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Messages - distant.star

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Canon General / Re: A Camera Walks Into a Bar, Scary Review
« on: March 24, 2013, 10:56:58 AM »
Also the phone cameras, like flies that land in your drink!

That's funny -- and exactly how it feels to me.

One pro I know says the X110S is a great tool in his kit, and he uses it -- but when he has to shoot action, it's Canon & Nikon DSLR all the way. At least for now.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DX Replacement
« on: March 23, 2013, 11:01:25 PM »
I think you're living in a fantasy land if you think there will be a 1DX replacement anytime in the next three years, if ever. I'm on record that it's the last top end, professional, conventional DSLR Canon will ever produce. To the extent it is upgraded, that will happen through code -- firmware.

The 1DX is so advanced at this point there is little they could realistically improve upon. What can they possibly offer that will induce high-end stills shooters to dump their $7K camera for a new $9K camera? Combine that with quickly changing technologies, and the industry is simply going in another direction altogether. Five years from now the 1DX will still be the top still camera with video capability.

The future will be video cameras with stills capability. A whole different world is emerging.

Canon General / A Camera Walks Into a Bar, Scary Review
« on: March 22, 2013, 08:37:37 PM »
A Camera Walks Into a Bar

This is worth reading if only for the great characterizations of camera manufacturing companies.

The scary part is it suggests how far behind Canon (and Nikon) is in current photographic technology. Professional photographers are beginning to migrate to this -- and Canon could be left in the dust.


Reviews / Re: Review - EF 24 f/1.4L II
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:25:31 AM »
I find nothing to fault in the lens. Well, maybe some CA, but nothing worth griping about.

My conclusion is this is the 24mm version of the 135mm f/2.0L, my favorite lens. It gives me virtually the same look.

Canon General / Re: Other websites?
« on: March 20, 2013, 08:32:17 PM »
Humans of New York


EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 70D, DIGIC 6 & 18mp Sensors
« on: March 20, 2013, 07:15:07 PM »
That's right!

Canon offers DSLR cameras in whatever color you want -- as long as it's black! Do they still have that silver thing in the low-end?

A new sensor! Oh no. What will people whine about now?

No worry, for some folks nothing Canon will ever do will be enough.

Wow, I just noticed this thread has been viewed over 5000 times. Lot of people interested in not getting a beat down!

I want to quote from that Slate piece as it makes an excellent point regarding the mood of people today:

"McDonough said that tackling street photography today versus the 1960s and 1970s is radically different. He explained via email:

'The reaction is different today. Cameras are much more ubiquitous now. In the ‘70s there was a whole different atmosphere, it was much more laid back then. People didn't particularly care if you were photographing them. By today's standards, where there's so much media trying to get information from people, people are much more wary. People see cameras as containing the possibility of exploitation. Everyone is spying. Local government, advertisers—they all want to know what it is you are thinking and doing. People were less paranoid in the ‘70s.'”

One thing I know is that people are on edge. There seems to be a palpable anger just under the surface. This can explain why they might react unpleasantly to someone with no authority who seems to be hitting them with just one more damn affront they can't really do anything about. This is why it's all the more important to smile and be nice.

For me, there is no street photograph ever taken that was worth getting hurt for. If your encounter has come to the point of threatening someone with a monopod, you've already lost. It's now only a matter of tallying up the damages. And with the number of people carrying guns now, the damages can get really out of proportion. As the Patrick Swayze character says in the movie, Road House, "No one ever wins a fight."

Thanks, Doc. Good read and a great revisit with the streets I knew back in those times.

The Hare Krishna folks seemed to be everywhere back then, and now I can't remember the last time I saw one.

Good to find out about McDonough too; I'd never heard of him.

Slate.com just published an interesting article about street photography in the 70's: http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/03/18/paul_mcdonough_new_york_city_1968_1971_documents_the_quirky_nature_of_new.html

As soon as you do anything that appears either defensive or antagonistic, the tension level goes up -- and that's the last thing you want.

Smile confidently and make nice. Or, as it says in the old poem, "Desiderata,"

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

From the original poster's description, if it kept happening to me like that, you can try carrying a copy of the 'photographer's bill of rights' and explain it to them that you meant no offense.

Alternatively, you could carry cards for an anger-management therapist . . . or possibly get business cards from the local police station before going out shooting after explaining that you're getting hassled, ask them to call and have it explained to them.

The world is full of jerks, and full of ways to deal with them.

PowerShot / Re: Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
« on: March 18, 2013, 12:18:07 PM »
Digic 6??????

You mean I've got a 5D3, and I'm now out of date!!!!

Oh, Canon, what have you done to us!!!!!!

135L is the longest I have used on the street...last time sitting on the sidewalk bench with a bagel and coffee. But frankly it is not my favorite way to shoot street...it is too distant and one of the more alluring parts of street photography is the immediacy. And interaction with the subject(s) is frequently part of that equation.

This goes to the essence of it for me.

I read comments about using long lenses and trying to hide what you're doing and having some means to escape; I wonder why anyone would take pictures of people if they're afraid of people. What's the purpose? Hell, go take pictures of buildings or cars or something you don't have to fear.

Honestly, I don't think you can be good at classic street photography if you don't genuinely like people or at least have some feeling for them. And if you fear people, I don't know why you would be taking pictures of them.

As RS says, there is immediacy and interaction -- that's the intimacy of real street photography. And like all human interactions, some will be great, most will be good and a few will be not so wonderful. That's life. You can use a camera to celebrate that or you can use a camera to aim at it and run away before anything meaningful happens.

If you read the Christian Bible, you'll see that any time an angel appears to a human, the first thing they say is "Fear not."

That's important advice for anyone taking pictures in public. And I especially counsel that you do not heed the words of posters here who are ill-informed, don't seem to understand the concept of a free society and apparently live their lives in fear. The only time you would need a release for someone you've photographed in a public place is if the image will be used for commercial purposes.

Your question is vague so I'm not sure what the answer is for you. To say you're "...just pointing the camera in general directions without focusing on any one person in particular" is a bit suspect in itself. A camera requires focus, and I don't know anyone who takes pictures randomly without some point of focus. If that's all you're doing, get a pinhole camera -- nobody will even know what it is.

I do a lot of photography in public places, and I have general guidelines I follow. You'll find accomplished street photographers will all tell you generally the same thing.

1. Fear not. If you look tentative, it triggers apprehension in other people. The merely assertive may ask what you're doing. The aggressive and/or angry types may threaten you or at least try to intimidate you. If you're out there to take pictures, look like you know what you're doing and go about it in a businesslike manner. Don't look like you're afraid or like you're doing something you're not supposed to be doing.

2. Dress appropriately. If you're dressed in some extreme fashion, it calls attention to yourself for reasons that may make the camera suspicious. Military fatigues and leather are great for photographing streets scenes in the Castro -- it's not going to look so good shooting around Wall Street. Be aware how you're presenting yourself in both dress and manner.

3. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that your best defense is a smile and a casual, personable demeanor. If you're not comfortable talking with strangers, you'll have to overcome that. You may want to explore the science of body language. I know and use gestures and mannerisms that communicate I'm not a threat. But the smile is the most powerful force you have -- use it freely! And keep smiling no matter what!

4. One street photographer I know uses lies if someone challenges him -- whatever it takes. If you're young, say you're doing an assignment for your teacher in class. Tell them you're scouting the area because you want to propose to your girlfriend here one day soon. Tell them you're looking for a place to shoot a big bikini layout for some magazine. If you've taken a picture of a person tell them you did it because they look so great or you love their clothes -- flattery can't be overplayed. Hell, tell them Walt Disney sent you. I've never had to use this tactic, but I've got it ready if I need it. Oh, and don't use this one with the police. If the police want to know what you're doing, be honest.

5. As someone already said, take someone else with you. It doesn't even have to be a photographer. People who will challenge one person rarely want to take on two people.

6. If someone tells you they simply do not want you to have their picture, smile and delete it for them. Show them as you delete it. Whatever it takes to keep the peace. But keep smiling. And for years to come you can tell the story of how you took the greatest photo ever made by man, and you had to delete it. Like all good stories, over the years it will be embellished, and eventually you'll have done it while the person held a "Dirty Harry" 44 magnum at your head!

7. One thing I do that I've never seen anyone do is carry what I call "Who the hell are you?" cards. They're standard business cards with a Web address, phone number, etc. I hand them to anyone I talk with on the street. (No physical address. Use a disposable cell phone if you don't want to use a real number.) Often I invite people to look at pictures I've taken of them on the Web and contact me if they want to use them or have prints -- making sure to say I'm not selling anything. Very few people have ever contacted me. What I've found is the mere existence of something they think is a business card instantly makes me legitimate. It's silly, as you can get a box of decent business cards for $10 from Vista Print, but it sure works. Again, whatever it takes to keep the peace.

8. Be aware of children. Nothing gets people excited faster than thinking a stranger is photographing children. While it is plainly legal in the U.S., to take pictures of children in public places, we've become a paranoid society, and it's better to self-censor yourself a bit in this regard.

9. Know and understand your legal rights. Here's the ACLU guide for photographers. This is applicable in the U.S.

Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply.

Your rights as a photographer:

1. When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view. That includes pictures of federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police. Such photography is a form of public oversight over the government and is important in a free society.

2. When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs. If you disobey the property owner's rules, they can order you off their property (and have you arrested for trespassing if you do not comply).

3. Police officers may not generally confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant. If you are arrested, the contents of your phone may be scrutinized by the police, although their constitutional power to do so remains unsettled. In addition, it is possible that courts may approve the seizure of a camera in some circumstances if police have a reasonable, good-faith belief that it contains evidence of a crime by someone other than the police themselves (it is unsettled whether they still need a warrant to view them).

4. Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

5. Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations. Professional officers, however, realize that such operations are subject to public scrutiny, including by citizens photographing them.

6. Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws. For example, if you are trespassing to take photographs, you may still be charged with trespass.

And keep smiling!!

Black & White / Re: street photography...feedback please!
« on: March 17, 2013, 04:29:08 PM »
Here's my little mental checklist when I'm thinking B & W:

Light & shadow

Dark & bright

Shape & form

Pattern & repetition

Line & space

The world definitely looks different when you look at it that way.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Crazy... go Nikon?
« on: March 16, 2013, 11:21:08 AM »
Your logic appears sound. Damn shame people in business have to face such perplexing choices. As good as camera/lens makers are you'd think they'd see this and create specialty equipment to hold their customers.

I think you're looking at a business decision. If you go with Nikon for one part of your business, will it generate more revenue? It seems like it may be more personally satisfying for you, but if it doesn't add more to the bottom line, why are you really doing it?

Either way I'm sure you'll do fine -- and have fun and satisfying photographic experiences.

Sports / Re: Trying to get noticed...
« on: March 15, 2013, 02:29:57 PM »
It's not my intension to upset or piss anyone off, which I can see I have from a few of the comments... All I want to do is learn from others and progress. So I am sorry if my original post has annoyed anyone

I'm not annoyed, and I don't see any posts that suggest anyone is really. You seem like a young guy asking questions -- that's a very good thing. All most of us are trying to do is help you ask the right questions.

If it's good, solid critique you're after, I think local camera clubs and some classes are good. Take everything with the old grain of salt though, as no one is you or has your vision. Take what you need, and leave the rest! The suggestion made about looking at the great pictures, the ones that tear your eyes out is a good one. Study those pictures and try to figure out how they made it happen -- then go out and make it happen yourself.

Have fun, and keep asking for help. Eventually, if you keep at it, someone will be asking you for help. Be prepared to give back!

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