Quote Originally Posted by GraemeMitchell
George, oddly, I find most people are aware of camera in NYC, hyper-aware even. Depends what part of town you're in. I mean little old ladies are less jumpy than the suits and security gaurds in financial district, but most people tend to be vigilant of their sorroundings. Especially white people...is that okay to say?

Anyway. I don't shoot much on the street, just as an exercise sometimes. But I've seen a few guys do it that really impressed me. One had the camera glued to his face, and it was really intense looking, and you just felt like he was not to be reckoned with. The other was the very opposite, very casual, and would kind of just walk up to people and SO casually photograph them at close range and just start talking, not even conversation, just start talking. Both had no skittiness or sneakeness and basically didn't give a damn. Most importantly they seemed a natural extension of the environs.

Security guards are trained to be vigilient and suspicious so it's not surprising that they cast you a wary eye if you shoot them. But I've never had a probalem and have some great pics of cops walking a beat etc.

You can say as you please, but I don't think whites are any more wary walking around town than others. Heck , in this town, most folks walking around are so deep into their iPods or checking their e-mail on their Blackberries these days that I feel like I'm waliking in a city full of zombies! Just this AM I nearly barrelled over some guy exiting the bank in front of me when he stopped dead in his tracks in the doorway to check his friggin' e-mails! I've almost given up being outraged at such self-absorbed behavior.

I will admit that most of my day is spent in east Midtown which is chock-a-block full of camera-toting tourists it's easy to just start shooting with nary a glance. But I must say that many times when someone does notice I'm shooting something or someone - they made every effort to stay out of my way (almost to the point of tripping themselves up) so as not to "ruin" my picture!

BTW, NYC is one of the safest cities there is and I think there is more tolerance and acceptance here than most places. There has been a "sea change" in this town for the good. In part it reflects present-day relative prosperity so that most everyone is working and greater emphasis on preventing and prosecuting quality of life infractions. But I think that one of the few positive results of 9/11/01 is that so many of us here recognize we're all in this City together and we only have each other to rely on.