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  1. #11
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I suppose if I want to be inconspicuous, I can just jump under the darkcloth.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  2. #12
    David R Munson's Avatar
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    Darkcloth or no, I've never managed to be inconspicuous with my 8x10!

  3. #13

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    I think Wisner actually sells a bright red darkcloth so that you don't get run over when you set your camera up at roadside.

    Last weekend I was on the Jersey side of the Hudson taking pictures with my 8x10 of the Queen Mary 2 in her berth on the NYC side. A couple of people asked to look through the view camera. Soon an entropenur (sp?) was yelling $2 a look. I wasn't even being cut in, and it was my camera! jeesh...

  4. #14
    Seele's Avatar
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    Nowadays, the public perception of someone taking a photograph is like having some sort of mechanica contrivance pressed to his/her face. I have found that by using a waist-level viewing camera, no matter how large and inherently conspicuous, does not really draw too much attention.

    There again there is the ancient art of being able to frame and compose by feel; when I was at top form (and that was a long time ago), I was able to hold a camera at arm's length, in any direction, and still correctly frame and compose the picture by feel only: something similar to "Robocop" being to aim his pistol without looking! Doing that with camera hanging around my neck was piece of cake indeed.

    But then, the technique is actually most important. I remember photographing people at the races with an original Contax SLR (not the Yashica-made RTS but the original eye-level 35mm SLR from the late 1940s), a bear to use, and really clunky and noisy, but I took shot after shot of people at close range with a 35mm wide-angle lens without them noticing a thing. Having the camera glued to your eye is more conspicuous than any paint job or tape covering, IMHO.

  5. #15

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    I have to second the 'go antique' system. The C220 attracts attention, but only benign (mostly old-timers saying that they used to have one of those. Last one of those had a Praktika around his neck instead), and if left at waist level, doesn't seem to bother people much. It's also enough quieter than my Nikons that I can glance at the viewfinder, shoot from the hip, and move on without seeming to attract too much attention.

    Alternately, the Spotmatic (chrome) seems to get less notice than the F2 (black). It may be a size issue. An Olympus XA attracts less attention yet, but it looks like a modern P&S.

    Maybe you should just look for the smallest and most primitive camera you can find (Zorki with a collapsible 50mm Leitz?), then learn to act unobtrusive.

    The alternative is go on the offensive. Years ago my boss at the local newspaper showed me a picture of a very large woman charging with her fist in the air. He had stopped to photograph a bar fight that had spilled into the street, and she charged him. John waited until she was about three feet off, let off a 283 at full power in her face, got the picture and ran. It made a fine addition to the Darkroom's "Too much personality for this paper" collection.

  6. #16
    blansky's Avatar
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    Back when I shot weddings having a noticeable Hasselblad was a definite advantage. You get the "woo" factor from the goofballs that always tried to jump in front of you. They kind of gave you the right of way.

    No I've never tried to cover up anything on my cameras and I like them looking as good as they day I bought them.

    I can't think of a reason, personally to do it. How does the fact that you are holding a motordrive or a big zoom lens or a Leica with a peice of tape on it make any difference to anyone. In my experience I always get respect with any camera (room to move around without being bothered) except maybe some silver snapshot camera.


    Michael MCBlane

  7. #17
    bjorke's Avatar
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    If you go to a lot of weddings as a guest it quickly becomes apparent that equipment doesn't distinguish the men from boys. The demeanor of the shooter makes it instantly clear if they are either worthwhile or a hack, and the size of their RZ67 has nothing to do with it.

    How about the Bruce Gilden method? Sweep in fast and hit 'em with the strobe and BAM you're out of there with a tip of the ol' karmic kap.

    • [list:d1c98f3b8d]
      April 2004
    [/list:u:d1c98f3b8d]

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  8. #18
    David R Munson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I can't think of a reason, personally to do it. How does the fact that you are holding a motordrive or a big zoom lens or a Leica with a peice of tape on it make any difference to anyone.
    Brand names in a consumer society. It's that simple. If some people see Nikon in big white letters across the prism of an SLR, they're automatically drawn to the camera because it's a Nikon. I was at a party two weeks ago and was talking photography with a friend of mine when a guy casually asked what kind of camera I was shooting with. I told him it was a Nikon and suddenly his demeanor changes and he's totally a Nikon fanboy drooling at my taped up camera. Not because it's a big clunky thing with a motor drive, but because it's a Nikon. Same thing happened when I had a Leica.

    With some people, there is a fascination with camera names, as if spending X number of dollars on a camera automatically makes you a great photographer. If nothing else, taping a camera helps dispense with that nonsense.

  9. #19
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    These days, if someone comes up and wants to talk photography, I just mention that I'm shooting film. They say "Oh" and politely back away. No megapixels, no software, nothing to talk about.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  10. #20
    gma
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    The first time I ever saw black tape over a camera name was in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "Rear Window". Jimmy Stewart spied on his neighbors using an Exakta with a telephoto lens. In the 1950's movie makers did not want to give free advertising to anyone and every product name was blacked out or otherwise obscured. Now almost every movie is packed with product logos in every scene in which they can possibly include them and they charge the manufacturers to show the logos.
    [FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT][SIZE=7][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkOrange][/COLOR] I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!

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