enough for a 4x5 print but only just barely passable for an 8x10.
    (That dog is only 4 months old but she's like lightning!)

    Regardless, this is a prime example of what I'm talking about. Mom's holding her dog and looking at the dog, not the camera.
    That was the 11th shot on a 12 exposure roll of film. I shot one more (out of focus :wink: ) then had to switch to the Pentax 35mm. I got several of them that were 100% in focus but every one of them looked stiff.

    No! I did NOT say, "Okay Mom, let's put the dog back on your lap so I can take another picture..." :wink:

    And, another thing! Shooting with a completely manual, meterless camera really teaches you how to be a photographer! You've got to have the camera in one hand, the meter in the other and you've got to do everything while looking down at a viewfinder that shows everything backwards! You're keeping one eye on the camera and the other eye on the subject. It can start to feel really intense!
    When I finally started using the other camera everything was a lot easier.

    It seems counter intuitive that people act more relaxed when I'm all jazzed up and they are all jazzed up when I'm more relaxed. Maybe the photographer's attitude translates differently?
     
  23. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I learned to shoot with an Argus C-3 brick and NO light meter before I graduated to a Yashica D then eventually bought a Gossen light meter to go with it. You learn to read the light very quickly that way. I still take my cameras out without a light meter, or take a quick reading then work off that for a while before I take another. Most of the time I dont turn the meter on with my OM-1(OK, so I forget to turn it on).
     
  24. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I like the fact that the aperture dial has no click stops. I've developed the habit of keeping my finger near the dial so I can subtly tweak that dial between shots. It will take a while to develop the eye to do it accurately but I can understand the process.

    I have always had a hard time keeping the camera in focus. I don't know why. I can focus a movie projector razor sharp.
    My trick has always been to go one ƒ-stop wider than I think I need and compensate with the shutter speed. That gives me a little headroom for focusing. When I have an aperture-priority camera it's easy. With a full-manual camera, I have not been so successful.

    I think my main problem is that I'll set the camera exposure and focus the image then, at the last second, I'll recompose the shot but either forget to refocus or do it hastily.

    So, basically, this Yashica is slapping me upside the head, so to speak! :wink:
     
  25. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Indeed. I've mostly shot with my 124G since March, and the response has been way better. Either the person knows what it is and strikes up a good conversation, or else they're not sure what it is that I'm holding and don't except a picture.
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i was using my graflex slr with a brass lens on it a few weeks ago
    and a 6 +/- year old kid came up to me as i was leaving and said : nice camera.
    using an old clunker like that usually puts a smile on people's faces, and when
    i say: have a look through the camera, they get kind of giddy.