May 29, 2008

"If you take a photo surreptitiously, if you’re quick, your photo will be awful."

"If you take care, you will inevitably be seen by someone and most likely be told something in Arabic. It will sound angry. Maybe it’s praise for your ingenuity, but I doubt it."

Traveling far afield to take photographs. It sounds too hard.


George said...

I'd love to read an article by a Moroccan about going to an American grocery store or mall.

"You will not be able to smell the food. It will all be wrapped in plastic! No one will offer you a sample to taste. If you wear a keffiyah, people will think you are a terrorist. Store keepers will ignore you, even if you show interest in their wares. There will be no yellow slippers. Children will be on leashes. Women will be half naked. Everyone will be eating constantly...."

John Burgess said...

Having lived in the Middle East for most of my working life, the writer is correct about photos being problematic.

There are two easy solutions, though.

1) learn to shoot with your camera not at your eye. It takes a little practice to get the framing right; sometimes you'll end up with a tilted picture. Both of those are largely correctable, though.

2) buy a right-angle lens. It looks like a telephoto lens, but has a mirror and porthole in the barrel. This allows you to shoot a picture of a subject 90 degrees away from what you're ostensibly pointing at.

You might want to take some care about what the lens appears to be pointing at, though, as many things in different ME countries are out of bounds to photography. These include (depending on the country) gov't buildings, bridges, railroads, airports, etc. And of course there are cultural barriers as well: taking photos of beggers can get you banged up in more than a few countries, by law enforcement or offended others.

vbspurs said...

Spectacular, Nina.


rhhardin said...

Intellectuals captured quickly in Ohio.

rhhardin said...

The easiest trick in the world for photos is hold the camera to your ear like a cell phone.

Old indian trick.