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I do identify with the press pack shooting the usual political, the arranged public exposures, and the ones documenting a tragedy. Some of those latter are historical iconic images that tell a story, and often benefit in a round-about way, such as donations. Or to raise awareness. Sometimes the photographers are historical heroes, in my opinion.

 

I don’t identify with press photographers who intrude upon private life to the point people cannot have even the slight semblance of privacy. I guess it’s because I get sqirmy just imagining it, as if it were me. So if I don’t want it to happen to me, I don’t want it to happen to them. We only have this one life to live on earth. I would hate to die thinking about all the things I would have enjoyed doing, but never could because I couldn’t get the front end of a lens out of my nose long enough to do them.

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34 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I do identify with the press pack shooting the usual political, the arranged public exposures, and the ones documenting a tragedy. Some of those latter are historical iconic images that tell a story, and often benefit in a round-about way, such as donations. Or to raise awareness. Sometimes the photographers are historical heroes, in my opinion.

 

I don’t identify with press photographers who intrude upon private life to the point people cannot have even the slight semblance of privacy. I guess it’s because I get sqirmy just imagining it, as if it were me. So if I don’t want it to happen to me, I don’t want it to happen to them. We only have this one life to live on earth. I would hate to die thinking about all the things I would have enjoyed doing, but never could because I couldn’t get the front end of a lens out of my nose long enough to do them.

The trouble is there are too many  who claim their privacy is invaded when they are partly or fully complicit in such invasions.

How many pop starlets want the interviews and photos when it is all success and clean fun, often going out of their way to make it happen, then cry foul when they are photographed falling over drunk coming out of a well advertised after awards party?

The press is as always a double edged sword - if  you want to use them to show how wonderful you are be prepared for the fact they will also show you being the opposite of wonderful.

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Once again I must put my hand up.  Yes, I have hidden in bushes, up trees, in undergrowth with camouflage clothing, taken photos with a long lens while hiding, even used night vision goggles before firing my flash

 

But it is a good way to get wildlife pictures....  (and I am not really talking about TOWIE)

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8 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

But it is a good way to get wildlife pictures....  (and I am not really talking about TOWIE)

 

I recently went to a talk by a bird photographer. She said in the early days of doing bird photography she did try donning a Yowie suit. However, she found the birds were far more terrified of this than if she didn't try to disguise herself at all! When you think about it, a moving tree thing is kind of terrifying.

 

To return to the OP's original question of observers or intruders, I think it comes down to the relationship with our subject and how the camera mediates that. I caught the photography bug from my Dad. When I was 14 he bought me a second-hand film SLR (Pentax K1000 - great classic camera to learn on). However, before long I was becoming increasingly obsessed with getting 'the shot', and only really seeing things through a camera lens and not with just my eyes anymore. My Dad was the same. On a trip when I was 17, Dad and I stood on the very edge of the tall cliffs of the Great Australian Bight, trying to get photos of the seals on the rocks below, and normally my Dad was terrified of heights. But the camera does something to you, especially if getting 'the shot' becomes the be all and end all, and you lose sense of your surroundings and even in a way your subject. I found that if there was an amazing sunset and I didn't have my camera, I would feel sad that I couldn't capture it, instead of enjoying the beautiful sunset. I started to realise this is unhealthy, and I stopped doing photography in my early twenties. I was 35 when I took it up again, buying my first DSLR, and I had a whole different relationship with it from then.

 

What I am trying to say is, if we are photographing other people and situations, and non-humans too, is the camera connecting us to the subject(s), or is the camera like an impediment that stops us really being present with and aware of the subject, because we are obsessed with getting a great shot no matter what? To me, the best photos communicate something humanly meaningful, and they show that the photographer feels something for their subject. When we feel something for our subject, that is we have empathy for them, we make very different photos. The camera becomes a mode of communication. But if we aren't feeling for the subject, the camera is more like something that is blocking us from our surroundings and subjects, rather than connecting us with them.

 

Many photojournalists do a great job of telling stories, including ones that are sad and painful, and I'm sure they sometimes struggle with these situations which would be distressing to witness at times. But if their empathy is intact and they are telling an important story, this seems like a meaningful and valuable thing to do. Sometimes the line between observer and intruder may be blurry, but if the photographer cares about who and what they photograph, it is a different thing to exploiting a situation to get 'that photo' no matter what. I think it comes down to always treating others the same way we would want to be treated, and remembering to see with our whole being, and not just through the camera lens, if that makes any sense?

 

 

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Ah,  the gang (where am I?).  And if you had taken the picture a few minutes later, a shouting scrum trying to get the best (any) picture....

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3 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Ah,  the gang (where am I?).  And if you had taken the picture a few minutes later, a shouting scrum trying to get the best (any) picture....

 

In the red shirt?

 

Allan

 

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On 24/01/2020 at 20:31, Sally R said:

 

I recently went to a talk by a bird photographer. She said in the early days of doing bird photography she did try donning a Yowie suit. However, she found the birds were far more terrified of this than if she didn't try to disguise herself at all! When you think about it, a moving tree thing is kind of terrifying.

 

To return to the OP's original question of observers or intruders, I think it comes down to the relationship with our subject and how the camera mediates that. I caught the photography bug from my Dad. When I was 14 he bought me a second-hand film SLR (Pentax K1000 - great classic camera to learn on). However, before long I was becoming increasingly obsessed with getting 'the shot', and only really seeing things through a camera lens and not with just my eyes anymore. My Dad was the same. On a trip when I was 17, Dad and I stood on the very edge of the tall cliffs of the Great Australian Bight, trying to get photos of the seals on the rocks below, and normally my Dad was terrified of heights. But the camera does something to you, especially if getting 'the shot' becomes the be all and end all, and you lose sense of your surroundings and even in a way your subject. I found that if there was an amazing sunset and I didn't have my camera, I would feel sad that I couldn't capture it, instead of enjoying the beautiful sunset. I started to realise this is unhealthy, and I stopped doing photography in my early twenties. I was 35 when I took it up again, buying my first DSLR, and I had a whole different relationship with it from then.

 

What I am trying to say is, if we are photographing other people and situations, and non-humans too, is the camera connecting us to the subject(s), or is the camera like an impediment that stops us really being present with and aware of the subject, because we are obsessed with getting a great shot no matter what? To me, the best photos communicate something humanly meaningful, and they show that the photographer feels something for their subject. When we feel something for our subject, that is we have empathy for them, we make very different photos. The camera becomes a mode of communication. But if we aren't feeling for the subject, the camera is more like something that is blocking us from our surroundings and subjects, rather than connecting us with them.

 

Many photojournalists do a great job of telling stories, including ones that are sad and painful, and I'm sure they sometimes struggle with these situations which would be distressing to witness at times. But if their empathy is intact and they are telling an important story, this seems like a meaningful and valuable thing to do. Sometimes the line between observer and intruder may be blurry, but if the photographer cares about who and what they photograph, it is a different thing to exploiting a situation to get 'that photo' no matter what. I think it comes down to always treating others the same way we would want to be treated, and remembering to see with our whole being, and not just through the camera lens, if that makes any sense?

 

 

I agree with you.  I love nature, and when I’m out shooting flora and fauna, I’m in “the place”. Always seeing the beauty, not just the subject.
Reminds me of when I used to fish a lot. Even if I came home empty-handed, the experience of being on the water, seeing the wildlife, how the lake turned to glass at sundown Reflecting the colors, made it a productive experience. Catching fish was secondary. Not that I didn’t love catching fish, I did! Especially when I fried them all up crispy in a cornmeal coating!

Betty

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9 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

In the red shirt?

 

Allan

 

No, similar but no me....

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9 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I agree with you.  I love nature, and when I’m out shooting flora and fauna, I’m in “the place”. Always seeing the beauty, not just the subject.
Reminds me of when I used to fish a lot. Even if I came home empty-handed, the experience of being on the water, seeing the wildlife, how the lake turned to glass at sundown Reflecting the colors, made it a productive experience. Catching fish was secondary. Not that I didn’t love catching fish, I did! Especially when I fried them all up crispy in a cornmeal coating!

 

Thanks Betty, yes I can relate to the feeling of being "in the place". I have a few favourite nature spots I like to return to including a favourite lake. I often just sit there with my wildlife lens. Sometimes I come away with a decent bird shot, sometimes not. I'm usually there early in the morning or late afternoon to sunset, and yes colours and reflections on the lake make it all worthwhile being there.

 

A year ago I was in NZ and was very lucky to see a kiwi in the wild. I heard something shuffling about off the path and was so excited to see it was a kiwi. He or she didn't seem to even notice me and just went about foraging. I got a few photos, but was so overwhelmed at seeing a rare bird in the wild none of the images were sharp. But it was so nice just sitting by the path hanging out with the kiwi.

 

It's lunchtime here in Western Australia and your mention of crispy, freshly caught fish is making me hungry. I better go and eat!

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On 31/01/2020 at 07:33, IanDavidson said:

Ah,  the gang (where am I?).  And if you had taken the picture a few minutes later, a shouting scrum trying to get the best (any) picture....

I think you may have been in The Street, hoping for the exclusive.

Edited by Phil Robinson
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15 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

Thanks Betty, yes I can relate to the feeling of being "in the place". I have a few favourite nature spots I like to return to including a favourite lake. I often just sit there with my wildlife lens. Sometimes I come away with a decent bird shot, sometimes not. I'm usually there early in the morning or late afternoon to sunset, and yes colours and reflections on the lake make it all worthwhile being there.

 

A year ago I was in NZ and was very lucky to see a kiwi in the wild. I heard something shuffling about off the path and was so excited to see it was a kiwi. He or she didn't seem to even notice me and just went about foraging. I got a few photos, but was so overwhelmed at seeing a rare bird in the wild none of the images were sharp. But it was so nice just sitting by the path hanging out with the kiwi.

 

It's lunchtime here in Western Australia and your mention of crispy, freshly caught fish is making me hungry. I better go and eat!

Funny, that. I came home once to seeing a flock of Cedar Waxwings mixed with a flock of American robins stripping the berries from my crabapple tree. In late winter, sometimes they travel together because they are after the same food.  I had planted that tree hoping some day to see waxwings. It took 8 years for them to come. I had to pull my car into the garage past them. Noisy garage door. I had to get my camera, put my 80-400 lens on, go back into the garage and hope they were still there.  I leaned against the side of the open door to brace myself. I was shaking so hard with excitement that I only got a handful of decent shots out of 60-70. And the best shot was of a robin, something I saw every day, not a waxwing. Grrr.
Long lenses magnify camera shake, even though I had OS. I usually shot that lens on a monopod because of its size/weight, but was afraid I didn’t have enough time before the birds were gone to get it attached, plus I think I was shaking to much to do it even if I tried!

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On 24/01/2020 at 07:12, Julie Edwards said:

 

For the record.... (and this is quoting someone who was working as a press photographer at the time...)

 

The press scooters were quite some way behind the car when it crashed (reports say over 5-10 minutes ). Not defending the chasing, but Di's security team were used to dealing with it day in , day out (and here again, there were tip-offs on where she would be)... What her security team did not ever do is drink and drive ... 

You seem to forget her drunk driver who was driving in excess of 120mph, the lack of seatbelts. The scooters where travelling at 50mph max. They knew where she was going (his flat). I have skipped some other known info. 

 

I am not supporting the photographers actions in general but try to get some basic facts right.

 

That's the same story I hear from a friend in Paris who know some of the people, Julie.

 

Fame is a double-edged sword. I was once friendly with two very famous people, Miles Davis and George C. Scott. They both carved fame but were never comfortable with it.  

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On 02/02/2020 at 04:42, Betty LaRue said:

Funny, that. I came home once to seeing a flock of Cedar Waxwings mixed with a flock of American robins stripping the berries from my crabapple tree. In late winter, sometimes they travel together because they are after the same food.  I had planted that tree hoping some day to see waxwings. It took 8 years for them to come. I had to pull my car into the garage past them. Noisy garage door. I had to get my camera, put my 80-400 lens on, go back into the garage and hope they were still there.  I leaned against the side of the open door to brace myself. I was shaking so hard with excitement that I only got a handful of decent shots out of 60-70. And the best shot was of a robin, something I saw every day, not a waxwing. Grrr.
Long lenses magnify camera shake, even though I had OS. I usually shot that lens on a monopod because of its size/weight, but was afraid I didn’t have enough time before the birds were gone to get it attached, plus I think I was shaking to much to do it even if I tried!

 

I'm so glad planting the tree finally brought in the waxwings even if it took 8 years! Yes it can be so frustrating being so close to getting a great shot of something rare and exciting, but wonderful that you are providing them with a food source. I just looked up Cedar Waxwing to see what they look like and they are beautiful birds. There is a beautiful blue wren here called the Splendid Fairy Wren. I'm still trying to get a decent photo of one. If I'm without my camera they hop all about me, easily in view. But if I'm carrying my camera with wildlife lens they always seem be semi-obscured behind some twigs, or showing themselves for a microsecond before disappearing again. It feels like they are having a mischievous time teasing me!

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6 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

I'm so glad planting the tree finally brought in the waxwings even if it took 8 years! Yes it can be so frustrating being so close to getting a great shot of something rare and exciting, but wonderful that you are providing them with a food source. I just looked up Cedar Waxwing to see what they look like and they are beautiful birds. There is a beautiful blue wren here called the Splendid Fairy Wren. I'm still trying to get a decent photo of one. If I'm without my camera they hop all about me, easily in view. But if I'm carrying my camera with wildlife lens they always seem be semi-obscured behind some twigs, or showing themselves for a microsecond before disappearing again. It feels like they are having a mischievous time teasing me!

Not quite the same thing but I have had woodpeckers land less than 20ft from the car and start pecking - when I was waiting at traffic lights on a main road.  Absolutely perfect shot - great light perfect distance,  classic behaviour and pose.  If I had reached to the back seat to get my camera the lights would have changed and I would have had a large number of irate motorists beeping at me for blocking them.
I also have Jays doing the thing your wrens are doing - beautifully visible when I do not have the camera and teasing when I do.  Animals know what cameras and photographers are you see.  They know we want their picture so they play around with us lol.

 

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On 30/01/2020 at 11:13, Phil Robinson said:

T7NDH1.jpg

 

See - quite well-behaved really.

 

 

at the other end these are tourists and visitors jamming in to get pictures during a Wedding parade in Oaxaca.  They were so bad, the wedding photographers couldn't even do their jobs..

2ATCJFN.jpg

 

 

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On 03/02/2020 at 18:55, Starsphinx said:

I also have Jays doing the thing your wrens are doing - beautifully visible when I do not have the camera and teasing when I do. 

 

Blue Jays look like stunning birds! I would love one day to see one. I did visit Canada 25 years ago and got to see woodpeckers. I heard this repetitive tapping and followed my ears and sure enough up in the tree was a woodpecker tapping away. I remember learning about woodpeckers from cartoons as a kid, and then it was exciting to see them in real life. I imagine it's the same when someone visits here in Australia and sees a kangaroo bouncing around for the first time.

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The blue jays in my part of the world.Taken while perched in my back yard crabapple tree planted especially for staging birds. I don’t have the trees anymore after moving. ☹️
 

 

B6NHY4.jpg

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4 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

Blue Jays look like stunning birds! I would love one day to see one. I did visit Canada 25 years ago and got to see woodpeckers. I heard this repetitive tapping and followed my ears and sure enough up in the tree was a woodpecker tapping away. I remember learning about woodpeckers from cartoons as a kid, and then it was exciting to see them in real life. I imagine it's the same when someone visits here in Australia and sees a kangaroo bouncing around for the first time.

I am UK and we have the Eurasian jay as opposed to the Blue Jay - I would love to see a blue one as well.  I was over 40 before I first saw a woodpecker - had heard them for years but never been able to catch a glimpse - since then I have seen them several times (including while at traffic lights ggrrrr lol)
I live near a famous safari park where they have wallabies (there are a couple of wild populations in the UK as well) but I am guessing that there is more difference between seeing kangaroos and wallabies than people expect.

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I do a fair amount of street photography. One day I saw a tourist in the park walking with a lens on his camera bigger than my arm. Not only did I wonder how on earth he could walk around at ease with that thing but I was wondering what on earth he planned on shooting in the middle of the city park. Not much wild life around. I believe in freedom of photographers, but you need to keep a balance.

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8 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

The blue jays in my part of the world.Taken while perched in my back yard crabapple tree planted especially for staging birds. I don’t have the trees anymore after moving.

 

Beautiful Blue Jay photo Betty! I love the red and blue contrast in the image.

 

7 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I am UK and we have the Eurasian jay as opposed to the Blue Jay - I would love to see a blue one as well.

 

7 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I am UK and we have the Eurasian jay as opposed to the Blue Jay - I would love to see a blue one as well. 

 

Ah sorry, I had the wrong jay and wrong part of the world (and now managed to quote you twice by mistake as well which I can't seem to delete). I'd only heard of the Blue Jay, so have much to learn about birds beyond Australia. There's an intersection here in Perth where I'm often in my car at the traffic lights, and corellas (a variety of cockatoo) have enormous fun hanging upside down and swinging from the street lights. They are also very good dancers and I was at a fundraising concert once where a man brought his pet corella along who literally joined in on the dance floor with great enthusiasm. I found a clip of a corella demonstrating dance moves (only watch if you want to spend 2 minutes watching a dancing bird!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bt9xBuGWgw

 

7 hours ago, JSaunders said:

I do a fair amount of street photography. One day I saw a tourist in the park walking with a lens on his camera bigger than my arm. Not only did I wonder how on earth he could walk around at ease with that thing but I was wondering what on earth he planned on shooting in the middle of the city park. Not much wild life around. I believe in freedom of photographers, but you need to keep a balance.

 

I think it depends on the city you are in. Most of the bird images I've contributed here are from the metropolitan area. I was in Adelaide in South Australia two years ago and the city has been designed with a green belt of parks surrounding it, so I had a chance to see a variety of birds including crested pigeons which are not normally seen so close to the city here in Perth. I was lamenting the fact I didn't have my telephoto zoom with me 🙁

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That bird has an amazing variety of moves. Quite the choreographer!

 

Paulette

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9 hours ago, NYCat said:

That bird has an amazing variety of moves. Quite the choreographer!

 

Paulette

I agree! This was a new one for me. I usually see the umbrella cockatoo with the big crest dancing. I have a granddaughter who sends me a lot of the links since I own a parrot. The cockatoos are much more into dancing compared to grays. I love watching them.

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I loved how he twirled his head. What??? Impossible....🤨

 

Paulette

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