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I may have made this comment before, can't remember but it's worth repeating. An experience this past weekend reminded me.

When I was taking a photography class 18 months ago, one of the students said she was uncomfortable and quite nervous taking pictures in public places because she worried about what she would say if anyone asked her what she was doing. The instructor said, "Tell them you are a photography student and have a class assignment to take pictures of [whatever]. People usually want to be helpful to students."

I have had three or four occasions since then when somebody has asked me what I was doing. The instructor was right. The questioner usually responded with something like, "Oh, OK." or even, "Good Luck with your assignment."

Sunday I was off looking for "coin operated things" for this week's photo theme. I stopped at a self-serv car wash and was shooting the vacuum machine. This place had an attendant and he sure was curious about what I was up to. When I told him about my 'class assignment' he was not only satisfied, he became an enthusiastic photographer's assistant. He dragged me around the place making sure I saw all the places to stick coins in and told me to make sure I saw the old fashioned gum-ball machine next to the office.

:biggrin:

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
That's great Rusty. Saved you from having to walk around and find things to take pictures of with him telling you where it all was.

Kim
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That was nice of him! I remember this summer when I was visiting and we went to Pewaukee beach. You were taking pictures of some boys and their sand castle; they were posing proudly. Then later they asked you which newspaper their picture was going to be in. You didn't want to fess up that you were no pro photo journalist. :rotfl:

Courtney
Thanks for repeating this good advice. I'll be sure to remember this if the occasion should arise. Generally, if you respond with a smile and a good reason, rather than getting uptight or angry, most people are more than willing to let you continue or to lend a hand as did this attendant.
Joe

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Here is another take on the same subject. This was a letter to the editor in the most recent issue of Popular Photography.

"My family and I (all adults) were in Las Vegas for a weekend recently, and we stopped at the Playboy Club... I took some photos with my little Leica C-Lux 3 both in the club and of the spectacular views outside. The staff even used it to take pictures of us. A little later, someone in out group took out a Nikon D40, and immediately the same staff folks came over and said (in a nice way) that the Nikon was a professional camera and they could not allow photos to be taken with it."

I have heard of this before; quite a few times. At times, when I am out and about on a street photography jaunt, I will put away my dSLR and use my P&S. It always attracts much less attention; I guess I look like just another Doofus taking snapshots. Almost all of the crop challenge images I posted in the past three weeks were taken with a Nikon Coolpix.

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
A little later, someone in out group took out a Nikon D40, and immediately the same staff folks came over and said (in a nice way) that the Nikon was a professional camera and they could not allow photos to be taken with it."


I have run in to that a couple of times myself. The last Carolina Hockey game I took my camera to, I almost didn't get in to carrying my camera. The guards at the security check point took a really hard look at it and I had to do a little bit of talking to not have to carry it back to the car. A lot of concerts and shows do not allow photography, so you need to check their requirements beforehand.

If I had been carrying a small P&S instead of my D70 at the time, I probably wouldn't have gotten a second glance.
GeneVH

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Crazy, eh? I knew, from what was printed on the tickets, that I couldn't take my DSLR into a concert here so I didn't take it, but when inside I was surrounded by lots of people taking pictures on P&S cameras and, of course, cellphones - nobody said a word to them, even though they were using flash. And that thing with security guards.... are they really so stupid to believe that "DSLR = Pro = paparazzi", "P&S = nobody"? Obviously they are! Next time, I'm taking my G10 - 14Mp and long zoom, it's more than capable if used well. (Except in the digital noise department, of course, at which it's truly awful).

Not that the flash would have helped them, of course, totally pointless in fact. Yet I was watching the Yankees playing Baseball last night and, when it got down to the last man in, thousands in the crowd stood and aimed their cameras - cellphones, P&S and DSLRs - all with flash guns that may just about cover the five meters in front of them and then get total black or - if the camera decides it needs more light - a blurred image because they couldn't hold the things properly.
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