Feeling Self-Conscious

There I was, barreling down the 99 freeway in the Central Valley of California, when I saw an incredible sight: a windmill farm in a mountain pass. Hundreds of windmills, different heights and shapes, some spinning quickly, others making lazy loops, others seemingly stuck.

Of course, my first thought was to try to capture the beauty of these machines. I pulled off at an exit, found a gas station with a little parking area, and set up my tripod. That's when I started to feel very self-conscious. In fact, I got a little paranoid: Was taking pictures of our country's energy infrastructure allowed? Was I violating some law? Did I just look silly? I was able to shake these feelings off, but they definitely colored my experience. They might have been heightened by the fact that I live near Washington, DC, where the use of a tripod, even on public sidewalks, is frequently banned for security reasons.

Does anyone else ever feel odd or self-conscious when whipping out the tripod?

Photo credits: Charles Sichel-outcalt.

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March 13, 2008

Niagaragirl

Last year I got busted for shooting tulips next to a bank with a point and shoot. Geez I had the camera right up to the flower, and rent a cop with blue blazer and offical walkie talkie decided I was a criminal. SO on the paranoia, it's just a fact of life these days.

On the windmills, great shot. A lot of people hate them. I love them personally. Keep shooting ;-)

March 13, 2008

Charlesoutcalt

I will try to keep your words in my mind the next time I'm out there feeling self-conscious!

March 13, 2008

Studioceja

"Ask for forgiveness, not permission." nicely put Amyemilia.

March 13, 2008

Amyemilia

You are not the only one. I am not a "tripod person" so can't speak to the tripod experience. But I still can relate to the emotion - "I might get caught taking this picture!" My brother is so much better at just taking the photo. Lots of times he's taken photos of very sensitive family times (during an illness or emergency) and those shots are full of the moment in a way that isn't repeatable.

But I agree with Studioceja on places - take the photo and then get chased if need be. Case in point: I was in London on a business trip but naturally had my camera at hand. While walking into an office building, I saw a beautiful shot of a church steeple framed through the atrium glass. Immediatly I put up the camera and shot, and almost immediately thereafter the security guard told me it was restricted. Not sure why, but I satisfied him by stopping. Meanwhile I already had my shot! Which reminds me, I ought to submit that one here, since it might work as stock.

As I often hear in my office - ask for forgiveness, not permission.

March 13, 2008

Charlesoutcalt

OK, this gives me a little more self-confidence. I think I just need to get over it.

I love your images of California Plaza, by the way. I used to spend a lot of time there, but I've never seen it depicted quite like this. Very nicely done!

   Los Angeles high rise   

March 13, 2008

Studioceja

Never! The places I have visited have always been safe, therefore a tripod was my best friend and traveling companion. I was told to move or remove it from the public right of way (forbidden temple in Beijing & in Washington D.C.) but this didn't discourage me in any way.

I say, tell me to move it or put it away and I will, no harm done!

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