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Thread: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Really, Officer, I was going for the guy with the phone... you don't see many mobile phones...


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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    she looks like she could hurt you.

    Not that it wouldn't be worth it...

    This is one of my favs from HK. And I'm not stalking - this is my g/f and her sister


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    Senior Member pollobarca's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Hmmm. I think I know why people dont leave Hong Kong often.

    So many photographic oppurtunities!

    Lovely picture btw, the guy on the mobile looks like he has been distracted by something.

    b rgds

    paul
    "I ruined my health by drinking to everyone else's." Brendan Behan
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollobarca/

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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Don,
    Thanks for all of your Fantastic Pictures.
    I'm really enjoying your style and the IQ of your pictures.
    Could you post the Camera that you are using with the pictures?
    You are the most important part of you pictures and I love what you are able to do with a Small Sensor camera.

    Regards, Jerry

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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Who said stalker?
    Last edited by retow; 13th January 2010 at 17:18.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by pollobarca View Post
    Hmmm. I think I know why people dont leave Hong Kong often.
    So many photographic oppurtunities!
    Yes, well, there are seven million of us.

    Lovely picture btw, the guy on the mobile looks like he has been distracted by something.
    No doubt.

    On another subject, I find one of the big nuisances in Hong Kong are people who can't walk and talk (or walk and text) at the same time. It's one of the safest cities in the world if you discount colliding with someone who abruptly stops in front of you to reply to an SMS. But that's probably true everywhere these days.

    Don

  7. #7
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by LoSenior View Post
    Don,
    Thanks for all of your Fantastic Pictures.
    I'm really enjoying your style and the IQ of your pictures.
    Could you post the Camera that you are using with the pictures?
    You are the most important part of you pictures and I love what you are able to do with a Small Sensor camera.
    Regards, Jerry
    Nice use of capital letters... thank you.

    I was driving home last night when it occurred to me that I hadn't posted the camera in this shot, which I usually do. It's a Sigma DP2, set for manual focus at 7 feet and at f/2.8, held at waist level and triggered with my thumb. Sometimes that technique actually works.

    Don

  8. #8
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    Who said stalker?
    I feel better now... at least I'm not invading their restrooms.

    Lovely photo.

    Don

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Ellis View Post
    ....On another subject, I find one of the big nuisances in Hong Kong are people who can't walk and talk (or walk and text) at the same time. It's one of the safest cities in the world if you discount colliding with someone who abruptly stops in front of you to reply to an SMS. But that's probably true everywhere these days.

    Don
    ...or abruptly stops to make a photograph....

    Plead guilty myself....

    But then, what´s the rest of the Universe for, if not to be photographed?

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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Ellis View Post
    I feel better now... at least I'm not invading their restrooms.

    Lovely photo.

    Don
    There was no bathroom invasion, if they wouldn't make us always wait .
    But she liked the result.

  11. #11
    Johannes01
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    wow.are you in HK now?The girl seems to be seperate from the world,just in her fantastic music world.Uh...in my opinion,this picture could be an ad for the ipod.Do you think so?
    Regards.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johannes01 View Post
    wow.are you in HK now?The girl seems to be seperate from the world,just in her fantastic music world.Uh...in my opinion,this picture could be an ad for the ipod.Do you think so?
    If I'm not travelling, I'm in Hong Kong. As for an ad, sure, why not... pretty girl in her own world. I would art direct it a little more carefully for the final version, but yes.

    Cheers,
    Don

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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Not sure that I feel all that comfortable reading this thread.

    On one hand, I don't like the first photo. Firstly, on a photographic level, it doesn't speak to me. But more than this, although it's hard to pinpoint exactly why, it makes me uncomfortable. Not that I can't imagine taking this kind of candid myself - I certainly have. But it's the kind of photo I erase, and try not to take again.

    Secondly, the constant referring to the female sex as "them" is annoying.

    The B&W mirror photo is excellent, must be said.

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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post
    Not sure that I feel all that comfortable reading this thread.

    On one hand, I don't like the first photo. Firstly, on a photographic level, it doesn't speak to me. But more than this, although it's hard to pinpoint exactly why, it makes me uncomfortable. Not that I can't imagine taking this kind of candid myself - I certainly have. But it's the kind of photo I erase, and try not to take again.

    Secondly, the constant referring to the female sex as "them" is annoying.

    The B&W mirror photo is excellent, must be said.
    I think I understand where you are coming from. But if the thread title was "candids", with the same content, you might not have written your post?All 3 shot's are about capturing a moment, aren't they. And this is what often times produces the most telling photographs.

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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    I think I understand where you are coming from. But if the thread title was "candids", with the same content, you might not have written your post?All 3 shot's are about capturing a moment, aren't they. And this is what often times produces the most telling photographs.
    I think there is enough in the thread, but the title does add to it.

    There is definitely a fine line here.

    Let me try & illustrate what I mean using my own photos.

    Example 1:



    I have no qualms about posting this photo. There was a genuine emotional impulse that made me take it + which justifies, FOR ME, exploiting the subject somewhat (which is inevitable for candid shots, on some level).

    Example 2:



    Here my impulse was more "cheap", if I'm completely honest: "Look, a drunk, desperate looking guy, next to a pile of puke". I haven't yet taken this photo down from flickr, but I don't think I'll be able to justify it much longer. The only thing is, I think there is some value composition wise, with the dark background and lit foreground.

    The first photo in this thread is of the "cheap" kind, which due respect to Don and the many beautiful photos he's posted on the forums here. Yours doesn't speak to me that way.

    The sleazy tone used in some of the posts I just find annoying, and is a separate issue.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Fine lines...

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post
    Not sure that I feel all that comfortable reading this thread.
    There are solutions to that.

    But it's the kind of photo I erase, and try not to take again.
    I never erase beauty that I find tasteful. All a personal judgment call, of course.

    Secondly, the constant referring to the female sex as "them" is annoying.
    As human beings, we often objectify people, especially when we meet them in two-dimensional photographs. Here's a funny example I read just this morning.

    There is definitely a fine line here.
    Beauty or vulgarity are in the eye of the beholder, and there’s really
    nothing any of us can do about that except to be true to ourselves.

    The first title that sprang to mind was “Younger than springtime…” but
    this is our hottest summer on record, so I decided to use something
    humorous -- and truthful -- for those who found three inches of leg
    nearing the line of their own taste.

    Stalkers, by definition, stalk their victims. When took the photo, I
    just glanced at her face and pressed the shutter -- we were going
    opposite directions in a crosswalk -- so there was no premeditation.

    But that doesn't address the use of it, of course.

    For me, there are two stages to a photo: capturing it, and then
    deciding what to do with it. So once I saw the photo, my decision was
    whether to keep it, and then whether to share it. Obviously, I decided
    yes. I see youth and beauty and confidence and contentment. She is
    plugged into her music, not needing anyone else at the moment.

    I would like to comment kindly, and from my own perspective, on your
    two examples of street photography. For me, they are the kind of
    photos that want to be meaningful but aren’t, except to the
    photographer.

    The first is murky and blurry and, as a single, unexplained image,
    tells me no story at all. And the second one is the worst kind for me
    – in stopping, deciding to take the photo, and then making the effort
    to get down to get just that angle, you made a conscious decision to
    take advantage of someone’s self-induced misery. And in the end, your only
    justification for online display is “composition.”

    If it were taken to show to an alcoholic friend in a future
    intervention, or as part of article on youth alcohol abuse, I could
    understand. Personally, I think there is a place for photos of people who have
    been victims of other circumstances, e.g. fire, flood, famine,
    earthquake, crime, calamity. But this seems to be to be simply self-
    indulgence – “because it was there” or “because it was funny” or
    “because I thought someone else would be amused by it” – and had no
    other purpose. If was empathy or pity, it doesn’t show through.

    Back to my photo, the fashion this season in Hong Kong is short-shorts
    and high heels. You see them everywhere, and Hong Kong girls are mostly
    slim, so if I wanted risque photos, they would be easy to take.
    By comparison, this girl is pristine… and therefore I decided to post
    her.

    There are, however, fine lines that even I don’t cross… and
    this is one of them:



    This was taken in Chiang Mai last Christmas. The boys put on their
    boots and tutus and stand in a conga line in front of businesses, do
    an extremely funny dance to thumping music that puts a smile on
    everyone’s face, and then solicit donations for charity.

    Speaking of charity, I hope we can disagree here without losing our
    connection. This is a great board and I consider myself a guest here –
    and I don’t want to upset any of the other guests. I hope I haven’t.

    Perhaps we can think of this as a “comparison of techniques. ”

    Cheers,
    Don
    Last edited by Don Ellis; 28th August 2009 at 20:31.

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    Re: Fine lines...

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Ellis View Post
    There are solutions to that.

    I would like to comment kindly, and from my own perspective, on your
    two examples of street photography. For me, they are the kind of
    photos that want to be meaningful but aren’t, except to the
    photographer.

    The first is murky and blurry and, as a single, unexplained image,
    tells me no story at all. And the second one is the worst kind for me
    – in stopping, deciding to take the photo, and then making the effort
    to get down to get just that angle, you made a conscious decision to
    take advantage of someone’s self-induced misery. And in the end, your only
    justification for online display is “composition.”

    If it were taken to show to an alcoholic friend in a future
    intervention, or as part of article on youth alcohol abuse, I could
    understand. Personally, I think there is a place for photos of people who have
    been victims of other circumstances, e.g. fire, flood, famine,
    earthquake, crime, calamity. But this seems to be to be simply self-
    indulgence – “because it was there” or “because it was funny” or
    “because I thought someone else would be amused by it” – and had no
    other purpose. If was empathy or pity, it doesn’t show through.
    I'm now convinced that particular photo should go down, even if you were perhaps deliberately very harsh (given that I've criticized your 1st photo harshly). I find it difficult sometimes to be honest with myself as to the reasons why I took a photo. I was aware that there was a "cheap" exploitative impulse there, but also I was just trying to document how horrendous london can look at 2am on a sat night, and was anyway like any human being in a medley of feelings.

    Ultimately, I feel every candid is exploitative to some degree, and has to earn being displayed one way or another. Composition, empathy, humor... whatever, may be enough. In the case of the drunk guy, I can try and convince myself that it had enough, but ultimately my intention was too cheap and this seems to come through.

    I don't think there's much point adding anything to what I said about your photo. It is interesting to know the background, but what you say doesn't really change what I feel viewing it.

    >>>There are solutions to that.
    Well... I sort of wish I had ignored it. If it was just a single photo which wasn't to my liking, I'd almost certainly not have said anything. But it was a combination of things in the thread, and I can't always keep negative feelings to myself.

    >>Speaking of charity, I hope we can disagree here without losing our
    >>connection. This is a great board and I consider myself a guest here –
    >>and I don’t want to upset any of the other guests. I hope I haven’t.

    >>Perhaps we can think of this as a “comparison of techniques. ”

    Definitely.

  18. #18
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    Re: I am not a stalker, I am not a stalker...

    >If it were taken to show to an alcoholic friend in a future
    >intervention, or as part of article on youth alcohol abuse, I could
    >understand. Personally, I think there is a place for photos of people who have
    >been victims of other circumstances, e.g. fire, flood, famine,
    >earthquake, crime, calamity. But this seems to be to be simply self-
    >indulgence – “because it was there” or “because it was funny” or
    >“because I thought someone else would be amused by it” – and had no
    >other purpose. If was empathy or pity, it doesn’t show through.

    Just one more thing to clarify. This is London on a saturday night, bad, but still not comparable with earthquakes, fire flood famine... The people I took photos hopefully ended up with nothing worse than a bad hangover.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: Fine lines...

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post
    >>Perhaps we can think of this as a “comparison of techniques. ”
    Definitely.
    Glad to hear that... that's most important here, or on any public forum. Gentlemen disagree and move on.

    I'm not retaliatory, by the way, so I didn't judge your alcohol photo harshly -- that would be too obvious and not fair to either of us. In fact, I was pretty tactful. I really don't get most street photography... for me, there's no message, insight or artistry to most of what I see. Yes, it was taken on the street, so what? We see this all the time, so how does capturing it make it any more special? (Rhetorical. )

    But, as I said, we all have our likes and dislikes. I like your acceptance of my comments, for example. Thank you for taking them in the spirit they were intended... which was not angry, defensive or harmful.

    Take care,
    Don

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