Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/07/13

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Bill Pierce on the Leica today
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Wed Jul 13 01:33:51 2005

On 7/12/05 9:27 PM, "John Payne" <> typed:

> Here's another view on unobtrusive photography by one who has done it
> hundreds of times.  it matters not if I am shooting a band in a bar or a
> wedding reception with an M series camera or a Nikon d2x, people react to 
> me
> or not the same way.  What can change this might be the way the individual
> shooter  may bring to the event.  A red dot or  not, an dslr or not, does
> not seem to be much of a factor as much as  the way of shooting and the
> behavior of the photographer in getting him or her noticed.  I've  shot 
> with
> M cameras, nikon film and digital, lenses of all sizes, and not noticed
> people reacting differently towards me  based on the actual size of my
> cameras.  It's more on how  you use them and how one interacts with the
> subjects.  Each week I have several portrait shoots that involve 100-300
> frames with a d2x and 70-200, and I don't see people acting differently
> towards me/my camera than with a Leica, Hasselblad, etc.  A photographer's
> personality might be differnt with a rangefinder than a medium format 
> camera
> due to his or her's familiarity with the equipment. It might simply be what
> one is used to instead of characteristics of a certain camera system.  Not
> to say camera size is never an issue but it's rarely one from my 
> experience.
> Just a thought,
> John Payne
If you're shooting a wedding you're "the man".
You don't pick a camera to "blend in" you don't even want to blend in.
You want to look like "the guy" and not be using less of a camera than the
guys nephew.
That's been my direct experience.

If you are shooting a band it's the same thing unless you're somehow just
there doing it on the sly for some reason.
The band photography I've done I've been paid to do and it's the band whose
been paying. So I'm "the man" in that situation too.
A flashier camera can help as much as hurt it amounts to when your hired to
shoot clients.

Obtrusiveness is a street photography issue.
Not a "hired to be there" issue.

You are very much NOT "the man" in street photography.
You're the guy who killed Lady Di and the one who wants to put nudes of
their kids on the internet. You don't have an official reason to be there
and you have a good reason to want to blend in. To not be putting a metal
munching media machine in their face. To be "invading their privacy" as they
walk down Times Square.

But a hired "official" photographer in a situation in effect "a shoot" is
almost better off NOT blending in from my experience. I get less flak
shooting a Hasselblad in such situations which is what I typically do. And
sometimes a metal munching ELM with a big nerdy flash bracket.
I need to get a little birdy.

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon

Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Bill Pierce on the Leica today)
In reply to: Message from jpphoto at (John Payne) ([Leica] Bill Pierce on the Leica today)