People don't annoy me much. When someone offers an unsolicited opinion while I am trying to take a picture, I usually smile, nod/thank them, then continue shooting what I had in mind. I believe that many times people who offer a suggestion are usually looking to start a conversation because they too enjoy photography. I try my best not to come accross as a "photo-snob" to them.
For me being aware of the compositional possibilities when working demands total immersion and concentration. I can't work with other people and have learnt not to torture myself by trying.
The very worst situation for me is knowing I won't be alone but taking my equipment anyway, then seeing something I feel I should attempt and then trying to do it with others around. The best outcome is to politely suggest we meet again in 20 minutes somewhere else.
I normally shoot alone. It is relaxing and thought provoking. I have to admit that 6 years spending with London Camera Club gave me another incite about photography and social contact. I really enjoyed monthly field trips to places I would not go by my self. Renting a 50 seat bus and going to location, split and enjoy outing with no one or 1 or 2 persons it was great. Get together for lunch afterwards was great also. That was day's when I was shooting 35mm. Now shooting LF exclusively made it very difficult to keep up with D* shooters. They take 100 images where I take 5. I don't belong to the camera club any more, and I do miss camaraderie and conversation with the same minded people. Now I come to APUG to do that , great bunch of people.
I wish we could organize more LF outings where I live.
That is my .02
Looking is a gift, but seeing is power.
I wholly agree with Bill, but would like to add a twist to it. It has been very common for me, lately, to go shooting with another photographer. I find that it becomes a different experience, but not necessarily worse.
When I go on my own, which I love, I can take all the time I want with a certain subject, and I can just sit and take things in until I'm sure about what I want to do.
However, when I'm with another photographer, even if you photograph the same subject matter, there are two different brains interpreting it. An interesting comparison to make is the UK B&W magazine, where a couple of months ago Leon Taylor and another APUG subscriber who's name escapes me printed the same neg and compared their results. They were two completely different prints, from the same negative! If they were both using different cameras creating their own negatives, the difference might have been even larger!
I just think it's an excellent opportunity to learn from others and to grow to go out and burn film or excite pixels with others.
So, I don't favor either situation, I just think both ways are advantageous, each in their own way. I can't wait to see if I can make it to the APUG gathering on the Lake Superior North Shore in February, or the Michigan gathering at Schwab's in June. I also can't wait to explore those places on my own.
Originally Posted by billschwab
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Wow, John. Poetry!
Originally Posted by jnanian
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I think I understand your situation.
Originally Posted by Buster6X6
There's a neighbor I've met at our Tucson place who tells me he was once an avid 35mm film shooter. Then, before I met him, he went "digital".
He's a really nice guy, but it's like he has some kind of "religious fervor" for his chosen format. He was not only surprised to find out that I shoot film - he was amazed that you could still buy it!
My wife and I are both newbie, and only part-time, residents of Tucson, so we want to build new friendships. I used to think I'd like to go shooting with the guy, carrying either (or both) 35mm or MF but am very reluctant to do so.
I just get the feeling that he'll be firing away like Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny while I'm trying to compose a single shot. And then I'll have to deal with the conflict the D v. F thing; and how with D you can just "delete" the "images" you don't like etc. etc. - so who cares how many shots you take?
It's too bad. He's a really nice guy otherwise, and our wives get along etc. so we socialize regularly. But I just feel he'd never be a good photo buddy - so I figure I shouldn't try sharing that side of myself with him.
Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos
There are only a very few people that I will go out shooting with. Beleive me they know to keep their mouth shut most of the time. What irks me more are people (strangers) that want to come up and talk to me while I'm working.
I shoot much better without others asking questions or trying to give advice.
I'm with you on this don't feel ashamed, it's a good attitude to have in my opinion.
you're not selfish. but you left out the part where you're setting up a shot with your 4x5 and somebody comes up and stands right next to you with their little p&s digital. And they always have their whiny little kids and their yapping little dog with them. The dog is never on a leash either. They could have stood anywhere else, but no, they had to stand two feet next to you. Always on slippery rocks too.
Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos
I used to go with my friend, but inevitably she says something about the lighting or you can tell she's bored. From now on - I go solo. My boyfriend (not a photographer) told me I needed some crime scene tape and just tape off the whole park ("my park"). He teases me about how I hate being around people. So now I go when the weather keeps normal people inside. That's when I get the most endorphin highs!
It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in how I feel about it.
I usually photograph alone. In part this is due to my location, but also just personal habits. The kinds of things I get in my head to explore visually and my generally haphazard scheduling make it unlikely another photographer would be able to accompany me on a regular basis anyway.
However, one of my current projects has me taking photographs of huge crowds. Many of the people in the crowds also have cameras, but I'm really photographing alone.
Recently, I had the privilege of meeting our very own roteague in Honolulu. We each showed up with a camera and spent some time walking around discussing photography and...taking photographs. It was great. Totally different photo gear and the primary goal was to chat rather than shoot, so perhaps not the same as the question posed, but certainly a fine evening of photography.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
Hey George, Just go shooting. head for Tanque Verde Wash, The Bario or Sabino Canyon and shoot away. Just explain how you work when out to exclusively take picture.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004