BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Michael D. Kendall
 

Emotional Aspect of Pphotography


How many times have you seen an excellent shot and thought, "I'd feel like a fool getting out of my car here in front of all these people to snap a photo"? (This happened to me this morning - wished I had stopped.)


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2/19/2007 9:30:48 AM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  Some of my best shots were because I didn't care about looking foolish. OK, the time I got flat on my back in the center of a railroad museum floor to shoot the ceiling, even my wife and son disappeared, lol
Let people laugh. You'll get the shot they only dream of, or at least give them something to talk about the rest of the day. :)


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2/19/2007 10:19:08 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Quite a few years ago I was flat on my belly photographing ants. Another photographer came up and snapped a pic of me shooting ants. That picture was published in the Los Angeles Times. That was embarrassing. Got a good picture of an ant, though. Thanks, John Siskin


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2/19/2007 11:44:20 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  if that's the worst thing that ever happens to you,wow.i suppose for some it's like speaking in public.c'mon,give'em a good laugh.
sam


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2/19/2007 1:31:30 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  I've had several amusing things happen. In the spring, there's a nice wildflower patch in the median between 3 roads. I always get strange looks when I'm flopped on my face in the middle of it shooting flowers. Once, I was on my back shooting the undersides of some tulips, and pretty soon, a lady appeared in my vision field wondering if I was okay. Her car was stopped with the doors open in the middle of the road. Gotta love it!


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2/19/2007 2:16:16 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I'm a little inhibited about getting down for that special shot myself. As long as I can remain in a standing position I don't really mind the thought of people watching, but I hate bending over or laying down ;)!

LOL Carolyn! Be careful not to do that in the middle of a road. We were in the truck once driving down the road when we saw a dog flopping around in the middle of our lane of the road. My husband said, "poor thing look like he's been run over, should I finish the job?" We were in a semi so we knew we'd finish the job. I couldn't even answer him. He decided at the last minute he couldn't do it so he swerved and missed the dog rolling ON A DEAD ANIMAL LOL.


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2/19/2007 2:40:14 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  I used to give students an assignment to shoot cracks in sidewalk. The assignment taught them how to use line as part of a design and that you could get away with crazy behavior if you had a camera. Thanks, John Siskin


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2/19/2007 3:02:43 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  John Siskin, it's really nice seeing your input in the Q&A. For a while none of the instructors were offering any insights or help at all and it was greatly missed. Thank you!


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2/19/2007 3:44:32 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  For me itís a matter of time. When I have free time I like to answer questions, mostly questions about lighting. When I get busy the Q&A stuff is hard to fit in. I really appreciate your enthusiasm! Thanks, John Siskin


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2/19/2007 3:54:28 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  I am laughing my head off right now! This thread could not have come at a better time for me! I am the worldís greatest klutz and have many stories of doing incredibly stupid things in the name of trying to capture a special image. This morning I was outside before dawn when the temperature with wind chill was around -20. I had the bright idea of capturing sunrise over the ocean with ice encrusted rocks in the foreground. Everything near me right now is covered with about 5Ē of ice and is very slick and slippery. I set up my tripod on an icy sand dune and waited for the sun to peak out from the clouds. The sun started up over the horizon and I started to focus when I also started to slip on the ice. Suddenly I was holding onto the tripod and the camera while slipping down the icy dune toward the water. I hit the bottom of the dune with the tripod on my stomach and the camera in my face. Luckily neither got wet. When I finally managed to untangle myself, I heard laughing and looked up to see several people standing on a nearby deck looking out at the fool who was giving them a better show then the cloudy sunrise. Worst thing of all; I got no pictures! Luckily, I have given up trying to impress people with my gracefulness.


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2/19/2007 4:28:50 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Irene, get some chains or crampons for your boots. Chains can be as inexpensive as $10. Crampons are much more expensive, but cheaper than replacing your gear or hospital bills assuming you made it out of the water alive :o)! It didn't sound like a laughing situation!


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2/19/2007 4:59:50 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i have this idea that what is posted has a predominance over who posts.
if your intent is to give more credence to a certain individual,wether the information is applicable or not,then don't be subjective.ok.
geez,trust or give credence to information,not a person.
I will never assume the answer I get is correct,but it may help in my diagnosis.
sam


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2/19/2007 8:36:39 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hey Sharon! I actually have stretch on type crampons that fit my boots. I use them all the time in winter, especially around our small farm when trying to get my chores done. Stupidly I was not wearing them yesterday. Actually, it was quite funny because neither I nor the equipment got injured. As Iíve gotten older Iíve learned not to get easily embarrassed by my own stupid moves. Iíve also learned that if I want an image sometimes I have to look like a fool to others! You know how it is when you see something really neat and want to get a photo. You just do what you need to do and then you realize that other people are watching you and wondering what you are doing. But, Iím trying to be a photographer, not a graceful ďladyĒ. :)lol!


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2/20/2007 5:17:16 AM

 
Karolyn Munson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2004
  I used to struggle with feeling silly too - luckily having a camera in your hand does seem to give you kind of a 'license' to do do whatever it takes to get the good shot. I always felt silly stopping on the side of the road, too. But, one of my favorite shoots was an impromptu session with a band - I took them out to main street which has a dead end, in the dark... It was halloween so I had on a go-go dancer dress - my sister was helping me and had a prom dress on with a knife in her back. To ge the angle I wanted I was laying on my belly right in the middle of the street (and Oct. in ND is COLD!). I know I looked ridiculous, but we all had a blast, and the pictures turned out awesome (look for SWITCH in my gallery). The best advice - loosen up and just don't care what other people think. Lots of people act stupid and have no excuse for it! We've got our cameras so we're justified!


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2/20/2007 6:22:54 AM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
 
 
 
Or the time I had stopped on the side of the rural highwayway to get a shot of ice formations. It was well below freezing outside, and I had to keep jumping around and slapping my hands on my legs to keep the blood flowing, but the sun was going down soon, and it was just so pretty! Some nice passerby apparently called the state troopers to come check that my car wasn't broken down. I wasn't entirely sure the trooper wasn't going to ticket me for being an idiot.


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2/20/2007 6:30:27 AM

 
Dennis C. Hirning
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  My best pictures are always the ones that I didn't stop to take. Unfortunately they are all in my mind's eye. I was driving between Duluth and Thunderbay just before sunset when I saw a little thunder storm over Lake Superior. When I could see it, there was no place to pull over and when I could pull over the storm was blocked by trees. I that the little pinkish cloud with the pale blue sky reflected in the smooth lake is probably one of the best pictures I didn't take.


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2/20/2007 6:35:03 AM

 
Nanette B. Stephens
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2005
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  On my way to work I pass this pasture full of Holstein cows every morning. One morning I stopped to take a picture, which is in my gallery, of all the cows eating except one. A brown jersey was standing there facing the road and just standing there while all of the other Holstein cows were eating. I immediately pulled over, set up and took the picture. I did get strange looks because I was dressed in a suit and heels for work. Even the local police offer looked at me funny. It was a great shot and worth it. I call it "What Are You Looking At"? Good luck and just go for it. It will always be worth it.


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2/20/2007 7:09:13 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
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PickYourShots.com
  I just stop wherever I happen to want to, middle of the road, one wheel off a cliff, or whatever. People have no sense of humor. LOL.. You can get in trouble, though..I climbed down a cliff to get to a riverbank and then forgot how I got down there and had to walk in the water until I found a place to climb back up..and of course I was alone and nobody knew where I was (as usual).


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2/20/2007 8:23:55 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Good for you, Carolyn! I've never had the guts to stop in the road, but have wanted to really bad a few times. When I go for rides on two lanes in the country there's never any shoulder and the grassy areas never look firm enough for pulling over or else they'll have a big hulking ditch in them.


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2/20/2007 8:29:56 AM

 
David B. Coblitz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/15/2005
 
 
  Gen. Franz Sigel Statue at night
Gen. Franz Sigel Statue at night
in St. Louis Forest Park
30sec f/22 ISO 100.

© David B. Coblitz
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
I would suggest that whenever you have that uneasy feeling, you just remind yourself that if you shoot from where everyone else normally looks, you won't get the unusual perspectives/points of view that frequently make for great/unusual photographs. Whenever I look at a photo or movie, I think about where the cameraman was when that shot was taken. Frequently you can surmize that they were in a more precarious situation than the subject being shot.
Dave Coblitz - Coblitz Creative Concepts, LLC


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2/20/2007 10:52:01 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
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PickYourShots.com
  I guess when you get old like me, you don't worry so much about getting mashed by a truck while laying on the center line of a highway. And it's so much fun, too!


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2/20/2007 11:49:05 AM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure. -Tony Benn (London)


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2/20/2007 12:17:15 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  I think this is one of the differences between amateurs and pros... ie: going that extra mile to get the shot you want. Lazy photographers don't do it. Forget any embarrassment you may feel in whatever situation. If you are passionate enough, you won't care what people think. Stand on your head if you have to... the shot is the only thing that matters.


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2/20/2007 3:51:15 PM

 
Paul S. Fleming   Michael, My rules for taking the shot are simple: 1 I do not put myself in danger. 2 I do not put my models in danger. 3 I do not break the law to get the shot. Other than that, I do whatever it takes to get the image. Remember that many people think artists are strange people, and maybe some of us are, so the public expects us to be strange.(photographers are artists) So, go out and be an artist, and come back home with what you consider art. To end my advice: It is not the shots you take that will upset you, it is the ones you pass up that will. Been there, done that and got the magnets on the fridge to prove it. "ps" Fleming


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2/20/2007 4:43:30 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Did anyone see that email going around a while back of the guy at the Grand Canyon (I think) where he had jumped across a chasm to get a pic. The photo showed him jumping back and all he had on his feet were flip flops and one of his arms was full of camera equipment. It looked like he was barely hanging on after jumping back. That guy completely broke PS's rule #1.


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2/20/2007 5:15:28 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  I like the idea that what separates pro from amateur is what you are willing to do in the name of getting that one perfect shot. Iíve met so many people who say that they want to be photographers (or writers, or whatever) but who worry more about image (their own, not what the camera captures!) and appearance than how to capture the great ones. As a writer and almost photographer, there is not much that I wonít do to get a story/image. I wonít risk life Ė my own, the animal Iím trying photograph; a person; however, beyond this, I am willing to get up before dawn; stay out late; hike into a wilderness or be uncomfortable because it is cold or hot. Looking like a fool or an idiot is the least of my worries! Iíve spent a lot of my life looking foolish for things I care about and I am too old now to stop. There is no sense in worrying about what people may think, it is only important what you think.


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2/20/2007 6:20:32 PM

 
Dennis H. Hernet   How about prone on the driveway, during a rain storm, umbrella over my head and camera, butt getting soaked, trying to shoot rain droplets clinging to my wife's red and yellow, in full bloom, tulip blossum. I got a prize winning photo and a prize winning case of the sniffles ... but it was worth it.


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2/20/2007 6:20:48 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Here ya go. I couldn't do this even knowing the full story. Just the thought of being that high without a railing causes me to want to stop breathing LOL.

Leap of Faith


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2/20/2007 7:25:47 PM

 
Dennis C. Hirning
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  The story that Sharon D. is talking about can be found at: http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/canyonleap.asp
The rules that PS pointed out were not broken as bad as it appears. That is something else that we photographers can do to get the "picture". Ethical? Who can say.


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2/20/2007 7:26:28 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Bad link. Try this one. If it doesn't work I give up.

Leap of Faith


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2/20/2007 7:28:34 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks, Dennis. I just now found it, but the first link wasn't good.


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2/20/2007 7:29:20 PM

 
David B. Coblitz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/15/2005
  PS - I meant to mention, but forgot that the Gen. on horseback photo was shot from within a flowerbed (but don't tell anybody). Night shots in the cold are less embarrassing because there are fewer people out there with you.


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2/20/2007 7:34:40 PM

 
Michael D. Kendall   Well, some additional details to my original post, thanks for all the replies by the way. I ordinarily would have no problem with people thinking I was odd for shooting a picture or whatever, but I had just left work and had stream of people behind me who I have to see on a regular basis. I guess thats what did it for me. I guess some of you are right and I should've of just done it anyway.


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2/20/2007 7:59:05 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Those are all great stories and reminded me of a few of my own:

This self portrait was several long minutes in the making. Between setup and execution, Iíd attracted quite a crowd. Some folks were inquisitive and fascinated while others just kind of watched and giggled a lot.

...Then there was the time I had the police waiting for me at my car.
Apparently, someone had spotted "a suspicious looking individual going into the woods carrying a rifle". It was just me with my tripod bag slung over my shoulder.


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2/21/2007 4:56:37 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
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  Camm, tell them the bat cave story! It's a great one!!!


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2/21/2007 5:45:37 AM

 
Debra LeVasseur
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/29/2004
  OMG, I am cracking up right now at work, my co-workers are probably thinking I am nuts...lol I don't care what they think, so why would I care when I have a camera in my hand? But...I have. I have missed shots cuz I was worried about what people might think...After reading all of these great comments. WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK!! Get that GREAT shot that you want. Thank you everyone for the laughs :-)


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2/26/2007 9:03:44 AM

 
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