Wed 10-Oct-12 10:59 AM | edited Wed 10-Oct-12 11:29 AM by km6xz
Yes, Richard, I think we are losing important parts of the culture, like feeling comfortable meeting strangers and expecting, and getting only a pleasant conversation. When in the US, I do not use a camera at all in public places unless people are not around, particularly if children are around. When I first got my D90 I was visiting back in the US and my next door neighbor kid asked me to take photos of his trick skateboarding routine at the nearest skateboard park. About 20 shots into it, the police came and interrogated me in the back of a squad car for 30 minutes and made me give them my memory card because he was 17. The two cops said I was lucky, since they could have held me for 72 hours. I had owned a home there a block away for 20 years and they said since they did not know me, their assumption is, by policy, to think I was up to no-good. Someone called the police because an adult was taking photos of a kid doing extreme tricks on a skateboard.
What a difference in attitude here in Russia. If someone approaches another, it is assumed they have something to say, not that there is ill-intent. In my case, she approached me with the very common request to take her photo with her own camera. My D800 and lenses were hidden in my backpack. If I do take a photo of someone I always approach them to show it to them and they always thank ME for shooting, even if they did not expect a copy. It seems that this society is less uptight and relaxed by far than back in the US and in the UK where fear of the extremely rare impacts every aspect of life. Shooting a couple photos of some nice, smart happy young ladies is the norm on a brief stroll in the park, I only posted these because they were downloaded to my iPad and I sent them from that while sitting in a cafe. Socializing with and meeting strangers everyday is one of the real pleasures of living here. Stan St Petersburg Russia