What are you doing?
Anyone else out there get asked that question?
Iím guessing that itís got to be the film gear, the waist level viewing, the light meter Ė whatever- that generates the question. I just realized that I get asked that almost every time Iím shooting. In my head, Iím usually thinkingÖ what do you mean Ďwhat am I doing?í?? But usually I kindly tell the curious that Iím taking a picture.
On more than several occasions Iíve gotten the same follow up question: Ďbut are ya taking movies?í.
While shooting at an arboretum last night, a woman came up to me and said "where are you going to put that?". A bit confused I thought she meant the tripod, but she went on to ask 'no, where are you putting the picture - in a magazine?'
No, I just do this because it makes me happy.
I was taking a photo of a plumbing shop on a back street one morning when one of the employees rushed out and asked what I was doing, when I told him he asked if it was going to be in the paper. I told him no, at which point he looked puzzled and asked "why the hell ya takin it for then" ---- I just smiled and replied "cause it makes me happy to take photos, and keeps me outta the barrooms". His response was "aint nuttin keeps me outta bars 'cept work" . I made a mental note to never use that plumbing company--ever.
Now that you mention it, I do get lots of questions about what I'm doing.
For the past few weeks I've been going to a marina and setting up the 4x5.
It's located in an Ultra Hood, lots of nice boats and homes.
And it's a mix of " are you taking pictures for Architectural Digest, or a Yacht magazine ?
And then I have to explain that I am only doing because, it's my inexpensive form of therapy.
Unfortunately, it's usually someone that's too old for me to try and infect them with some
photographic enthusiasm. These geezers are really happy with their DigiSnappers.
Or youngsters, It would be nice to take time and explain the process, and show them how the camera works. But I don't want to be the man with the strange camera, talking to kids.
There is an arboretum nearby, I should call to find out if they would allow me to set up the camera and tripod on the premises. Unfortunately after " The Terrorists Attack " I was profiled for being out and about and taking pictures at Port Jefferson Harbor, and Northport. It just got to be really annoying being told that I couldn't take pictures in certain locations. Nothing more frustrating than removing the lensboard to show that there isn't a rocket launcher, or explosive in the bellows. So now I stay away from popular locations. Hopefully some day I will go back to Manhattan, I can image the nonsense that I will encounter.
But if I am not comfortable going out, and taking pictures in my own country :
" The Terrorists Win "
Enjoy The Weekend, And All The Patriotic Activities !!!
From The Long Island Of New York
Last edited by M.A.Longmore; 07-02-2010 at 12:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I was asked that question a lot when using the RB67, which I had to sell recently. More than one person confused it with a video camera. One local establishment even sent their security guards out to check me out, from a distance. They didn't approach me, as I wasn't on their property, but they took a photo of me with a little digicam while I was working. I guess I'm on file there now.
ďArt is what we call... the thing an artist does." Seth Godin
I get that a lot when shooting people…I just pretend not to "get" what they're saying (I tend to avoid conversations like that).
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I was once asked if I was shooting for the local newspaper. I was using a 4x5 view camera on a large tripod at the time. Apparently, this person had just stepped out of 1920.
Last edited by Q.G.; 07-03-2010 at 01:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Or what do you do when the other person is a simpleton who has been watching too much tabloid television and has been effected by bad scare journalism?
Today I decided to go for a walk down by a creek not too far from where I live. This creek has houses that basically back onto it (OK, there is probably 20 or 30 metres betwen these houses and the creek proper). For years, the owner of one of these houses has been storing their firewood outside of their property. Its not really a nuisance, as a matter of fact, its a kinda cool pile to take abstract photos of, which I have done a few times before.
Well, I must have been lucky in the past, as I had never been hassled before. Not so today. As I was overlooking the pile, the Man of the house walks outside (open fence, I can see in, they can see out). I yell out "don't Mind me", he replies "you're right".
About 30 seconds later, the lady of the house comes out in a huff. "You can't take pictures here" was her first words, to which I promptly replied "Its not private property " (remember, the pile of wood is stored outside of their property). This was followed up by "Why are you taking pictures of my wood and WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS ANYWAY".....
We conversed for the next few minutes. In the end, I determined that she could see no sane reason for anyone to take pictures of firewood and since I was there doing it, I therefore must be a pervert and taking pictures of her back yard.... I managed to convince her that I really couldn't give a damn about her backyard and that I was only looking at the textures of the wood. By the time she walked off, the moment had passed, but hey, I still made sure that I took a picture or two of those stoopid logs.
Today made me realise that people just don't get it and when they don't get it, they cannot fathom why others do get it. This makes them suspicious.
I must make sure I print one of the pictures and drop it in their letter box one day.
The other day, I drove to a river near my house, this river and it's banks form part of a "green belt" that runs through my town. Parts of this green belt is also a public park. So I stopped in a spot where go photograph ALOT, climbed out of my vehicle, took my tripod and camera bag and walked down to a little bridge. I casually set up my camera, took some readings and then in the corner of my eye I saw four traffic police officers approaching. I thought to myself; well maybe they are just curious, no problem (they are traffic police after all). Just as I stated to focus on the bridge, the one said (by now they had walked right up to me): "I'm sorry but you can't take photos here"
I said: well this is a public park, I pay tax, I come here alot, so why not?
Another one said: No but you can't, no cameras!
Me: Why not give me a reason
they: The team is having a closed session practice
Now as some/all of you know, South Africa is hosting the Football World Cup, and my town is a host city to Spain, so "the team" was most likely them. Now the traffic police have been "misused" by FIFA as security gaurds (that's my tax money to protect the vanity of some soccer team) Now the thing is this bridge I wanted to photograph was nearby (but not in sight) of the sports field they were having their little game in, and the "security" had been told "NO CAMERAS"
As if I could give a rats ass about some soccer team, or even waste film (at R75/US$10 a roll of 120 hp5+, who would?) on these vain little chumps practicing. Really...
At least they (traffic cops) where not all butch/I AM THE LAW/bigotty/bribe me, like certain other cops. So I complied, for that they where greatful. But me taking photos of a bridge with a camera you looked in from the top (SQ-A, WLF)to one of them, a female officer, seemed odd, and she had to ask: What are you taking photos of a bridge for? To which I replied: To make nice big Black and white prints I make in a darkroom, then hang on a wall. You see this is a film camera, it takes film.
The one guy, then smiled and nodded (he must have worked in the traffic department's photo lab ((for speed cameras' film)) before they went digital.) He got it.
I packed up, but they told me that I could come back the following day as the "team" would not be practicing then.
I can't wait for FIFA to leave, so my country is my country again.
(to England and Brazil, sorry maybe next time, to the Netherlands "veels geluk")
Last edited by Ricus.stormfire; 07-03-2010 at 02:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: changed pricks to chumps, just be less offending to soccer players