I have become self conscious and it scares me

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by hoffy, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. OP
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    hoffy

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    Its not just about taking pictures of strangers - its taking pictures in public in general (unless I am at a car show..... never seem to have a problem with that!).

    For the first time in many months, I have brought my camera bag to work with me today (back to work.... yay, said no one ever). Hopefully I can overcome this.
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

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    Happy New Year to you, too (just back into Vic from another epic SA trip in the Berri-Barmera Riverland / Murraylands).

    I imagine if it was me with a self-conscious disposition that it would be a real hindrance to getting anything done photographically. I haven't seen this sort of thing with other photographers though. You probably need to identify what the trigger is/was for this — has somebody said something? Did you not like what you saw in the mirror? You actually believe what a mirror tells you? What else?

    I was self-conscious when very young (not as a photographer). and often did not want to be seen either swimming, or riding my scooter to school! I don't know where I lost that self-conscious thing decades ago. I got a pair of SCARPA street shoes for Christmas — in purple (!). For a moment I thought, "I can't go out in them!". But I wear them every day (soooo comfy!) and don't give a second thought to what people think.
     
  3. OP
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    hoffy

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    Murraylands hey? How far down did you go? I grew up in the Murray Mallee (Karoonda - between Murray Bridge and Loxton) and was up there from Christmas Eve to Boxing day.

    Whoa! This could turn into a full Dr Phil session!
    To be honest, I have always been a bit self conscious. I have had my moments before in other aspects. Maybe its just a thing I am going through. Maybe its a mid life crisis thing. I see the hipsters (& I use this as a term of endearment) happily doing their thing and think, well, no-one is going to take this middle aged guy seriously.

    Or, the other thing is I simply see nothing new that inspires me?

    Now we are getting into full psychology mode...... I'd love to do more model work. But I am a bit ham fisted when it comes to working with models. I don't know what to say. Often I don't know what to do to make that connection. I have been stretching myself recently and attending a regular monthly meet (when I can) run by a studio where they provide models (or you take photos of each other). This helps, but....... I also see a lot of people working with models and I really question their motivation (what are they REALLY taking the images for). I also question some of their attitudes (I helped a guy a little while ago and he seemed very sleazy and to be frank, disrespectful). When I question them, I actually start questioning why I would do it as well. Am I actually any better than them? I am not a professional. I am not an artist. But taking photos and looking at the final results DOES make me happy.
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

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    Loxton...just lovely! Stopped there at Woolies to collect fruit after losing it all at the checkpoint near Pinaroo! I was very annoyed. I offered to eat 1 kilo of apples and bananas there and then, in front of the Officer, but he would hear nothing of it.

    North from Loxton to Berri, then Barmera (Berri-Barmera has some shockingly surfaced roads) and western shore of Lake Bonney (windy, bloody hot, menaced by snakes), then next day east to Renmark, Mildura and Buronga (colossal crowds...). Got the photos... but a hell of a lot of travel for just a couple of pics, albeit very worthy of the print queue.

    What!? Get the blinkers off, get in the car and start travelling! SA is one of the most marvellous and scenic of any State in Australia (second only to the vast open spaces of the NT. I once thought South Australia had nothing to inspire me. That was... hmmm... around 30 years ago! And it really sparked me in 2011 when we did a detailed inspection on our around-Australia trip. Get over to Kanga Island, or loop the Eyre Peninsula. The Coorong? Bloody marvellous. Man, you're surrounded by inspiration.

    That is an astute observation. Something bugs me about pot-bellied old guys lining up to photograph a naked 20-something woman posing for them in a closed studio (with questionable, even non-existent artistic skill), be it painting, photography, life-drawing or whatever. The models, to their credit, are not all that perturbed by this.
    I have photographed nudists, and I am at ease among them, having been brought up that way and mixed with them for decades, photographing their weddings, renewal of vows and even divorces. Good thing I'm not at all self-conscious! :tongue:

    Right. That's something we can all identify with. And at the end of the day, that's all that matters, really, and how does a self-conscious dispositiion interfere with such a simple joy? I suggest you do it much more often and self-consciousness should fade away. If it does not... please call Dr Phil... :wondering:
     
  5. bsdunek

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    I always carry a Minox. When I stop to get a shot, I, too, feel self conscious. Most people don't even notice. Guess I'm kind of a private person and still worry.
     
  6. OP
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    hoffy

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    Keep SA Fruit Fly Free! They will get you every time.

    I'd like to, but possibly a path less travelled. I am not a landscape person, but there is so much abandonment in SA that I am sure I can find things that work. I did have an idea of creeping around where I grew up, because it is an area that has not been overly photographed, but a couple other Adelaidians beat me to the punch. I think, though, the hardest thing is having a growing family, work commitments and so on. I don't necessarily have the time to just hop in the car by myself for a week (or even a weekend).

    I am at a quandary about it. I'd like to be able to give it a try, but I don't want to restrict myself to 20 something women, as seems to be the norm. Heck, I'd even photograph a 60 something bloke, as long as I can get something from it.

    Well, I did hit the streets during lunch. There are now approximately 10 less unexposed frames on the roll of expired Ektarchrome that is sitting in my old Minolta, which will get cross processed. I did find some quiet areas around the Torrens Riverbank redevelopment that had what I considered to be interesting shots. Whether others think so, well, meh, I don't really care.

    Its a start.
     
  7. MartinCrabtree

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    I don't generally photograph people. Tapered off unconsciously over the past 30 years or so. Guess that makes it easier for me.
     
  8. jnanian

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    hey hoffy

    i used to do a lot of street portraits and shopkeeper stuff where i would photograph a lot of random people
    i used to photograph a lot of urban and industrial areas too but since 911 i cut way back and i have been self conscious too
    im guessing if i was like garry winograd or some average looking big american dude i woulddn't feel so self conscious but i'm not
    and i've had some adverse things happen to me as well. ive been getting back to it though, slowly ..
    its like rodeo work ..
    hope you get back to it too!
    john
    ps. your kar stuff is pretty awesome !
     
  9. OP
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    hoffy

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    Hmmm, Rodeo, now there's a thought!

    Thanks. I'm taking a backwards step from doing cars (except for printing - I want to print a lot of them). I think this is part of my issue - I have become a bit of a one trick pony!
     
  10. Arklatexian

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    Maybe you have just become more selective, yes you are "normal" or as "normal" as anyone in this group will ever be. As to what people are wondering about what you are doing when you are taking a picture, that really is none off your business so don''t care or worry about it. I once had my tripod mounted camera focussed on a crack in an old brick wall, when a stranger walked up and asked "may I look through your camera" to which I answered. "sure". He looked, turned to me and said "mister I don't know what you see there but I don't see a picture at all". I laughed, took the picture, developed and printed it and he was correct. There was no picture there. But I still remember his statement and I value the experience. My main advice to you is to lighten-up a little and once again enjoy photography and to heck with what passers-by think.....Regards!
     
  11. kenj8246

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    ^^ This.
     
  12. TheRook

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    Remedy:
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  13. chiller

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  15. Poisson Du Jour

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    No. That will result in blurry/out-of-focus shots. :wink:
     
  16. Oxleyroad

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    Garyh, Mildura/Buronga. My home town, i was born and bred in Mildura, then when I left home for Uni my folks moved to a slower paced Buronga.

    What on earth did you go to Buronga for? The gardens?
     
  17. Poisson Du Jour

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    Andy,
    I've known the Troods at Buronga Riverside caravan park for many years and that lovely park-like environment with the marsupial lawns is still a favourite set-down point for a few days, rather than try and co-exist with the teeming, seething masses that invade in Mildura (though both places were virtually deserted on 17th December). And it's a nice walk or ride into Mildura up and o'er the bridge for the regulation morning coffee.

    There are gardens in Buronga?? Where? I've passed through several times en route Broken Hill and nowt but a few shops were seen...

    I thought I was responding to a Burongian (is that what they are called?) but I see you are in MI/USA. Is that Michigan or Missouri?? Surely you're missing the beautiful warm and sunny weather called Summer down here??
     
  18. Andrew O'Neill

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    Being shy makes it difficult sometimes for me to set up if there a a lot of people around... I feel awkward when people stop and watch me. Sometimes I just stay under the dark cloth hoping they'll go away! But if the urge to photograph something is strong, I get on with it. :smile:
     
  19. chiller

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    When you come out from under the dark cloth have a rabbit or a couple of doves - works every time :smile:
     
  20. OP
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    hoffy

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    You could have said something far far far far worse.....
     
  21. chiller

    chiller Member

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    I was thinking :smile: far far worse :smile:
     
  22. Andrew O'Neill

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    Good one! I'll have to remember that for next time!
     
  23. Noisegate

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    I think too many of us are conditioned to be "People Pleasers" and are so concerned about the possibility of offending someone (even strangers) that we diminish ourselves to ensure no offense takes place. I fall into that category - or rather did fall into that category. The trick is to remind yourself that very few people are concerned about what you are doing. Unless fear is involved, they are too wrapped up in their own heads to be bothered with "the person with the camera." The other thing to remember is that we should never, ever, ever change the course of our life because of what a stranger may or may not think of us. Never give up your power. Be strong and push through the emotion - because it is just that, an emotion. Afterwards, you will have a great picture and more self confidence along with the realization that most of the fears crawling around in our heads is useless chatter.
     
  24. Oxleyroad

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    Yes there are Gardens, and every year they are just getting better. In Jan 2015 when I last went to see them they were brilliant and the Sturt Desert Peas were covering sooo much ground it was spectacular. See this link --> http://aibg.org.au/. It is on the back road to Coomealla (sorry formal name Dareton) from just up the road toward Wentworth from the main roundabout at Buronga.


    I think we all go under the title 'Sunraysian' as the district is Sunraysia as defined by the founding fore fathers, the Chaffey Brothers from Ontario Canada... Go figure. Sunraysia came from their advertising booklet a hardcover 1/2 broadsheet sized booklet of some 130 pages praising the potential virtues of the "Sun raised" produce in the new irrigation settlement in the colony of Victoria. Only a three month wagon ride from Melbourne in 1888.

    Yes I now live in Michigan USA since the Oz auto industry shut down. But hey I still get to play with cars that the public will might get to buy in 3 to 5 years time which keeps a smile on my dial.
     
  25. OP
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    hoffy

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    Pictures or it didn't happen....... :wink:
     
  26. Ste_S

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    Yup, if you want to chat and/or take portraits, wander around with a TLR. I'll usually ask most people who stop me for a chat for a portrait, with a promise that i'll email them a scan of the photo.
    I generally find folders much more discreet.
     
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