Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/02/06

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Subject: [Leica] Re: DMR mk II ?
From: aaron.sandler at (Aaron Sandler)
Date: Mon Feb 6 20:28:46 2006
References: <> <> <> <008f01c62b50$00187a20$2ee76c18@ted>

Hi Ted,

That's a great how-to manual.  If I ever find myself at such a VIP event, 
Prime Minister or otherwise, I shall avail myself of your suggestions!

The only time I can remember off-hand when I really wished I had an 
invisibility cloak while photographing was some years ago, when I found 
myself covering the speech of a US Supreme Court Justice.  I was 
photographing from the side, just in front of the stage he was on, as he 
read from his notes.  I decided I wanted a photo from a little behind him, 
something that would catch a bit of his profile and show the audience as 
well...actually, it would have been from the shadow side, now that I think 
about it, as he was lit from the front.  Anyway, I tried to move up the 
stairs to the stage so I could get my angle.  I didn't get far when I was 
stopped by the firm hand of a Secret Service agent on my chest.  "You can't 
go up there."  He said it with a smile and a friendly look, but there was 
no doubting his words.  Those guys are serious!  Needless to say, I didn't 
get the photo I was hoping for!  But, I did live to photograph another day!  

Now it's off to bed for this east coaster.


Ted Grant wrote:
>Aaron Sandler offered:
>>>in the end you can make your photos because of the
>>way you relate to your subjects, including the vital part that you invest 
>>a *week* or more sitting in the corner until you're just part of the 
>>scene to the families.  It's very similar to the way Doug Herr describes 
>>his wildlife photography process or Ted describes trying to stay 
>>unobtrusive while shooting in a medical setting.<<<<
>Hi Aaron,
>It's an ability some folks have to sit quiet, move little and still be 
>photographing the actions or non-actions going on, yet without appearing 
>to have taken any pictures. But come away with absolutely stunning 
>naturally looking photographs.
>In my case I've had to shoot during a meeting of executives with the Prime 
>Minister, capture facial expressions, hand motions while a point was being 
>made and or any number of little nuances happening during the meeting.
>Doing all without disturbing anyone nor drawing attention to myself as a 
>photographer. Piece of cake when you learn some of the tricks. ;-)
>You must be in the room and in your position before anyone else is there 
>of any importance.
>You select your position where you'll sit to make use of the best light 
>for the main players. No you do not stand like a statue and walk about 
>because you'll be asked to leave, you become a "visual moving 
>distraction!" Not only do you sit but you don't fidget around. Your 3 or 4 
>cameras are loaded with new rolls and ready to go with basic exposures 
>set. Other rolls are out of the canisters in a shirt or jacket pocket for 
>easy access when re-loading.
>As people arrive you sit quietly and it's absolutely essential you are in 
>place before they arrive because when they do and see "some guy with 
>cameras" most of the time they think "press? what the hell's he doing in 
>here?" If you personally know anyone as they enter a nod of the head in 
>recognition is all that's necessary, keep your mouth shut unless 
>addressed, then answer quickly & quietly. The least of this the better! 
>Remember you are the recorder not attending the meeting. Some guys can't 
>keep their mouth shut if they were at they're own funeral. You just 
>remember to keep yours shut in this kind of situation.
>Once everyone is in place look for empty chairs around the periphery of 
>the room where you might need to move to during the session. Providing it 
>can be done without anyone realizing you've changed position. HOW? ;-) 
>Piece of cake! ;-)
>When you want to move, "You must know exactly where you're going!" That is 
>before you even stand up! Don't stand up and start looking for some place 
>because the meeting, those sitting around a big table, who are facing in 
>your direction, you'll distract, they'll look at you, that inturn 
>distracts those who do not see you, they'll turn their heads looking at 
>who the others are looking at! It's a natural Mother Nature action of 
>You may get away with it "once!" Don't press your luck a second time.
>Now you know where you're going, you wait for a speaker to draw all eye 
>attention away from where you are, get up walk smoothly to your new chair 
>sit down.... do nothing but sit there. Any movement on your part will draw 
>attention because now you're in a new position for people who would 
>normally only have seen a wall and empty chairs.
>Sitting still allows them to see something new without being distracted.
>If at all possible make only one move during the meeting because if you 
>think you can move all over without sooner or later being turfed out the 
>door you're sadly mistaken. Maybe the PTA meeting you'd get away with it, 
>but not likely board meetings and others of VIP nature.
>Anyway there you go it's "the invisible photog routine." ;-)
>If one relates well to others as we know Tina does through her photography 
>of being there, but not. :-) Doug Herr with his wonderful instincts for 
>photographing wildlife. And no matter how astute the wildlife is, Doug has 
>the true magic of being there and not being there with the wildlife, as 
>Tina with humans.
>I'm not sure some of you folks got anything out of this or understand what 
>our kind of photography is about at times, but it's far more than the gear 
>and far more about how we re-act to other humans and critters. Most 
>importantly? How we carry ourselves while we're working.
>Is it something you can learn, yes I believe so, but it sure as heck takes 
>lots of practice.

Replies: Reply from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Re: DMR mk II ?)
In reply to: Message from manolito at (EPL) ([Leica] Re: DMR mk II ?)
Message from images at InfoAve.Net (Tina Manley) ([Leica] Re: DMR mk II ?)
Message from aaron.sandler at (Aaron Sandler) ([Leica] Re: DMR mk II ?)
Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Re: DMR mk II ?)