Monday, April 28, 2014

Mass Murder For Photographers - Is There An Alternative?


As I took pictures yesterday at the car show I was struck by several things. Prams, fat Englishmen, and delusional farmers from Dalwallinu. Photography in crowds can be like that, and the chief thing that it will put you in mind of is being caught in a stampede in a Brazilian football stadium.

I have tried to develop a scientific theory of crowd movement in hopes of devising some way to circumvent them. When I try to take a picture of a vehicle it is always best to have an unimpeded view - my readers don't want to see a family of five out for the day.

Public shows attract the public, however, and they move in packs  - slowly - from one exhibit to the next. It probably would not matter whether they were viewing FabergĂ© eggs in the Winter palace or dried fruit at the Royal Show - they would still move in a stately and disorganised manner and would block the view of anyone trying to photograph the exhibits. There is a rhythm to their wanderings - one group moves out of the way and another one moves in - it is almost as if they are doing a tag-team. They do not move quickly, but they do effectively prevent taking the picture.

The picture of the bus is a case in point. I am delighted with it, but I realise that it cost me over ten minutes of waiting and clearing my throat to achieve the empty space. I am glad that the camera was operating at 1/500 of a second as this was about the interval before the next kid with the ice cream piled into frame.

I think part of the problem is the fact that the Fujifilm X-100 outfit is so small and unobtrusive. Also I dress not to be noticed. So no one notices that I am trying to do a job there. In the old days of a medium format camera and a tripod and a bulb flash on a coiled cord you made more of a statement and people kept out of the way.

Perhaps it is time to put the X-100 on a tripod and the flash on a coiled cord. Plus wear a high-vis vest with Official Photographer on it. Or to be more accurate...Officious Photographer. Most of the crowd wouldn't know the difference.

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Mass Murder For Photographers - Is There An Alternative?


As I took pictures yesterday at the car show I was struck by several things. Prams, fat Englishmen, and delusional farmers from Dalwallinu. Photography in crowds can be like that, and the chief thing that it will put you in mind of is being caught in a stampede in a Brazilian football stadium.

I have tried to develop a scientific theory of crowd movement in hopes of devising some way to circumvent them. When I try to take a picture of a vehicle it is always best to have an unimpeded view - my readers don't want to see a family of five out for the day.

Public shows attract the public, however, and they move in packs  - slowly - from one exhibit to the next. It probably would not matter whether they were viewing FabergĂ© eggs in the Winter palace or dried fruit at the Royal Show - they would still move in a stately and disorganised manner and would block the view of anyone trying to photograph the exhibits. There is a rhythm to their wanderings - one group moves out of the way and another one moves in - it is almost as if they are doing a tag-team. They do not move quickly, but they do effectively prevent taking the picture.

The picture of the bus is a case in point. I am delighted with it, but I realise that it cost me over ten minutes of waiting and clearing my throat to achieve the empty space. I am glad that the camera was operating at 1/500 of a second as this was about the interval before the next kid with the ice cream piled into frame.

I think part of the problem is the fact that the Fujifilm X-100 outfit is so small and unobtrusive. Also I dress not to be noticed. So no one notices that I am trying to do a job there. In the old days of a medium format camera and a tripod and a bulb flash on a coiled cord you made more of a statement and people kept out of the way.

Perhaps it is time to put the X-100 on a tripod and the flash on a coiled cord. Plus wear a high-vis vest with Official Photographer on it. Or to be more accurate...Officious Photographer. Most of the crowd wouldn't know the difference.

Labels: , ,