I dunno...just struck me as quite odd to hear so many seem to actually almost take offense at someone bothering to speak to them in public at all. I know in the NE of the US, that people aren't quite as friendly as we are in general in the southern US, but I just figured it was mostly up there, but sounds like this is prevalent in much of the world?
I know exactly where you're coming from.
I should add, regarding my zoo memory, I did engage in small chit-chat with the folks at the lion pit. I'm always happy to "talk" gear, as I truly feel passionate about it, and about the prospect of potentially learning something new. Unless I feel that I'm in immediate danger of being mugged, I'm always happy to discuss my gear when approached.
I live in an area (Buffalo, NY region) that has a pretty heavy photographer population. I've experienced firsthand and observed folks being rebuffed by "pros" and the (please forgive me) "hipsters with cameras" when they were approached to talk about their gear. That goes back to me mentioning some carry a "holier than thou" attitude. Of course, different situations call for different reactions, and my good experiences far outweigh the bad.
Now before I put my foot in my mouth, I am speaking solely of experiences in my region. It honestly seems like people are more approachable elsewhere...must be that "New York Minute" mentality, huh?
Nice to meet a fellow buffalonian on CR! ---West side here, born and bred!!!
I can concur on most of the comments here. Oddly enough, for event work I use the 16-35...and even with that lens I get people saying - you must get some great range from that! I kindly correct them, then snap a shot and show them.
On the theft level though, buffalo does have some sketchy areas. I had a buddy that was shooting in the abandoned buildings around the central terminal. He got held up at gun point (luckily his camera was mounted to tripod in another room for a long exposure).
What i find real interesting though, doing events, how many times do ya'll get the...wow, your taking all these pictures, let me snap one of you? I am nice so generally i will first put the strap around their neck, then watch to see what they do. Most will assume it works like a P&S and stare at the blank screen wondering whats wrong...i show them...no you look through here...then they can't find the buttons, then when they are ready...they mash the button down and i here a rapid succession of 6 clicks...lol