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Author Topic: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?  (Read 17805 times)

tpatana

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2013, 10:51:42 PM »

I was at the beach and I heard someone say, "Now that's a camera."  Then the other person corrected them and said, "No, it's the lens."  I instantly hated the know it all.


You know the correct answer to the "what's the zoom on that?", if you're shooting with a prime: "How far can you walk?"

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2013, 10:51:42 PM »

RMC33

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #76 on: June 19, 2013, 10:57:08 PM »
I usually keep a low profile, even with my 200 400 and 500. I will say, I had a few nikon guys get jealous of the weight of the 400 f/2.8 II+1Dx....

jdramirez

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #77 on: June 19, 2013, 11:23:01 PM »
. Being an obvious foreigner in China helps too: culturally chinese people like to have their picture taken (with some limitation of course) and being a foreigner with gear they assume that you have no intention to scam them or sell them anything.

Few years ago in Japan, maybe second day in, a group of young girls came to me at a park (I was carrying gripped 7D+some lens at the time), and they asked me if it'd be ok to take picture. (can't recall if they asked in Japanese or English, but chance of confusion would be about equal on both) One of them was holding a P&S, so I assumed they looked for someone who might know how to take picture, to take their picture. But no, they wanted that one person to take picture of me posing with the girls. Same thing happened quite several times during that trip, although most times it was only few girls I had to pose with.

I was a foreigner in Singapore, but I am really racially ambiguous.  I can look Chinese, Hawaiian, Philippino, or Hispanic on any given day... so I wasn't given the foreigner treatment when I was there.  Sounds like I missed out...
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Jim Saunders

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #78 on: June 19, 2013, 11:26:19 PM »
I found myself recently in a four-person gondola car with three Japanese tourists, and I was the one with the Canon SLR blazing away...  That was a little upside down.

I seem to get asked a lot if I'm a pro - a 70-200 seems to be unusual around here - to which I usually reply that it is a serious hobby.  I don't mind talking if I'm not trying to get something time-sensitive, if someone asks a question and actually wants the answer I'll do what I can.

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jdramirez

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #79 on: June 19, 2013, 11:28:07 PM »
I found myself recently in a four-person gondola car with three Japanese tourists, and I was the one with the Canon SLR blazing away...  That was a little upside down.

I seem to get asked a lot if I'm a pro - a 70-200 seems to be unusual around here - to which I usually reply that it is a serious hobby.  I don't mind talking if I'm not trying to get something time-sensitive, if someone asks a question and actually wants the answer I'll do what I can.

Jim

That's happened to me... where someone asks a question and then I go into a crazy detailed response and they just look at me with a blank face.

That happened recently when I was discussing manufacturing tolerances and how the body was front focused compared to my stable of lenses... And they were sorry they even asked.
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #80 on: June 20, 2013, 12:21:23 AM »
I am really racially ambiguous.  I can look Chinese, Hawaiian, Philippino, or Hispanic on any given day... so I wasn't given the foreigner treatment when I was there.
Have you considered a career in spying? ;D ... from what I read in the news these days, spies of a powerful nation are getting caught or being accused daily of spying ... with their reputation at stake these days, I'm sure their secret service can use someone like you, with unique abilities to blend as well as your great photographic skill ... that's a rare combination ... I bet you'd get paid handsomely.
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Grumbaki

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #81 on: June 20, 2013, 02:20:19 AM »
Have you considered a career in spying? ;D.

Actually the fun part is that if you are working a "at risk" job (let's just keep general with saying public officer abroad), I know for a fact that being a hobbyist makes the local services totally freak out. I wonder what they think I'm doing when going out for cityscapes :D

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #81 on: June 20, 2013, 02:20:19 AM »

tron

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #82 on: June 20, 2013, 04:38:05 AM »
I am really racially ambiguous.  I can look Chinese, Hawaiian, Philippino, or Hispanic on any given day... so I wasn't given the foreigner treatment when I was there.
Have you considered a career in spying? ;D ... from what I read in the news these days, spies of a powerful nation are getting caught or being accused daily of spying ... with their reputation at stake these days, I'm sure their secret service can use someone like you, with unique abilities to blend as well as your great photographic skill ... that's a rare combination ... I bet you'd get paid handsomely.
Plus, part of the payment could be in the form of big White Canon lenses  ;D

celliottuk

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #83 on: June 20, 2013, 06:24:00 AM »
Normally, the small talk is positive and fun, with me answering the "Haven't you got a big one", with the slightly smutty" Yes, and oddly, it's white" However sometimes it's not that way. This is an extract from my blog entry written in March 2011

"So, to cut a long story short, there I am with Mike, walking next to a canal in the middle of nowhere. I was hoping to get some shots of birds on the walk, so I had my long lens on my camera slung over my shoulder.

I was in the middle of a long story about a mate of mine who had been arrested for being a witness to car accident (Yes, I mean that, but that story is for a different day), when I became aware of a mid-20’s fit, wiry, guy walking closely behind Mike and I.

That guy then walked quickly past us and stopped in front. With real anger, he said

“Do you work for the Police?”

“no”

“Well, I don’t want my picture taken. Do not take my picture”

“Fair enough”, I replied

He then walked on a few paces, turned round, shoved a Cameraphone in my face, and took a picture. I didn’t react, he walked on.

Unhinged, mad, paranoid-dunno. That’s why I didn’t react, camera first, knife second.

There’s a big debate about the freedom of photographers to photograph what they want on one side, and people wanting their privacy on the other. Both points-of-view have merit, but something had tipped this guy over the edge."

AcutancePhotography

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #84 on: June 20, 2013, 12:57:29 PM »
Can't say that I am very happy reading some of the responses in this thread.

We are not talking about people harrassing you, or trying to ruin your shot.  We are talking about another human being trying to engage you in a simple conversation.  Not exactly a major crime.  Be happy that someone cared enough to even be interested in talking to you.   

I guess I am not uberly cool enough where I have gaggles of attractive girls making cheesey innuendos.  :)   But is it so hard to simply respond pleasently when a stranger talks to you?  You don't have to cancel your shoot.  Every one I have talked with understood that I was in the middle of doing something and they leave after exchanging a few friendly words.

Let's face it, if the stranger is going to steal your gear, they are probably not going to talk to you first. 

Like it or not, we do represent the photography community.  Do we really want nonphotographers to know that photographers are socially inept jerks?  We are, but we don't want everyone to know that.  LoL

I just don't see how saying "thank you" in a pleseant manner is difficult.  They are not asking to borrow money from you, they are asking about camera that you know you are proud of.  :)
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GuyF

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #85 on: June 20, 2013, 01:41:00 PM »
Acutance - you suggest we represent the photographic community. I say we only represent ourselves and if someone wishes to lump us all together as a singular group then that's up to them. Just because someone enjoys this hobby does not mean they will have anything whatsoever in common with the next person. With over 7bn people in the world it would be naive in the extreme to think that even a tiny subset of the whole should act in a similar manner.

I agree politeness costs nothing but it's the same for common sense. Before talking to a stranger, is it worth asking yourself, "will this person want to interact with me in a way I will find acceptable?". Perhaps the person is in a hurry, perhaps they've had a stinking day and wish to be alone with their thoughts. Who cares, I'll interrupt them anyway and then be offended if they don't wish to act in a manner I see as acceptable.

It goes both ways you know.

As a final annecdote: I was taking shots at a busy falconry display with my 300mm f2.8 and a bloke starts saying I must be a professional and "that's a £4000 lens!". I was polite and said it was just a hobby. We chatted very briefly - he was asking what exposure I was using etc. He raised his eyebrows in a derisory way and said, "pfff, you think you'll get much using that?". I shook my head and carried on with my afternoon. Throughout the display he regularly strolled past me while giving me the same condescending looks. Nice.

If we were all the same, wouldn't life be boring?

tpatana

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #86 on: June 20, 2013, 01:44:09 PM »
Can't say that I am very happy reading some of the responses in this thread.

We are not talking about people harrassing you, or trying to ruin your shot.  We are talking about another human being trying to engage you in a simple conversation.  Not exactly a major crime.  Be happy that someone cared enough to even be interested in talking to you.   

I guess I am not uberly cool enough where I have gaggles of attractive girls making cheesey innuendos.  :)   But is it so hard to simply respond pleasently when a stranger talks to you?  You don't have to cancel your shoot.  Every one I have talked with understood that I was in the middle of doing something and they leave after exchanging a few friendly words.

Let's face it, if the stranger is going to steal your gear, they are probably not going to talk to you first. 

Like it or not, we do represent the photography community.  Do we really want nonphotographers to know that photographers are socially inept jerks?  We are, but we don't want everyone to know that.  LoL

I just don't see how saying "thank you" in a pleseant manner is difficult.  They are not asking to borrow money from you, they are asking about camera that you know you are proud of.  :)

A: There's jerks in every profession, not just photogs

B: I'm sure most people here telling stories are telling the most memorable stories. Those usually don't include the ones where nothing special happened. That doesn't mean that the person is sulky to every person who comes to talk to him/her, just that this particular story was something.

C: Even nice person can have bad day. Even me.

That said, I fear for the humanity as it seems kindness is dying from the world. If you're busy shooting while someone comes for a chat, just respond "Sorry, I need to get these shots now, but I'd love to chat after I'm done". No need to be mean. I don't believe in karma as something supernatural, but I do believe if you treat people nice and remember to smile, better things happen to you compared if you're mean/angry and shout at people.

zhaoqingMal

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #87 on: June 20, 2013, 06:56:07 PM »

To me it's more a way to start opening the door. I like to do social photography and actually once you start chatting people open up. Being an obvious foreigner in China helps too: culturally chinese people like to have their picture taken (with some limitation of course) and being a foreigner with gear they assume that you have no intention to scam them or sell them anything.
You start the conversation with gear, follow up with name/origin/occupation and before you know it you end up having tea with them and taking pictures of the family on the sofa, of the working place or whatever they have in mind. Just for the cost of an email and a few jpegs

I must say that I've noticed that too around the city where I live (Zhaoqing, Guangdong). As a foreigner, it really is pretty easy to get people to allow you to take their photo, since most of the love it. All you have to do is give them a JPG or two to put on their QQ page.

Of course, for me it tends to be the other way round though. I hate having my photo taken, but at the school where I work, there's upward of 3000 girls ranging from mid-teens to early 20's. They're always grabbing me and dragging me into their photos (sometime literally!). There's some great opportunity for candids in the classroom, but usually it has to be done discreetly with my phone, since they all become super shy at the sight of my camera! Never mind - they're a lovely bunch, and it's really fun pretending to take their photo when we're in the middle of one of the exercises from the textbook (causes the subject to hind behind her book, and everybody else to start rolling on the floor laughing!)

Cheers,
Malcolm
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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #87 on: June 20, 2013, 06:56:07 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #88 on: June 20, 2013, 07:52:03 PM »
I am really racially ambiguous.  I can look Chinese, Hawaiian, Philippino, or Hispanic on any given day... so I wasn't given the foreigner treatment when I was there.
Have you considered a career in spying? ;D ... from what I read in the news these days, spies of a powerful nation are getting caught or being accused daily of spying ... with their reputation at stake these days, I'm sure their secret service can use someone like you, with unique abilities to blend as well as your great photographic skill ... that's a rare combination ... I bet you'd get paid handsomely.

Do I get to meet interesting people named Pussy Galore, Honey Ryder, Holly Goodhead, Octopussy, or Xenia Onatopp?  Sign me up. 
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expatinasia

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #89 on: June 20, 2013, 08:32:49 PM »
I am really racially ambiguous.  I can look Chinese, Hawaiian, Philippino, or Hispanic on any given day... so I wasn't given the foreigner treatment when I was there.
Have you considered a career in spying? ;D ... from what I read in the news these days, spies of a powerful nation are getting caught or being accused daily of spying ... with their reputation at stake these days, I'm sure their secret service can use someone like you, with unique abilities to blend as well as your great photographic skill ... that's a rare combination ... I bet you'd get paid handsomely.

Do I get to meet interesting people named Pussy Galore, Honey Ryder, Holly Goodhead, Octopussy, or Xenia Onatopp?  Sign me up.

Not until after I retire, they are all busy. Very busy.  8) ;D
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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #89 on: June 20, 2013, 08:32:49 PM »