public persona

walking around the windy city1. YIP 365.79: sunset dino, 2. branca, 3. dinner, 4. urban sprinkler

Some favorite moments from last night. I spent an hour walking about downtown and testing out my new camera (a mysterious beast that I still know very little about) while waiting to hear from a dear friend who was suffering through the last day of the Illinois bar exam (thank God this already seems like such a distant memory to me). I took a lot of shots. Most of them were throwaway, but I did manage a few gems here and there. (Unexpectedly, one of the photos even made the 7.30.09 Chicagoist. Totally owe Lauren for letting me know about that.)

I’ve been thinking about photography a LOT lately…so much so that I can hardly think about anything else. I’m sure that a new camera has something to do with it, but there’s also so much goodness on flickr these days, I can hardly stand it. I kinda want to run out and take pictures of EVERYTHING…which leads me to my problem: I feel really weird about taking pictures in public. Now, there are those moments where people expect you to have a camera (e.g. weddings) and no one cares that you’re taking lots of pictures. And occasionally, I get to hang out with photography/flickr friends who don’t bat an eyelash when I whip out a camera to take a picture of something the rest of the world would probably consider mundane. But in between there are lots of moments, when I am quite often at a loss, which is why I tend to take a lot of shots around my apartment or of the things that I eat.  I don’t know what else to do, except hide behind my camera, take lots of pictures, and hope some of them turn out well.

I’m not sure how a photo goes from just being a picture of a glass to evoking the mood and spirit of a time and place, but I’d really like to find out how.


4 responses to “public persona

  1. I am also terrified of taking photos in public. I’m much better about it in foreign countries, where they expect you to be a tourist, but in my hometown.. it just seems kinda weird to me. I think I need to start another 365 and just get over it.

  2. Isn’t photography amazing?? I really enjoy taking pictures, and the feeling is better when I get couple of good shots here and there. Still, I think it’s very difficult to get amazing pics without getting to know your camera. Don’t worry to much about people, taking pictures is not the worst thing, right??

  3. i have the same issue… it is really hard for me to whip out the camera (esp to take photos of people) in my everyday life. i think that just doing it on a regular basis eases that somewhat. i also realized that once i started doing it more, i noticed more and more people also taking pictures. i think it helps that it’s ny, but i bet chicago is the same way? we’ll see how i feel when i get back to florida 🙂
    p.s. thank you for the mention! 🙂

  4. Hmmm…I have been around enough photojournalists to have picked up a few tips about taking photos in public (and trust me, it still makes me uncomfortable). The main thing seems to be that you just have to do it, and don’t worry about what the people around you are thinking. They might just as well assume you are a professional. The more you do it, the more naturally it will come to you and the more naturally it comes to you, the less people will notice. Really good photojournalists have mastered the art of blending in, despite having the camera. They get the best shots, the ones that go beyond just the photo to evoke the mood of the moment and it’s because they’re not shy about taking the photo. I am really shy, so when I have to go out and do stuff like this I sometimes assume the character of someone else, if that makes sense.

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