You are no longer part of the tribe so you are suspicious and need to be closely observed to ensure that you are not a danger.
tkamiya is right, buy a camera phone. When someone questions you, whip it out and act like you are taking their picture. Suddenly you are no longer interesting and they will go away.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
Unfortunately it is not nearly as much fun as observing the rather 'strangely-dressed' people one sees when pushing you cart around some of the W**mart stores.
Quando omni flunkus moritati (R. Green)
“You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt
"What kinda camera is that?"
"can you still get film for that?"
"how many mega pixels is that?"
"Is that black and white?"
3 out of 4 of those questions could be asked even if you weren't shooting film, more so if you had a tripod and were stood still for extended periods.
When people see a photographer with a tripod, especially if you're relatively smartly dressed, they assume you are...
a) surveying (I've had this too)
b) simply a 'professional' (which means you're a maverick and potentially famous)
c) photographing their kids (see global hysteria)
d) photographing them (people are paranoid about their privacy today)
All these things suggest that what you're doing will effect other people. If you want to photograph in public, just accept that as a photographer, you are the enemy. The only way to counter their unfounded, media poisoned prejudices is by being courteous.
I believe that even the people who ask polite questions really just think you're a voyeur. Making photographs in public, you'll only attract the attention of other voyeurs and the paranoid. People will differ in the way they confront you - 'good cop, bad cop', but it's ultimately all negative attention.
Translating the questions:
"What kinda camera is that?" means "I like photographing children too, but with cheaper cameras"
"can you still get film for that?" means "The government should do something about your type, hippie."
"how many mega pixels is that?" means "Can you make out my kid in those photos?"
"Is that black and white?" means "Only painters are artists, dick"
The very subject of my Blind Print Exchange #16 submission. I was somewhat surprised that the police weren't called, as it was an odd-looking camera I was using. (Ironically, I'd bet if the mom involved saw it, she'd want a copy and I'd get a thank you.)
Originally Posted by batwister
And using the same camera, I was approached at the local state fair last August by police. But they made no attempt to interview the gazillions of parents and teenagers and others sporting the omnipresent cell phone cameras. I asked the officer if she would be threatened if I made a photograph of her? "Well, YEAH!" was the response. I just slowly shook my head...
If there's no cake involved, you're either a terrorist, or a pedophile. There are no other viable options.
"They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."
— Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs
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While out photographing some ivy at one of our local biergartens, I was approached by several folks. The first group was a older lady and her grandkids. The grandson saw me and was interested, so she wanted to show them how photography used to be done. I talked with them for some time, letting the kids look in the camera and showing them how my filters changed the scene. They all were very cool. The next group to come along was some late teens, in skater fashion. They were even more impressed. They thought it was cool that someone was "going retro" in their little town! Both interactions were very pleasant. Another time, a local polizei stopped and questioned me. Even he was cool, and got under my jacket to look at the scene.
In all those cases it was more curiosity than anything. The sad thing was the teens, when told the camera didn't do anything automatically, were somewhat disappointed. They basically said having to figure out exposure meant learning too much math, and having to focus involved to much effort. It's sad, and yet we were the same way about things. Who wanted B&W TV, the other kids had color? Who wanted to write out the solution when we had calculators?
I'm glad my daughter gets involved in the photography with me. Last night she learned about exposure and how to use the Zenit over/underexposure indicators to get the scene close to what she wanted, so the new generation aren't completely without hope!
We all fall in this trap with automation, not needing to think and take the easy route. Sometimes I hate thinking it makes me tired. If we photograph film we love talking about films, developers, cameras. This is sometimes very technical too technical. Just like the special features of a new phone. I remember my first proper camera was a nikon I brought it from a friend but I alwys wanted to buy a Leica way back in 1995. I read up about the differences about the R8 and the M6, seeing that the R8 is the much better camera I brought myself one.
Today I have a borrowed M3 from a friend of mine and I just think for what do I need an exposure meter after I learnt how to estimate my exposure.
Often when photographing people want money from me even if hey were not in the picture! I remeber this elderly woman coming up from the side saying "I do not want to be photographed".
I just thought actually you do want to be photographed but you are insecure, paranoid and don't want to be photographed, then again you do want to be photographed, then again, maybe not.
Maybe we need a new commen enemy like the good old communist to make us fell more relaxed about life.
Originally Posted by batwister
I think I feel old
Originally Posted by AndreasT
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Originally Posted by MattKing