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Thread: Do you ever take notes in public?

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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    Nice work. One of your "problems" with street photography is a big DSLR. You can't be invisible. People see a big pro camera and the instantly want to know why you're taking "professional" pics -- especially if the lens is aimed their way. I fought that for years using a 5D. Switching to a small Fuji mirrorless made a huge difference; people don't even see me. Up close I can use a totally silent shutter so they don't even have to know a pic was taken.



    Quote Originally Posted by mathogre View Post

    One of my pre-pandemic hobbies was street photography. I would do street photography in DC as it it next door to me, as well as in NYC. NYC was the best. No one cared, and it was a cool city to do anything you want. What I noticed on a fairly recent trip to Southern California, barely pre-pandemic, was that Southern Californians are in contrast paranoid of photographers. Street photography in my limited experience out there is Not A Thing. I got more than noticed for taking some street shots and got a considerable amount of Official Attention at one point. I've gotten "attention" here on the east coast, and while armed official attention in a couple cases, those people were actually overall chill. I'm often clueless, so it wasn't as if I was trying to push someone's limits; it just happened. SoCal was decidedly not chill.
    .

  2. #22
    Junior Member mathogre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    Nice work. One of your "problems" with street photography is a big DSLR. You can't be invisible. People see a big pro camera and the instantly want to know why you're taking "professional" pics -- especially if the lens is aimed their way. I fought that for years using a 5D. Switching to a small Fuji mirrorless made a huge difference; people don't even see me. Up close I can use a totally silent shutter so they don't even have to know a pic was taken.
    Bill, you're so right. I have a couple 5Ds (MkIII and IV), and paired with a 24-105mm "walk-about" lens, that kit isn't exactly tiny. I've looked at the Fuji line (reviews et al), and they're very capable! There's always the trade-off between reach and relative invisibility. I have a Canon G16 that's set up for some fixed focal lengths (done mainly because of the Fuji line), and while it's small as the Fuji X100 line, it's not exactly invisible. No matter, the Fujifilm X100 line definitely has my attention.
    mathogre, aka The Mathemagician

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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    I don't want to hijack this with photography, but since you mentioned the X100...

    The X100 was the first I tried, and it made all the difference. It's the single most versatile camera I've ever seen or used. It's got a little flash if you need some fill. It's got a built-in 3-stop ND filter if you want to go more wide open with aperture. An electronic shutter will get you to 32,000th sec. Only downside is you have to accept living with 35mm equivalent. It's an easy tradeoff for me most of the time. And the latest one has a flip-up rear screen; very useful in the streets and beyond.

    The 135L was my prize Canon, but when Fuji came out with their 90 (135 equivalent) it was as good or better -- so I sold 20 years of Canon and went all Fuji. Beyond an X100, I most often use an XT2 and the 16-55 (24-70 equivalent). I've never seen a bit of image quality problems with the "crop" sensor, either on screen or in prints. Bottom line for me, the Fuji works WITH me in making images. Canon always seemed to be fighting me!

    Okay, done. Back to notebooks in public.

    Cig Harvey, a favorite photographer of mine, says, Cameras are just expensive pencils. What do you have to say?





    Quote Originally Posted by mathogre View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    Nice work. One of your "problems" with street photography is a big DSLR. You can't be invisible. People see a big pro camera and the instantly want to know why you're taking "professional" pics -- especially if the lens is aimed their way. I fought that for years using a 5D. Switching to a small Fuji mirrorless made a huge difference; people don't even see me. Up close I can use a totally silent shutter so they don't even have to know a pic was taken.
    Bill, you're so right. I have a couple 5Ds (MkIII and IV), and paired with a 24-105mm "walk-about" lens, that kit isn't exactly tiny. I've looked at the Fuji line (reviews et al), and they're very capable! There's always the trade-off between reach and relative invisibility. I have a Canon G16 that's set up for some fixed focal lengths (done mainly because of the Fuji line), and while it's small as the Fuji X100 line, it's not exactly invisible. No matter, the Fujifilm X100 line definitely has my attention.

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    Senior Member BlkWhiteFilmPix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    In large cities like Paris, making photos is barely noticed, even less so when you use a small, unobtrusive camera.

    In a small town where you're the only person on the street - and an outsider - it can draw attention. I maintain an active membership in the National Press Photographers Association and carry their press credential.

    A year in the South - where people said "Good mornin', suh" to me, a complete stranger, as they walked past me in a diner in Oxford, Mississippi - taught me that it's best to give a wave or say "hello" in small towns.

    A few years ago someone stopped mowing their lawn and stared as I made photos of a Corvair up on a lift in an abandoned gas station in a town that was so small you could throw a rock from end to end (as Sammy Kershaw put it in 'Chevy Van'). So I walked up to him with the press credential hanging around my neck and said I was doing a project on small towns. I carry a two-sided business card that has a photo on a third of its front side, and another photo of cowboys on the entire reverse. Since then I've started carrying a zine (as in magazine) of my domestic [USA] work that I hand out in cafés and to people who appear concerned. I carry a different one with me to Paris.

    Sometimes people need to be reassured that you're up to good.

    One's bearing is key ... be confident, act as if you belong, not trying to hide, and of course offering to send a print (or jpg file) to anyone who you photograph.

    The manner to affect is "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
    Last edited by BlkWhiteFilmPix; April 12th, 2021 at 01:28 PM.
    Bob

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    Paper cuts through the noise – Richard Moross, MOO CEO

    Indiana Jones used a notebook in the map room, not an app.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlkWhiteFilmPix View Post

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    Senior Member Scrawler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyIvan View Post
    Yes. I was noticed only one time, that I know of. It was a teenager commenting on my fountain pen to her parents in a whisper. Did I mention I have really good hearing?
    When I have operated polls during elections I use "bulletproof" type inks so I can prove the documents I sign came from my desk. One time I was filling in an elector details form and the lady next in line nudged her husband and in a loud whisper "look he's using a real pen".

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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Parsimonious View Post
    If so, how do people around you react? Do they eye you with suspicion? Do they ask you what you're doing?

    A lot of people read in public and no one thinks anything about it. But, I've never noticed anyone writing in public, other than maybe a crossword puzzle or in a library. I've thought about it, but I wonder if it would attract too much attention. I'm a little shy and wouldn't like that.
    Not suspicion, no.

    People may, politely ask, what I am writing. And that usually leads to a discussion about reading or writing. But that is few and far between.

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    Senior Member R.A. Stewart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever take notes in public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Parsimonious View Post
    Thanks for the comments. This 81 year old kid appreciates them.
    And this 70-year-old kid is reading them with interest and thanks you for starting this thread.

    I always carry at least a piece of paper and a ballpoint pen with me (my standing joke is that we failed would-be writers always carry paper and pen), and more often than not a small Moleskine notebook that I use basically as a commonplace book. When I used to spend more time in public places, and even more when I was on public transportation daily, I was always jotting things down, and sometimes doing more sustained writing if I was working on a manuscript, song, report, or the like. I don't recall that anyone ever took notice.
    “We go to the garrick now and become warbs.”--James Thurber

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